2016 Athlete of the Year

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

December was here.

Here, one last time, are all the nominees:

January-Von Miller
February-Lionel Messi
March - Buddy Hield
April-Breanna Stewart
May - Klay Thompson
June - LeBron James
July-Serena Williams
August-Michael Phelps
September - Lamar Jackson
October - Corey Kluber
November - Ben Zobrist
December - James Harden

And your winner of 2016 Athlete of the Year....

Michael Phelps.

The challenging decision wasn't the final one; the Cubs had a special season, but didn't have a historic year from any individual player; the Warriors had both an historic season with an all time great year by Curry, but they couldn't close out LeBron - SI gave its award to LeBron, but none of his regular season work warranted that and he winds up my runner-up (he's a two time winner, only Tiger/Jordan have three.) The challenging decision was which Olympian was going to get the August nod - Phelps or Usain Bolt, who, as you can see below, was my Athlete of the Year in '08. Either one would have cleared the field and gotten Athlete of the Year.

I've been doing this my whole life really, maybe starting as long ago as '79; I have the full records since 1990 (someplace in the blog I posted each athlete of the month+runners-up for the years prior to publication).  Here is each winner of my Athlete of the Year Award since 1990.

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
2013: LeBron James
2014: Madison Bumgarner
2015: Serena Williams
2016: Michael Phelps

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