LeBron James named SI's Sportsman of the Year
Pat Riley stood in the mouth of the tunnel at Boston's TD Garden, between the court and the locker room, and waited for the Boat. That's what he calls LeBron James -- "You know," Riley explains, "best of all time" -- an acronym he conjured to remind the planet's preeminent basketball player of frontiers still to be conquered. "Hey, Boat," Riley will say. "How is the Boat doing today?" James will reflexively laugh and shake his head because he is not the Boat, at least not yet. But on that sweaty night at the Garden, in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, facing yet another summer cast as the villain foiled, he delivered one of the Boat performances in NBA history. The image of James throughout the game, bent at the waist, staring skyward with pupils pushed to his eyelids, recalled predators of different breeds. "He was primal," Riley says. "He was a cobra, a leopard, a tiger hunched over his kill."
After James had unleashed 45 points, snatched 15 rebounds and sucked all the juice from an expectant crowd, he marched toward Riley, the Heat president who lured him to South Beach two years ago with his six sparkling rings. He was just a few steps from Riley when a 20-something man perched above the tunnel poured what remained of his beer through a net canopy, dousing James's head and jersey. While a national television audience recoiled, Riley was transported back to the 1980s, when he coached the Lakers and rabble-rousers at the old Garden rocked their buses, spit in their faces and once shoved his mother-in-law over a railing.
"I'm a Catholic, and I was an altar boy, so I say my prayers at night and I believe someone up there is taking care of us," Riley begins. "From where I was standing, there was a backlight on LeBron from the arena, and as the [beer] pellets sprayed up in the air, they looked like they were forming a halo over him. This is what I saw: The good Lord was saying, 'LeBron, I'm going to help you through this night because you're a nice person, and I'm going to give you 45 and 15. But as you walk off, I'm going to humble the heck out of you.' And, you know what, that's the best thing that could have happened."
Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/20...james-2012-sportsman/index.html#ixzz2E1Cdzea4
Congrats to Lebron :cheers: