The brightest stars in sports, most of them children of the 90s, were on the red carpet Wednesday at the 2010 ESPY Awards at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater, and when we asked them who their biggest inspirations were when they were kids, the answer was clear: They still wanna be like Mike.
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Memphis Grizzlies star Rudy Gay kicked things off saying his inspiration was Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan, while Baltimore Ravens safety Ken Hamlin struck gold with his two picks: ex-San Francisco 49er greats Ronnie Lott and Jerry Rice.
“They worked hard for everything they got,” Hamlin said of the gridiron legends.
San Diego Charger Larry English didn’t have to rack his brain to know who his hero was.
“Definitely Michael Jordan,” the linebacker told RadarOnline.com’s Jessica Campbell. “You know, I grew up in the Chicago area and came up around that time when he was winning a lot of championships. So definitely gotta go with Jordan.”
New York Knicks big man Amare Stoudamire said it was Jordan for basketball and Deion Sanders for football, while New York Giant receiver Ramses Barden said his hero was Jordan, noting that No. 23 also set an example for athletes with his business prowess.
Carolina Panthers defender Jon Beason cast another vote for Rice.
“By far, and its so crazy, because I play defense now, but as I kid I use to want to be like Jerry Rice,” he said.
Statuesque volleyball beauty Kim Glass said, “I used to always look up to like Lisa Leslie, because I used to play basketball, but honestly, for volleyball it was Logan Tom.”