2012 Athlete of the Year

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

LeBron James.

The truth is the only revision necessary is from the sports establishment who chose James as the latest member of the "he can't win the big one due to some character defect that, hey, look, it went away so now we can write about his journey" club.  LeBron James, prior to 2012, was the greatest basketball player since Jordan and the most dominant American athlete since Bonds.

This year he added an NBA Title, won the gold medal, and exits the year as he began, the unquestioned dominant figure in American sport.

2012 was a big year for global athletes, Messi's the runner-up, his goal total for the calendar year is at 90 at the time of this writing. Bolt places third.

January-Courtney Upshaw
February-Eli Manning
March-Kevin Love
April-Brittney Griner 
May-Josh Hamilton
June-LeBron James
July-Mike Trout 
August - Usain Bolt
September - Andy Murray
October - Pablo Sandoval
November - Johnny Manziel
December - Lionel Messi

I've been conducting this exercise, picking an athlete each week, each month, each year, since the beginning of 1990.  LeBron''s the first NBA player to win since '95. Here's the rundown of each year's winner:

1990: Joe Montana
1991: Michael Jordan
1992: Mario Lemieux
1993: Michael Jordan
1994: George Foreman
1995: Hakeem Olajuwon
1996: Michael Jordan
1997: Tiger Woods
1998: Mark McGwire
1999: Tiger Woods
2000: Tiger Woods
2001: Barry Bonds
2002: Barry Bonds
2003: Lance Armstrong
2004: Peyton Manning
2005: Reggie Bush
2006: Roger Federer
2007: Tom Brady
2008: Usain Bolt
2009: Manny Pacquiao
2010: Maya Moore
2011: Aaron Rodgers
2012: LeBron James

1 comment

Mark said...

I'd have chosen Messi ahead of Lebron on the basis of 90+ goals in a calendar year being so extraordinary that it's completely anachronistic. Players aren't supposed to be able to score in that quantity anymore. A good striker has been thought to be one whose goal average is 0.6 per game. Messi's is around 1.3 this year. I still see Lebron as a fine choice, too, though.

Sports moment of the year for me is Poulter's putt at 18 on Day 2 of the Ryder Cup.

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