According to Sports Illustrated, LeBron James is the Sportsperson of the Year. James beat out the likes of Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky and Usain Bolt for the award.
Every month, it seemed, unlocked a new watershed moment, a little bit bigger and more dramatic than the previous one, a sort of Russian nesting doll in reverse. Who, in January, would have been so bold to divine that both the Cubs and a team from Cleveland would win a championship, or that a 5,000-1 shot would win the English Premier League championship? Other, less shocking events—the continued Olympic excellence of Bolt, Phelps, Ledecky and Biles; a record-tying seventh NASCAR championship for Jimmie Johnson—bolstered a powerful argument for this being the Greatest Year in Sports.
In the end we could choose only one winner, which brings us to the 2016 Sportsperson of the Year, LeBron James. He, of course, was not the only athlete to help end a famous title drought. He wasn’t even the only athlete to be part of a comeback from a 3-1 deficit to end a famous title drought. He is, however, the only athlete who did those things to gain more than a ring. In putting the Cavaliers on his back in the NBA Finals he also fulfilled a promise to his home city and to an entire region. He was following through on that heartfelt, but risky, vow he made three summers ago when he returned home after four successful years in Miami.
James tweeted about the award soon after:
When the Cavs won the title, that certainty put him in the conversation and for good reason. When he eventually retires and moves to life after basketball, winning a title after coming back to the Cavs and ending Cleveland’s title drought will probably be his crowing achievement. An award deserved indeed.