AP’s top male athlete of 2018 no surprise
LeBron James continues to impress on, and off, the basketball court. He has made it to the NBA Finals eight years in a row, despite changing teams after becoming a free agent this past summer, and is always a dominating figure in the sport. A recent injury will sideline him for a few days, but it definitely won’t end his streak. Given his power and stats, the fact that the Associated Press (AP) named him the Male Athlete of the Year – for the third time – seems rather mundane.
James received 78 points when editors and news directors took to the ballots to vote on their choice for the player of the year. The award was a slam dunk for the All-Star, who easily beat out the second-place nominee, Boston Red Sox’s Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox, by 32 points. Following Betts was Alex Ovechkin of NHL’s Washington Capitals and then quarterback Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Not only has James excelled on the court, he’s been a force off it, as well. He opened his “I Promise school in Ohio this past summer, giving at-risk children a world of opportunities that once bypassed them completely.
James said of the school, "I would describe it as a success because I was able to inspire so many people throughout the year. I got to go back to China, to Paris, to Berlin, I opened up a school. And all these kids I was able to see, all over the world and in my hometown, I was able to inspire, to make them think they can be so much more than what they think they’re capable of being. That was my outlook for 2018.”
According to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, "In addition to being on everyone’s short list as one of the league’s all-time greatest players, LeBron is among the hardest-working players and is a thoughtful and impactful leader. He serves on the executive committee of the Players Association even as he builds an impressive media company of his own. And what’s most inspiring, and no surprise given his talent and focus, is how he’s done all of this while embracing his unique opportunity to positively impact communities in need.”