The Associated Press has named LeBron James its Male Athlete of The Year. James is only the third NBA player to ever win the award, joining Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.
James definitely deserves the honor. In 2013, he won his second consecutive NBA championship and his fourth MVP award. Still, James told the AP that he saw himself as bigger than just basketball:
I’m chasing something and it’s bigger than me as a basketball player. I believe my calling is much higher than being a basketball player. I can inspire people. Youth is huge to me. If I can get kids to look at me as a role model, as a leader, a superhero … those things mean so much, and that’s what I think I was built for. I was put here for this lovely game of basketball, but I don’t think this is the biggest role that I’m going to have.
James received 31 votes to win, beating out Peyton Manning (20 votes) and Jimmie Johnson (7). Carmelo Anthony, JR Smith and Andrea Bargnani did not receive any votes.