The awards just keep on coming for LeBron James, with USA Basketball naming him the 2012 Male Basketball Player of the Year and hours later the NBA recognizing him as the Player of the Month for the Eastern Conference.
The USA Basketball Board of Directors named him after a successful campaign in the London Games, averaging 13.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, a team-high 5.6 assists and 1.38 steals while shooting 60.3 percent from the field. Playing in his third Olympics, he ranked second in assists (45), seventh in steals per game and ninth in points (106) and field goal percentage. He ranks among the all-time USA Olympic basketball leaders, placing first in points (273), field goals made (113) and assists (88), tied for first in games played (24), second in rebounds (95), third in field goals made (78), tied for third in steals (36), tied for fourth in three-point field goals made (22) and tied for fifth in blocks (10).
"It's an honor that I have been named the 2012 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year," James said in an official press release. "It's always an honor to represent my country. I never do it to be recognized or to receive an award, I do it because I love my country and the game of basketball. It is an honor to be recognized with this award, it's humbling."
Soon afterwards, the NBA bestowed the Player of the Month award for games played in December to the superstar forward, his seventh such award while playing for Miami Heat and his second this season. He averaged 27.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.00 steals in December while shooting 55.5 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. According to the Heat's press release, "only two other players in NBA history, Larry Bird (March of 1987) and Wilt Chamberlain (February of 1967), have averaged at least 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while shooting at least 55 percent from the field after playing in at least 10 games during a single month."
Here's more info from the press release about LeBron's feats in December:
He posted a triple-double and six double-doubles while leading the team in scoring 11 times, in minutes and assists 13 times each, in rebounds on 10 occasions, in steals eight times and in blocks four times. He posted six 20-10-5 games, including two 30-10-5 games, while grabbing double-figure rebounds four times and dishing out double-digit assists three times. He has now scored at least 20 points in each of the HEAT's 29 games this season, the second-longest such streak since the NBA-ABA merger, only George Gervin has a longer streak after he scored 20-plus points in the first 45 games of the 1981-82 season. Additionally, he has continued his streak of scoring in double-figures in a career-high 448 consecutive games, including 170 as a member of the HEAT, a new franchise record.
James helped lead Miami to a 10-5 (.667) record, their franchise's best 17th consecutive winning month. He posted a 26-point, 13-rebound, 11-assist triple-double on December 4 at Washington and then tallied 22 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and four blocks without recording a single turnover on December 18 vs. Minnesota, and is just the fourth player in NBA history to hit those marks without a turnover, a feat he has now done five times, the most in NBA history. He capped off the month leading the team in scoring average, rebounds per game, assists per game, steals per game, minutes per game, field goals made and field goal percentage.
Among league leaders this season, James currently ranks fourth in scoring (26.3), eighth in minutes (38.2), ninth in assists (7.0) and field goal percentage (.544) and tied for 19th in rebounds (8.4), steals (1.55) and three-point field goal percentage (.417).