LeBron James wins Sportsman of the Year

LeBron James holds the NBA championship and Finals MVP trophies. - Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The Heat player won the regular-season MVP, Finals MVP and an Olympic gold medal this year -- the first player since Michael Jordan to accomplish all three in one calendar year.

LeBron James today won Sports Illustrated's coveted Sportsman of the Year award, becoming the first NBA player to grace the magazine's special issue since Dwyane Wade in 2006. Past winners include Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky, Arthur Ashe and Michael Phelps.

As 2012 winds to a close, James may have won his final award of the year (but who knows, maybe he'll win a few more before the turn of the calendar). He won just about all that an NBA player can win in one season, earning the MVP award, championship, Finals MVP and an Olympic gold medal. Although many other athletes had great years, James may have made it easy on the SI writers.

The new issue of SI, featuring James sporting his championship ring on the cover, will become available Wednesday. James will be honored at the magazine's awards gala that day in New York.

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