LeBron James named AP Male Athlete of the Decade

Tim O'Donnell

The king stays the king.

A day after tennis great Serena Williams was named The Associated Press' Female Athlete of the Decade, NBA superstar LeBron James was crowned the news agency's best male athlete over the last 10 years.

It wasn't a particularly easy decade for James, who beat out the likes of Tom Brady, Usain Bolt, Lionel Messi, and Michael Phelps, for the award, but it was certainly fruitful. James actually began 2010 as one of the NBA's primary villains when he spurned the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in the controversially televised "Decision" and then failed to deliver a title his first season after taking his talents to South Beach.

But he quickly came back into favor after finally capturing two championships in Miami, and then returning to Cleveland to bring the long-suffering sports city a championship. His performance in the 2016 NBA Finals against the vaunted Golden State Warriors was one for the ages, culminating in an iconic chase-down block of Andre Igoudala to help seal the come-from-behind series victory. James left Cleveland again in 2018, but his fans were much more understanding this time when he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.

All told, James cemented himself as one of the greatest players of all time between 2010 and 2019, rising to no. 4 on the all-time scoring list, winning three MVP awards, and playing in eight straight NBA Finals.

Off the court, one of James' major accomplishments was opening a school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, which became an immediate success. Read more about James at The Associated Press.

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