Sports Illustrated has named LeBron James its 2016 Sportsperson of the Year.
It’s the second time the King of the court has received SI’s top honor. James nabbed the award in 2012, and becomes just the second athlete ever, along with Tiger Woods to have won twice.
But the reason he being honored this year goes far beyond his outstanding basketball achievements.
The publication pointed to James’ charitable efforts combined with his third NBA championship run — this time with the Cleveland Cavaliers — as to why he was more deserving than his peers in a historic year for sports.
“This award celebrates northeast Ohio as much as it does the region’s favorite son,” SI wrote. “In a very crowded year of Sportsperson candidates, the connection between player and community, his community, can be fairly described as the tiebreaking vote.”
The Akron, Ohio native followed through on his promise to deliver an NBA Championship to his hometown this past year, overpowering the NBA’s winningest team, the Golden State Warriors, in a seven game showdown. James was also named the league’s Most Valuable Player and the finals’ MVP.
His humanitarian efforts include developing a $41 million-four-year scholarship for students to attend the University of Akron. James joined a number of athletes who chose to no longer remain silent in regards to the police injustices in the African-American community. And he challenged all Americans to elicit change alongside Hilary Clinton on her campaign trail. Several weeks ago, he donated 2.5 million to the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American history and Culture to help fund an upcoming Muhammad Ali exhibit.
The man who often describes himself as “just another kid from Akron” took to Twitter and extended the honor to his family, fans, team, and his foundation.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 1, 2016