The honours continue to roll in for Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James.
With the 2010s coming to a close in just a matter of days, James has been named The Associated Press male athlete of the decade.
LeBron James is The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Decade. Read more: https://t.co/UOuFg4hXmI pic.twitter.com/Uanrkk0Dbp- AP Sports (@AP_Sports) December 29, 2019
LeBron, who is in his 17th NBA season, beat out New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt by a wide margin to earn the honour. He joins Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky and Arnold Palmer as athletes to have earned this distinction.
And what a decade it's been for James.
From 2010-19, LeBron spent 4.5 seasons with Cleveland Cavaliers, four with the Miami Heat and is now midway through his second year as a Los Angeles Laker. He racked up plenty of accolades over this span as well, including:
- Three league MVP awards (2010, 2012, 2013)
- Three NBA championships (2012, 2013, 2016)
- Three NBA Finals MVPs (2012, 2013, 2016)
- Eight-straight NBA Finals appearances (2011-2018)
- 10 NBA All-Star selections
- 10-time All-NBA (9x First-Team, 1x Third-Team)
- Five-time All-Defence (4x First-Team, 1x Second-Team)
James told the AP, "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."
In his 17th season, James is averaging 25.5 points, a league-leading 10.8 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game for a Lakers team that has held serve as the West's No. 1 seed up to this point in the year.
The soon-to-be 35-year-old is also within 300 points of surpassing Kobe Bryant for third all-time on the NBA's all-time leading scorer's list. For perspective, LeBron entered the decade at 124th all-time.
He's still over 5,000 points behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for first all-time but as he edges closer, he admitted that it's something that he acknowledges as a possibility.
"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."
LeBron and the Lakers have one final game in this decade as they are set to host Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.
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