Published December 3, 2012
James will be honored by SI Wednesday at an invite-only ceremony in N.Y.
SI has named Heat F LeBron James as its Sportsman of the Year for '12, further extending a remarkable turnaround for the player following his departure from the Cavaliers in '10 and the hotly-debated "The Decision" TV special on ESPN that summer. James this year won his first NBA title, his third league MVP award and also was a key figure on the U.S. men's basketball team that won Gold at the London Games. He will be honored Wednesday night at an invitation-only ceremony in N.Y. "LeBron's stirring accomplishments on and off the court were impossible to ignore," said Time Inc. Sports Group Editor Paul Fichtenbaum in a statement. "He showed tremendous heart during times of adversity, and he delivered with relentless determination." James is the seventh pro basketball player to receive the award, joining Heat G Dwyane Wade ('06), Spurs C Tim Duncan and Basketball HOFer David Robinson ('03), and HOFers Michael Jordan ('91), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ('85) and Bill Russell ('68). Similar to recent years, the Sportsman of the Year ceremony will feature former honorees, including one of last year's recipients, Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. Krzyzewski coached James in both the '08 and '12 Olympics. In the upcoming issue of SI, senior writer Lee Jenkins profiles James, and they extensively discuss the fallout from "The Decision." "It affected far more people than I imagined," James says in the article. "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."