CLEVELAND - Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James was named Sports Illustrated 2016 Sportsperson of the Year Thursday.
“It’s hard to remember a year with such a crowded field of Sportsperson candidates,” said Chris Stone, Sports IllustratedEditor 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."
James, 31, is a three-time NBA champion, four-time MVP, and 12-time All-Star, and is considered one of the greatest basketball players ever.
The Cavaliers won a championship in June. It was the first sports title for the city of Cleveland in 52 years.
In 2014, James, 31, penned an essay in Sports Illustrated about his decision to return to Cleveland in an effort to be uninterrupted and explain his choice. He also addressed his departure in 2010 in the letter.
James is only the second two-time winner. He was the 2012 Sportsperson of the Year. (Tiger Woods was selected in 1996 and 2000).
But it was the work James does off the court with Through the LeBron James Family Foundation that set him a part from the others.