Jamal Murray and Steven Stamkos win Sports Illustrated awards for Breakout and Best Play

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Two Canadians were honored at this year’s Sports Illustrated Awards.
Denver Nuggets Guard Jamal Murray was named the winner of the ‘Breakout of the Year’ award, while Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos received the ‘Play of the Year’ award after his goal in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Dallas Stars.

Murray, a native of Kitchener, Ont., Led the Nuggets to a loss for the favorite Los Angeles Clippers in the second round of the NBA playoffs in Orlando, Fla. The Nuggets would lose to future NBA champion the Los Angeles Lakers. finals, but not before Murray does a highlights layout in Game 4 of the series.

The layup drew comparisons to that of Michael Jordan in Game 2 of the 1991 NBA Finals between Jordan’s Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.

“You dream of being awesome,” Murray said after the award was announced. “You dream of being the best version of yourself. So I don’t see myself stopping there. ”

Stamkos, of Markham, Ont., Played less than three minutes in the NHL playoffs while treating a core muscle injury. His only appearance was in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against Dallas, where he scored on a sharp-angle shot, Stars goalie Anton Khudobin to give his team a 2-0 lead. in the first period.

The Lightning won the game and the series.

“I’m not a big supporter of these ‘supposed to be’ moments,” Stamkos said. “But it was really one of those moments for me. ”

Earlier this month, Quebecer Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was among the five athletes to be named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. After a Super Bowl victory with the Kansas City Chiefs, he worked in a long-term care facility as a frontline worker amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Teammate Patrick Mahomes, James Lebron, Breonna Stewart and Naomi Osaka were the other four athletes who also received the honor.

This year’s awards take place online across various platforms, including Facebook, Twitch, and Twitter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 19, 2020.

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