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LeBron talks about being named SI’s Sportsman of the Year

Dec 3, 2012, 7:03 PM EDT

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Getty Images

Only one other basketball player in history had been the NBA MVP, NBA finals MVP, an NBA champion and Olympic gold medalist in one year — Michael Jordan.

That was until LeBron James did it in 2012.

So LeBron being named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year seemed fitting. If you’re a LeBron fan (or LeBron) it’s a story of redemption. And we Americans also love winners.

LeBron spoke about all this the media about it Monday, via ESPN:

“It’s very humbling,” James said, after Monday’s Heat practice, about winning the award. “It was a long journey….

“Going through what I went through my first year here [in Miami], making the transition from Cleveland and ultimately winning a championship, it makes it sweeter,” he said….

“It’s a challenge when everything you do or say can be used against you,” James said. “The thing that’s helped me is that I’ve been watched and followed since I was 16 years old. They praise you and you make one mistake and they bring you down. They praise you again and then bring you down again so I’ve had a lot of hardships, but it all makes it sweeter in the end.”

LeBron sees his story as one of overcoming obstacles, of redemption. That’s how his official biography will read (the unofficial ones will be more interesting).

One ring is not going to cement LeBron’s legacy where he wants it to be, he’s going to take multiple. The mistakes and hubris of his past are not erased with this season, this award. But he clearly has matured, he has grown as a person and that allowed him to grow as a player.

And most frightening for the league, he may now just be hitting his prime.

  1. rodge1 - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    I wonder if Dan Gilbert will buy a copy.

  2. bigkevin6969 - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Hell no he’s a hater

  3. progress2011 - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    We never know, what mental state a person is in.

    I’m happy to see LBJ was able to take all the pressure and turn it into something positive. He had every opportunity to crumble and no one would have faulted him ( haters would have piled on more).

    I am a fan of this dude, not only because he is the BADDEST man to lace up basketball shoes, in the past few years.

    But also because he has remained humble and used the old adage….Put Up Or Shut Up .

    Dude Put ‘Em Up.

  4. ninthwardfriend - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    One ring in Cleveland would have been all world. But the boy don’t have no home training. If he stayed in Ohio his money would be no good. Every thing on the house. Them Cuban’s don’t love him in south beach.

  5. 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    LeBron is an absolute joy to watch. A once in a lifetime player. He has no weaknesses. He has mastered the art of basketball. We are very lucky to be witnesses to his career, and in Miami we know just how truly lucky we are to have him on our team for these years.

  6. misterdreamer119 - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Zero weaknesses is right. Magic and Bird were not fast, strong or jumpy. Lebron is bigger and stronger than jordan.

    • scalfor3 - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:48 PM

      LOL at the idea that Magic wasn’t fast or strong. And Bird couldn’t jump 2 inches off the ground but was a better rebounder than Bron is. You can praise Bron without disrespecting the legends.

  7. 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    It didn’t go unnoticed (by me) that LeBron was not wearing a Miami Heat uniform in the cover picture. And that’s fine. None of us have any delusion that he “belongs” to us. Just like he didn’t “belong” to Cleveland.

    LBJ belongs to all of us. If you love sports and specifically, if you love basketball, watching LeBron play right now is to watch it played at the highest level ever achieved. And all of us can claim him as our own. The best of our generation. The best of all time. In his prime.

    As for Miami fans, we all know where we stand. He chose to come to us, and we all know that one day he might choose to leave. We hope he wants to stay, and we think the Heat organization is one in which he can thrive for the rest of his career. But his career isn’t about an organization. It’s about something bigger than that. We’re lucky to have him now. Once in a lifetime.

    • miamatt - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      Well said. I treasure every game I get to see this man and this team play. Not just for great athleticism, but for the science of basketball, and for the unselfishness that permeates the Heat. It’s gonna take years of sustaining this to really get in on the “best of all time” discussion, but LeBron has a chance.

      As much as it is hard to admit, I will miss Kobe Bryant when he is gone. For any non-Heat fans who don’t feel the same way about LeBron, you are missing out.

  8. southbeachtalent - Dec 4, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    The man is the best at what he does, while being grounded. Pretty hard to come by..

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