At the end of a year marked by the Black Lives Matter movement and by an NBA championship, LeBron James was voted Outstanding Male Athlete by The Associated Press on Saturday.
The Los Angeles Lakers flagship has picked up the honor for the fourth time in his career, joining former cyclist Lance Armstrong and golfer Tiger Woods atop the men’s list. James received similar awards in 2013, 2016, and 2018.
In a poll of 35 Associated Press clients and athletic directors, he had 78 points, 7 more than quarterback Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs. F1 Driver Lewis Hamilton finished far behind in 3rd place with 14 points.
In 2020, James won the NBA Championship for the fourth time in his career. He was also voted MVP of the final, again for a fourth occasion.
No NBA player has scored more points and assists than James in 2020. He also became the first basketball player to receive the Most Valuable Player of the Finals title with three different organizations.
Previously, he had passed Kobe Bryant as the 3rd highest scorer in NBA history. James achieved the feat the day before a helicopter crash in which Bryant lost his life. In his last post on Twitter, Bryant congratulated James.
I still know what I’m doing on the court, and of course, I give the sport everything I have, James told The Associated Press. But right now, I can have a bigger impact off the court. I want to continue to inspire people with the way I play basketball, but I can do so many things off the court to help educate people, inspire them, bring them together, and positively influence them.