June 25, 2009
LOS ANGELES —
The swimmer is nominated for male athlete, championship performance, record-breaking performance and U.S. male Olympian. Phelps' only ESPY win came in 2005, when he earned the male Olympic performance honor after his effort at the 2004 Athens Games, where he won six gold medals.
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers will compete for male athlete honors, along with Phelps and NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson.
Bryant was also nominated for championship performance and NBA player.
Serena Williams, Candace Parker, Olympic all-around gymnastics champion Nastia Liukin, Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin and Connecticut basketball player Maya Moore were nominated for the female athlete award.
Tiger Woods will compete for his record 21st ESPY, in the male golfer category.
The Lakers, North Carolina's national champion men's basketball team, the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies, the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, and the national champion UConn women's basketball team were the best team nominees.
Fans will determine winners in 37 categories through online and mobile phone voting that begins today and runs through July 11.
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