LeBron James Adds to His 2012 Trophy Case

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

 

2011-12 NBA Most Valuable Player, check.

2012 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, check.

Gold medal at the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games, check.

2012 ESPY Awards for NBA Player of The Year, Male Athlete of The Year, and Championship Performance, check.

2012 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of The Year, check.

Those awards have made 2012 a great year for LeBron James. Now he can add the 2012 USA Basketball Male Athlete of The Year award to his trophy case.

The barrage of awards began as James was leading the Miami Heat to the franchise’s second championship. That effort had a double effect of rehabilitating the team’s image along with his own. James became one of the most disliked players among NBA fans after he announced he was going to play for the Heat on an ESPN special dubbed ‘The Decision’ in the Summer of 2010. Things didn’t change much when Miami lost in the 2011 NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks.

2012 proved to be a different story.

Once the Heat clinched the NBA title a good deal of animosity towards James evaporated. The year became one of redemption that showed in an amount of praise and accolades not seen in the NBA since Michael Jordan, along with James’ jersey returning to the top of the best-selling list by 2012′s end.

When it comes to this award, James shouldn’t be considered the runaway winner. A legitimate case could be made for Carmelo Anthony due to him becoming the highest scorer in Team USA history along with his long tenure of playing for USA Basketball. However, James was the leader of Team USA in the Olympics and that most likely pushed him over the edge.

It will be hard for Lebron James to top 2012. Winning a second championship would be a great start though.

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