Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James was named the 2018 Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press. James garnered 78 points in balloting by U.S. editors and news directors.
Boston Red Sox All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts was second with 46 points, while. Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals placed third, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was fourth and Triple Crown winner Justify finished fifth in voting.
It marks James’ third time receiving the honor from the publication, previously being voted as such in 2013 and 2016. He also became the third man to win the award at least three times, joining Lance Armstrong (four-time winner from 2002-05), Tiger Woods (1997, 1999, 2000, 2006) and Michael Jordan (1991, 1992, 1993).
The recognition extends beyond the basketball court, which James noted helped make for a successful year, via Tim Reynolds of the AP:
“I would describe it as a success because I was able to inspire so many people throughout the year,” James said. “I got to go back to China, to Paris, to Berlin, I opened up a school. And all these kids I was able to see, all over the world and in my hometown, I was able to inspire, to make them think they can be so much more than what they think they’re capable of being. That was my outlook for 2018.”
In addition to opening his I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, James was behind multiple entertainment productions. Three episodes of “The Shop” have aired on HBO, and he also unveiled the “Shut Up and Dribble” documentary series.
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