After leaving the Miami Heat to return to his home state of Ohio, LeBron James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the 2016 NBA title.
The honor comes six months after fulfilling his promise by delivering a championship to the city of Cleveland.
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“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,” the magazine’s editors wrote of James.
“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 joins Tiger Woods as the only two-time recipients of the honor. James also won the award in 2012 after winning his first NBA championship with the Miami Heat.
Other finalists in consideration included Stephen Curry and Olympians Simone Biles and Usain Bolt.