While the Year 2016 has been a downright buzzkill for most everyone, LeBron James will probably look back on it with more than a little reverence. The Northeast Ohioan finally won one for the Land, as the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals after winning 73 games in the regular season with the first unanimous MVP in league history. He got a Finals MVP award, punctuated by his epic and unforgettable block on Andre Iguodala at the tail end of Game 7. His son is hitting half-court shots like it’s nothing. He’s sending a bunch more kids to college and giving high schoolers gifts. And he attended his first Ohio State vs. Michigan football game at the The Shoe.
Oh yeah, and he also earned himself another Sports Illustrated Sportsperson Of The Year award. In a ceremony on Monday night featuring the likes of Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Jay-Z, James was honored for everything he’s done for Cleveland, the poise he carries himself with, and the fact that he’s really freaking good at basketball.
Jay-Z gave a brief speech to introduce James, including a shot at Phil Jackson for his “posse” comments. And then he called up the Man of the Hour himself, with Jay-Z’s own “Public Service Announcement” blasting as James made his way to the stage.
To the surprise of no one, LeBron’s speech was candid, thoughtful, and touching. SI has the full video on their site, but one section really stood out: