King James beats Bolt to AP Athlete of the Decade honours

By AP December 29, 2019
Usain Bolt and LeBron James. Usain Bolt and LeBron James.

He left Cleveland for Miami, finally became a champion, went back to his beloved northeast Ohio, delivered on another title promise, then left for the Los Angeles Lakers and the next challenge. He played in eight straight finals. No NBA player won more games or more MVP awards over the last 10 years than he did. He started a school. He married his high school sweetheart.

"That's all?" LeBron James asked, feigning disbelief.

No, that's not all. Those were just some highlights of the last 10 years. There were many more, as the man called "King" spent the last decade reigning over all others — with no signs of slowing down.

 James is The Associated Press male athlete of the decade, adding his name to a list that includes Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky and Arnold Palmer. He was a runaway winner in a vote of AP member sports editors and AP beat writers, easily outpacing runner-up Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.

"You add another 10 years of learning and adversity, pitfalls, good, great, bad, and any smart person who wants to grow will learn from all those experiences," James, who turns 35 Monday, 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."

Usain Bolt of Jamaica was third for dominating the sprints at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, soccer superstar Lionel Messi was fourth and Michael Phelps — the U.S. swimmer who retired as history's most decorated Olympian with 28 medals, 23 gold — was fifth.

Related items

  • Mavs acquire Willie Cauley-Stein from Warriors Mavs acquire Willie Cauley-Stein from Warriors

    The Dallas Mavericks have acquired center Willie Cauley-Stein from the Golden State Warriors for the Utah Jazz's second-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

    Dallas consequently waived Justin Patton just 24 hours after receiving him and cash considerations from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Isaiah Roby.

    The Mavs were in the market for a starting center after Dwight Powell sustained a ruptured right Achilles on Tuesday.

    Five-year center Cauley-Stein averaged 7.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in 41 appearances for the Warriors, who he joined as a free agent in the offseason.

  • Leonard posts first triple-double as Westbrook stars for Rockets Leonard posts first triple-double as Westbrook stars for Rockets

    Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard posted his first career triple-double in the NBA, while Russell Westbrook starred for the Houston Rockets on Friday.

    Leonard's 33 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists helped the Clippers overcome the Miami Heat 122-117.

    Montrezl Harrell (15 points and 11 rebounds) and JaMychal Green (14 and 10) had double-doubles.

    Jimmy Butler was unable to lift Miami to a victory, finishing with 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while going six-of-15 from the field.

    Westbrook's 45 points, 10 assists and six rebounds saw the Rockets past the Minnesota Timberwolves 131-124.

    Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns contributed 30 points and 12 rebounds for Minnesota.

    Giannis stars in Paris as Lowry lifts Raptors

    In Paris, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 30 points in the Milwaukee Bucks' 116-103 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

    Kyle Lowry's 26 points, six rebounds and three assists helped defending champions the Toronto Raptors past the New York Knicks 118-112.

    Nikola Jokic starred for the Denver Nuggets, finishing with 27 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in a 113-106 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

    Zion Williamson played 21 minutes for the Pelicans, going seven-of-nine from the field for 15 points.

     

    Harden wayward for Rockets

    James Harden struggled from the field, going three-of-13 for 12 points in 34 minutes in the Rockets' win.

     

    Tremendous Turner

    Myles Turner produced a huge dunk during the Indiana Pacers' win over the Golden State Warriors.

    Friday's results

    Milwaukee Bucks 116-103 Charlotte Hornets
    Memphis Grizzlies 125-112 Detroit Pistons
    Boston Celtics 109-98 Orlando Magic
    Toronto Raptors 118-112 New York Knicks
    Los Angeles Clippers 122-117 Miami Heat
    Sacramento Kings 98-81 Chicago Bulls
    Houston Rockets 131-124 Minnesota Timberwolves
    Denver Nuggets 113-106 New Orleans Pelicans
    Oklahoma City Thunder 140-111 Atlanta Hawks
    Phoenix Suns 103-99 San Antonio Spurs
    Indiana Pacers 129-118 Golden State Warriors

     

    Lakers at 76ers

    The high-flying Los Angeles Lakers (36-9) visit the Philadelphia 76ers (29-17) on Saturday.

  • LeBron outscores Irving in Lakers' victory, Doncic lifts Mavs LeBron outscores Irving in Lakers' victory, Doncic lifts Mavs

    LeBron James and Luka Doncic celebrated their All-Star selections with brilliant performances in valuable NBA road victories on Thursday.

    James, who will captain Team LeBron against Team Giannis in Chicago next month, led the Los Angeles Lakers to a gritty 128-113 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

    The 35-year-old posted a triple-double with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to spoil Kyrie Irving's return after a game out with hamstring tightness.

    The former Cleveland Cavaliers team-mates were facing each other for the first time since Irving (20 points) joined the Nets in July 2019.

    Doncic gained his first All-Star selection after topping the Western Conference backcourt vote and then inspired the Dallas Mavericks to a 133-125 win against the Portland Trail Blazers.

    His nine assists and team-high 27 points ensured 47 from Damian Lillard went in vain as the Mavs prevailed for the fifth time in six games.

    Beal brilliant in Wizards' win

    After losing to the Heat in Miami, the Washington Wizards bounced back to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 124-112.

    Bradley Beal went 15 of 22 from the field for 36 points and eight assists in a sublime performance at Quicken Loans Arena.

     

    Simons fizzles in losing cause

    Lillard and Carmelo Anthony (16 points) had to be productive for the beaten Trail Blazers given Anfernee Simons' struggles on home court.

    The 20-year-old guard contributed just five points in 23 minutes on the floor.

     

    AD denies Kyrie!

    Anthony Davis sent a message to Irving and the Nets with a huge rejection in the third quarter.

    Thursday's results

    Washington Wizards 124-112 Cleveland Cavaliers
    Los Angeles Lakers 128-113 Brooklyn Nets
    Dallas Mavericks 133-125 Portland Trail Blazers 

     

    Clippers at Heat

    Providing he overcomes knee soreness, Jimmy Butler will seek to prove he should have been an All-Star starter when the Miami Heat (31-13) host the Los Angeles Clippers (31-14) on Friday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.