LeBron James, who ended 52 years of sports heartache by bringing Cleveland a championship and used his superstar platform to address social causes, was chosen as The Associated Press 2016 Male Athlete of the Year, an award he won previously in 2013. Results of the vote by 59 editors from AP member newspapers and customers were announced Tuesday.
James collected 24 first-place votes, beating out a pair of Olympic legends: Michael Phelps (16) and Usain Bolt (9), the fastest men in water and on land who are not accustomed to finishing behind anyone.
Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, the NL MVP who led his team to its first World Series title since 1908, tied for fourth with Golden State star guard Stephen Curry, last year’s winner. Cristiano Ronaldo, Von Miller and Andy Murray also received votes. James joined Michael Jordan as the only NBA players to win twice. Jordan won it three straight years from 1991-94. U.S. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles was named AP’s top female athlete on Monday.