NEW YORK-All hail King James! LeBron James has been named Sports Illustrated 'Sportsperson of the Year.'
The Cleveland Cavalier superstar is being credited for rallying the Cavs from a 3-1 deficit against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals delivering Cleveland's first championship in a major sport since 1964.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 1, 2016
James, who has now won three NBA titles, was named Finals MVP for the third time in his career.
Back in 2014, LeBron promised fans when he returned to the Cavaliers as a free agent he was going to bring our city its first NBA crown.
LeBron James will be honored alongside the 2016 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award Winners Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown and Bill Russell at the Sportsperson of the Year event at the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn on December 12.
“It’s hard to remember a year with such a crowded field of Sportsperson candidates,” said Chris Stone, Sports Illustrated Editor in Chief. “But in the end LeBron James was the clear choice. It’s not just the way he took over the NBA Finals—though that performance was epic. It’s that LeBron was also carrying the weight of that promise he made when he returned to Cleveland in 2014. It’s a special thing for a favorite son to follow through on that kind of commitment to his hometown. Especially since he doubles down on that commitment off the court, with the work his foundation does for underserved kids in Akron and with his increasing willingness to speak out in the fight for social justice. On court and off, James was the athlete in full in 2016."
Since 1954, Sports Illustrated has annually presented the Sportsperson of the Year award to the player, coach or team who has best personified the ideals of athletic achievement and sportsmanship. James, who was also SI’s SOTY in 2012, is only the second two-time winner of the award (Tiger Woods: 1996, 2000).