Add another notch on the crown of the reigning MVP and two-time champion LeBron James, who has been named Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press. He joins Michael Jordan and Larry Bird as the only other NBA players to receive the recognition.
James received 31 of 96 votes cast in a poll of news organizations, beating Peyton Manning (20) and Jimmie Johnson (7).
“I’m chasing something and it’s bigger than me as a basketball player,” James told the AP. “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 has played 98 games with the Miami Heat in the year of 2013, with his team winning 78 of them. There are three games left until 2014.
Heat fans hope this is not the last full year James plays in a Heat uniform. When asked by the AP about how he likes Miami, James offered few complaints.
“What is there not to like about Miami?” James said. “It is a home. My family is very happy; I’m very comfortable.
James does more than play basketball in South Florida. He is also very involved in the community and in his business ventures, all things that surely contributed to him being named AP Male Athlete of the Year.
LeBron won’t be slowing down in 2014 and you can see him live by getting your Miami Heat tickets here.