Lakers’ star LeBron James was selected as the Associated Press’ Male Athlete of the Decade. Other finalists in the running included Tom Brady, Usain Bolt, Lionel Messi and Michael Phelps. Serena Williams was named the AP Female Athlete of the Decade.

“You add another 10 years of learning and adversity, pitfalls, good, great, bad, and any smart person who wants to grow will learn from all those experiences,” James said of the award. “A decade ago, I just turned 25. I’m about to be 35 and I’m just in a better (place) in my life and have a better understanding of what I want to get out of life.”

It’s not surprising that James came out on top. Starting in 2010, James was able to sign with the Miami Heat joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. His decision to join two super stars in free agency created a movement. It gave other all-stars the idea of creating a dynasty. Since then James  has went to the NBA Finals eight straight times. In the past decade he won three championships, two in Miami and one in Cleveland. He also won the NBA MVP award three times. One of his biggest moments of his career was defeating the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals; a team that had won a record 73 games.

After passing Michael Jordan on the NBA all time scoring list last year, James is less than 400 points away from passing Kobe Bryant, which will make him third on the list. In the last ten years including the playoffs, no one has scored more points than James.

When asked about the all time scoring list, James told the Associated Press, “I would be lying if I said I don’t see it. Obviously I’m not trying to say, ‘OK, well if I play this amount of time, if I average this’ … I’m not doing that because I’ve never done that with my career. I’ve always just kind of let it happen. Whatever happens, happens. But I see it. I do see it.”

With the selection the Akron native joins former award winners, Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky and Arnold Palmer.

 

 

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