Sports Illustrated Names LeBron James 2012 ‘Sportsman of the Year’

MIAMI — Sports illustrated has just named LeBron James their 2012 Sportsman of the Year when they announced its annual choice Monday, Dec. 3, with James becoming the first NBA player to win the award since his Miami Heat teammate Dwayne Wade in 2006.

“I remember just like yesterday when I signed here and basically, like the roof caved in,” James told The Associated Press, referring to the fallout from his infamous “Decision” to leave Cleveland for Miami in 2010. “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.”

“It gets no better for a basketball player,” says Heat guard Dwyane Wade of the year James just completed: NBA champion, NBA MVP, Finals MVP, Olympic gold medalist, hardwood revolutionary. Call him the best point guard in the league, or the best power forward, or both, or neither. “He has no position,” says an NBA scout. “His position is to do whatever he wants. There’s never been anything like it. You just give him the ball and you win the game.” Defend James with bigger players and he pulls them out to the three-point line so he can breeze past them. Try smaller, more nimble players and he backs them all the way into the basket stanchion. The formula sounds simple, for a Mack truck with a Ferrari engine, but only now has it come into focus.

Past winners include Muhammad Ali, Jack Nicklaus, Wayne Gretzky, Arthur Ashe, Tom Brady, Derek Jeter and Michael Phelps. College basketball coaches Mike Krzyzewski – James’ Olympic coach – and Pat Summitt shared the honor last year.

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