CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - For a second time Sports Illustrated has named LeBron James Sportsperson of the Year.
James probably made it easy on editors, rallying the Cavaliers from a 3-1 deficit against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals to deliver Cleveland's first championship in a major sport since 1964. James has now won three NBA titles and named Finals MVP for the third time in his career.
"It's a great achievement, I read the history about it. For me..you guys know how I am about individual awards...it doesn't hit me or nothing to that magnitude but I'm honored they have chosen me. I'm more happy for my family; my kids, my wife, my mom, for my foundation - for the kids I represent, the kids that use me as a role model, an inspiration. I'm more happy for them," said LeBron James.
What's even more important Cleveland fans, he delivered on the promise he made when he returned to the Cavaliers as a free agent in 2014: to bring the franchise in his home state its first NBA crown.
"It's hard to remember a year with such a crowded field of Sportsperson candidates," said Chris Stone, Sports Illustrated Editor 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. Especially since he doubles down on that commitment off the court, with the work his foundation does for underserved kids in Akron and with his increasing willingness to speak out in the fight for social justice. On court and off, James was the athlete in full in 2016."
James, who was also SI's SOTY in 2012, is only the second two-time winner of the award (Tiger Woods: 1996, 2000).
James will be honored alongside the 2016 SI Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award Winners Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown and Bill Russell; the SI Kids SportsKids of the Year and other top names and moments from the year in sports at SI's special Sportsperson of the Year celebration taking place in New York on December 12.
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