Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated has named LeBron James the 2016 Sportsperson of the Year.
SI has been awarding the SOTY since 1954. James, who previously won in 2012, is now only the second two-time winner (Tiger Woods won in 1996 and 2000).
It’s almost impossible to argue with the choice. James won his third NBA title in historic fashion. His Cleveland Cavaliers became the first team to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals, and in doing so, brought Cleveland its first major sports championship in more than 50 years.
James will be honored at an event at Barclays Center on December 12.
“It’s not just the way he took over the NBA Finals—though that performance was epic,” said SI editor in chief Chris Stone, in a statement. “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.”
(Image: Robert Beck/Sports Illustrated)