Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has been named TIME magazine’s Athlete of the Year.
James led the Lakers to a record-equalling 17th championship title in October.
It was James’ fourth NBA title and fourth Finals MVP award. He is the first player in NBA history to win the accolade with three different teams. Only Michael Jordan, with six titles, has more.
He was also very vocal in speaking out against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States.
Ahead of this November’s US presidential election, he promoted voter registration. James established the organisation “More Than A Vote” in an effort to combat systemic, racist voter suppression. The group is made up of prominent black athletes and artistes who used their social media channels to encourage and educate their followers on how to cast a ballot for this year’s election.
“It would never, ever go back to us just playing our respective sports,” says James. “It will never be that way for as long as I’m around. And hopefully, I’ve inspired enough athletes that even when I’m gone, that legacy will carry on.”