E.S.P.JEN: Sports Illustrated Names Lebron James "Sportsman of The Year"

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2012 was undoubtedly Lebron James year, winning an Olympic gold medal, finally winning a long sought after NBA Championship and receiving the MVP trophy, so it’s not surprise that Sports Illustrated named the king “Sportsman of the Year”.

The Miami Heat forward was shocked to receive the honor since he’d been criticized for some time over his “decision” to leave Cleveland taking his talents to South Beach.

“Did I think an award like this was possible two years ago? No, I did not,” James told SI’s Lee Jenkins,“I thought I would be helping a lot of kids and raise $3 million by going on TV and saying, 'Hey, I want to play for the Miami Heat.' But it affected far more people than I imagined, I know it wasn't on the level of an injury or an addiction, but it was something I had to recover from. I had to become a better person, a better player, a better father, a better friend, a better mentor and a better leader. I've changed, and I think people have started to understand who I really am.”

Lebron is in great company as past honorees include Muhammad Ali, Tom Brady, Derek Jeter and Michael Phelps. College basketball coaches and his coach during the Olympic games Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K.) and legendary coach Pat Summitt who had to step down after being diagnosed with early-set Alzheimer's disease shared the honor last year.

Congrats to the King, well deserved. I’m saying this now, his name will be thrown in with the likes of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain and Kobe Bryant in a few years, guaranteed.