The Miami Heat forward said he was surprised to learn he was chosen for the title.
It's a slam dunk for LeBron James!
The Miami Heat forward was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year today.
According to Associated Press, James, 27, was shocked to hear the news because he figured fans were still angry with him for leaving Cleveland and joining the Heat in 2010. "I remember just like yesterday when I signed here and basically, like the roof caved in," said James. "To see that and my team and everyone around was able to patch that roof up, to come to this point and receive such a prestigious award, it's huge."
The Ohio native said he's changed because of the backlash from his big decision. "I had to become a better person, a better player, a better father, a better friend, a better mentor and a better leader," said James. "I've changed, and I think people have started to understand who I really am."
James not only won the Olympic gold medal for the second time this year, but he was named NBA MVP for the third time, won the NBA Finals MVP trophy and finally earned his first NBA championship.
But it wasn't the star's fancy trophies and ring that sealed the deal. It was his philanthropy work with schoolchildren in Akron, Ohio.