Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has just added another feather in his cap, as the four-time NBA champion is named as TIME’s Athlete of the Year for 2020. In a year that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons, LeBron has stood out among his peers in the sports world as not only the best athlete on the planet but more importantly, as an influential figure whose impact goes far beyond the four corners of the basketball court.
In the realm of his sport, LeBron achieved the improbable in the 2019-20 season by leading the Lakers to its first championship after a decade-long span. At 35 (he will be turning 36 this December), James proved to the world that he is still the best basketball player today, as he bagged the fourth title of his career with a third different franchise.
LeBron was also extremely active in the socio-political sphere and was one of the most prominent voices that supported the Black Lives Matter movement within and beyond the NBA. James also established the More Than a Vote campaign, which had the primary objective of urging Americans to go out and vote during the recently-concluded national elections.
There were more than a few fellow athletes that praised James for all that he had achieved this year — be it on the basketball court or otherwise — but perhaps none was more resonating than that from tennis champion Naomi Osaka, who said that for her, LeBron is “not only is he the best player, but he has the most powerful voice.”