"I was able to inspire so many people."
The Associated Press has today announced that, for the third time in his illustrious career, LeBron James is the AP Athlete of the Year. The news comes one day after Serena Williams was crowned the AP Female Athlete of the Year.
According to Tim Reynolds, LeBron is just the third man to win the award at least three times, joining Lance Armstrong (a four-time winner from 2002 through 2005), Tiger Woods (1997, 1999, 2000 and 2006) and Michael Jordan (1991, 1992 and 1993). The AP reports that James' closest rivals in the AP balloting this year were Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts and Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin - both of whom won championships this year.
While LeBron was unsuccessful in his pursuit of another championship ring in 2018, he did reach the NBA Finals for the eighth consecutive year. Throughout the 2018 calendar year, in which he has played in 102 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers, he averaged 28.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 8.4 assists.
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Additionally, the four-time NBA MVP made major impacts off the court which includes opening the “I Promise” school for at-risk children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, and refusing to just "shut up and dribble."
“I like to talk about generations,” said Miami guard Dwyane Wade, according to the AP. “There will never be another Michael Jordan because he was the first to be a global superstar, the first to take the NBA to another level. There will never be another LeBron James, and a lot of it is from what he’s done away from the game. Him understanding his voice has been so refreshing and so important to the culture and his friends.”