Lets assume all sports are finished rest of 2020: Who is SI's Sportsperson of the Year?

Now normally, I hate when SI cheapens out and makes a whole team or more than one person SPOTY, but if sports are done for the year and they wanted to make every athlete that donated to fight COVID-19 the winner, I’d make an obvious exception.

But let’s assume it can only be ONE person. With a limited less-than-four-month sample who would you award it to? Here’s some candidates:

Patrick Mahomes
Great playoff run, and Super Bowl winner, Kansas City’s first in 50 years. The future face of the sport. My personal #1 candidate.

Tyson Fury
May just yet singlehandedly revive the heavyweight division with a decisive rematch win over rival Detontay Wilder.

Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Greek Freak lead the Milwaukee Bucks to 53-12 record and a likely NBA championship before getting injured right before the season suspension.

Connor MacDavid OR Leon Draisatl
Ranked 1-2 in points this NHL season, and leading the Edmonton Oilers to a possible deep Stanley Cup run.

What about soccer? Woman athletes? Other sports we are missing? Baseball is obviously out.

Who is YOUR Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the “Half Year”?

I don’t agree with it, but I can see them picking Tom Brady. Yeah, he didn’t make the Super Bowl this season, but I can see SI hanging on his 20 years in New England, and the expectations in Tampa Bay.

I’d go with Mahomes, yeah. SI will be eager to crown the “passing of the torch.”

they pretty much ignore the NHL except for the SC finals. The other people are likely choices.

BTW SI is now monthly , that started this year. From 52 issues to 12 + 3 special issues.

I would be good with Mahomes.

Fighting the hypothetical a bit, UFC is still trying to make their April 18th event happen. It seems likely that they will not be done for the entirety of the year. By the individual nature of the sport there is no issue with seasons being messed up even if some events are canceled.

Stipe Miocic is a real possibility assuming his expected defense of his UFC heavyweight title is successful. They were already looking at the earliest being this summer due to an injury to his retina last year. They are going for a trilogy. He has previously lost his title to Daniel Cormier before winning it back last year. Cormier and Miocic are both in the US so international travel restrictions are not an issue for a rematch when current levels of restrictions ease. That rematch is likely to be one of the major sporting events to happen in the rest of this year.

Then there is Miocic’s normally part-time job where he is now picking up more hours than usual. He is a firefighter-paramedic. In a situation that is frequently described in terms of war a professional fighter is currently fighting coronavirus to take care of people.

You can almost see the cover with pictures of him in the octagon and next to an ambulance. It would be one of the most compelling stories of a coronavirus affected year in sport. That story is going to be hard for SI to resist if he wins later this year.

Tyson Fury is a great story if you leave out some of the horrendous things he’s said in the past. For that I doubt they would give it to him. Mahomes would be the safe bet.

Reminds me of when Reds owner Marge Schott said “Hitler was good in the beginning” She was suspended for that and not long after that was forced to sell the team.

If the assumption of the OP holds (no mmore sporting events for the rest of the year). I’d put my money on Kobe Bryant.

This sums it up. Very few athletes have a clear accomplishment this year, so given these two, clearly recognized by SI’s audience, they’ll go with Mahomes. There will be plenty of space in that issue of the magazine to talk about Fury.

Adam Silver

The NBA was the first league to close its doors and showed the world that we should get serious about our situation here. His decision was unprecedented at the time, and he got A LOT of heat for it…but it was absolutely the correct decision and hindsight has proven that all the more.

ETA: Let’s say “show the country” instead of “show the world” since the world was already in a bit of dire straits.

The only thing that gives him a bit of a pass is he was clearly going through a mental health crisis at the time. He still may have meant what he was saying though.

SI usually panders to its fanbase, which is mainly the four major sports and the PGA. Tough call between Mahomes and Brady, but since Brady didn’t retire - just change teams - and the Chiefs won their first Super Bowl in 50 years, I’d go with Mahomes.

Now watch it end up being “the empty seats” - hey, they made the cover…

I’d include tennis in said fanbase, and the Olympics in an Olympic year.

This. If we don’t have a meaningful number of games the mag will go out of their way to do something unconventional. They will take a page out of the Time magazine playbook and go with a posthumous Kobe, or it’ll be the “year of the fan” of something equally trite.

Good point

Kobe died. The award is supposed to be “the athlete or team whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement." What performance did he do this year? There are lots of Hall of Famers, many who meant more to their sport. I don’t think they want to turn it into a memorial award. What if Jim Brown or Bill Russell or any number of legends die this year? A baseball and a football hall of famer died this week.

If they go completely out of the box they may do something like that or make it the fans for sticking with sports.

The premise of the OP is that there are no more sports. The only people who played any games in that scenario are NFL playoff participants (and we in theory can’t include any 2019 stuff) and the NBA and NHL playing a relatively small set of largely meaningless mid-season games, made extra meaningless since we had no playoffs or cup winner. You have a choice, re-interpret the award such that it can include the unique situation that is Kobe’s death and induction, or re-interpret the award in such a way that the bar is lowered to the point that Pat Mahomes’ very good by not transcendent 3 game playoff run qualifies.

Arthur Ashe won it in 1992…what exactly did he accomplish that year?

You’re being a bit dishonest here. Awarding it to Kobe would absolutely NOT be turning the award into a memorial award. His death, his age, his influence and the circumstances are singular. Comparing this to an old guy like Brown or Russell dying totally and completely misses the point.

Ok, probably won’t happen because SI is US based, but Liverpool football club was having a dominating season. And, You’ll Never Walk Alone would be a good way to remember 2020.

It won’t happen, unfortunately.

Tell Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal - or Bjorn Borg, or John McEnroe, or Andre Agassi, or Pete Sampras while you’re at it - about the “tennis fanbase.” Serena won it only because of (a) how old she was, and (b) how long she has been at it. Well, that, and © what country she’s from - Steffi Graf won a Grand Slam plus an Olympic gold medal in 1988, and I doubt she was even seriously considered.

In that case, I have a feeling it’s going to be “Athletes Who Care II” - the ones that did the most to help their communities in the face of COVID-19.