Los Angeles Lakers superstar and four-time NBA champion LeBron James has been named one of five winners of Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year Award. For the 2020 edition of the awards, winners were chosen not just based on athletic accomplishments, but also one’s impact on their community.
This is the third time James has earned the Sportsperson of the Year honor, which is the most among all professional athletes in the publication’s history. James previously won the award in 2012 and 2016.
James has undoubtedly been a champion on and off the floor for a majority of his career, but he took it to a new level this year. His “More Than a Vote” campaign helped inform United States citizens of their rights and made voting more accessible.
He did so all the while inside the Walt Disney World bubble, working towards his fourth title and the Lakers’ 17th. There is perhaps no one more deserving for an award of this magnitude in the sports world than James.
Despite already cementing his legacy as one of the greatest of all time, he continues to work towards winning more championships on the court and making real change off of it. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar gave a brief description of why James was selected for this award, via Sports Illustrated:
“Already a contender for GOAT, an advocate for racial equality and the founder of a school for low-income children, James—also the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award winner—put his considerable energy into inspiring young people to go to the ballot box in the face of voter suppression.”
WNBA superstar and Finals MVP Breanna Stewart was one of the other four winners for her unwavering support for the Black Lives Matter movement throughout the 2020 season.
NFL superstar and Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes was one of the winners, using his platform to help convince the NFL to recognize Black Lives Matter and support the fight against racial injustice.
Young tennis star and U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka won the award by using her platform to call attention to police brutality and other issues plaguing the United States.
Finally, Kansas City Chiefs starting right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif won the award. He opted out of the 2020 NFL season and spent the time on the frontlines of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as a doctor.
Giannis Antetokounmpo calls LeBron the best in the world
Despite being the reigning back-to-back MVP winner, Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo still believes that James is the best basketball player. James was the runner-up to Antetokounmpo for the MVP Award during the 2019-20 season.
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