LeBron James became the third basketball player to win the AP Athlete of the Year award, a prestigious honor that has been handed out since 1931. According to ESPN on Dec. 26, James beat out Peyton Manning and Jimmie Johnson for the award.
James picked up 31 of the 96 votes cast, while Manning received 20 votes and Johnson picked up seven. This award came in a year where James won his second NBA championship, his fourth NBA MVP award, and solidified himself as the best basketball player in the world. The Miami Heat have won 78 of the 98 games that James has played in.
He now joins Michael Jordan and Larry Byrd as the only other NBA players to win the AP Athlete of the Year award in its 82 year history. Other notable winners in the past history of the award include Olympian Jesse Owens, boxer Joe Lewis, NFL star Joe Montana and golfer Tiger Woods.
The female winner of the AP Athlete of the Year award this year was tennis star Serena Williams.
When accepting the AP Athlete of the Year award, LeBron James said that he feels that he is more than just a great basketball player and strives everyday to be a role model that children can look up to in the same manner as a superhero.