MIAMI (AP) — If the Miami Heat changing room was polled, LeBron James would not have unanimous support in the race for Time’s Person of the Year.
James wouldn’t even vote for himself.
Calling it “crazy” just to be on the list of finalists for the award, the NBA’s reigning two-time MVP seemed almost a bit embarrassed on Monday when he learned that he was one of the final 25 names under consideration. The winner of the award, bestowed since 1927 on a person or group who “has done the most to influence the events of the year,” is expected to be revealed next month.
“I am who I am and I think I’m in a position of my life where I’m going to get better every day,” James said after Miami wrapped up its practice Monday. “But it’s too much.”
Other finalists this year include President Barack Obama (the 2008 winner), Lady Gaga, Sarah Palin, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, conservative commentator Glenn Beck, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Also on the list: The trapped Chilean miners who spent more than two months underground before finally being reached and rescued in a gripping story that was covered worldwide.
“That’s just crazy,” James said. “What those guys did, the courage and what they stood for, I should be nowhere near that list. Nowhere near it.”
Charles Lindbergh was the first winner of the award. President Franklin D. Roosevelt is the only three-time winner, and most recent winners include Vladimir Putin in 2007, Obama in 2008 and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in 2009.