LeBron James: SI Sportsman of the Year

Published On December 3, 2012 | By Kimberly Petalas

LeBron James has many accomplishments to be proud of this year: he won his first NBA championship, his second Olympic gold medal and his third MVP award. Now he has also won the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award, but the honor is not necessarily due to his on-court accolades.

Here’s a little known fact about LeBron: he is a charitable man. That is what got him the recognition for Sportsman of the Year.

In the past year, LeBron’s reputation has done a complete 180. He went from being known as basketball’s super villain to helping children and other charities. LeBron works with schoolchildren in his hometown of Akron, Ohio and has hosted many charity events over the past few years.

Sports Illustrated has been giving out the award for Sportsman of the Year since 1954, and now LeBron can join a list of high profile athletes including Muhammad Ali, Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan.

Although LeBron has faced a lot of backlash in his career, especially for the messy way that he left the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010, LeBron has been gaining back respect from fans and fellow athletes.

“I remember just like yesterday when I signed here and basically, like the roof caved in,” LeBron told the Associated Press, “To see that I and my team and everyone around me was able to patch that roof up, to come to this point, to come to this point and receive such a prestigious award, it’s huge.”

LeBron said he was happy with his award for Sportsman of the Year but was also very humble.

“Do I need it? I don’t need it,” LeBron said. “I don’t ever look for individual accolades. I do what I do because I love it and I want to continue to get better at it.”

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About The Author

Kimberly graduated from Hofstra University in December 2012. She has been a sports fan her whole life and grew up around sports, whether it was playing or watching them. She started her writing career interning for her local newspaper, The Gardner News, where she currently works as a reporter. In college, Kimberly wrote for Long Island Report, as well as Her Campus Hofstra.