For just the third time in the 83-year history of the award, a basketball player has been named as the AP’s Male Athlete of the Year.
James received 31 of the 96 votes cast with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning coming in second, receiving 20 votes. Nascar driver Jimmie Johnson placed third with 15 votes while a handful of other candidates also received at least a single vote.
The award is the first for James, meaning he’ll need to capture a few more before his playing days come to an end to match Jordan who received the honor three times (1991, 1992, 1993). Larry Bird, meanwhile, was voted as the AP’s Male Athlete of the Year in 1986. James’ honor is the first in two decades for an NBA athlete.
A four-time MVP and two-time NBA Champion, James joined Serena Williams as the 2013 Athlete of the Year award winners.