Jay Z Presents LeBron James With Sports Illustrated’s 2016 Sportsperson of the Year Award
Jay Z famously records all of his music without writing down a single lyric, but had to use his phone as a resource Monday night (Dec. 12) as he presented LeBron James with Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year Award. Bron and Hov have a special relationship and upon winning the NBA Championship for his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers this year, James naturally referenced a Jay song. If difficult takes a day and impossible takes a week, James earned the honor through his leadership and dedication, a champion on and off the court.
Speaking from Brooklyn's Barclays Center, a building he helped open, Jay took some shots at New York Knicks president Phil Jackson, who had referred to LeBron's circle as a "posse," undermining, many felt, their professionalism as entrepreneurs and businessmen. Above, Jay says, "We know where we come from and the only difference between us and someone who has their MBA from Wharton or Sloan or Berkley or Stanford is opportunity. LeBron James has provided his friends with that opportunity and as we witness their development, and if you’re looking up at the scoreboard, very few businessmen are better than Maverick Carter, Rich Paul Randy Mims and all the rest off the posse behind the scenes that make it look like their just hanging out. LeBron James has made all those around him better on and off the court."
James has been mostly quiet about those comments and in accepting the award, he thanked his family and supporting cast, naming Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, Jim Brown and Kareem Abdul-Jabar as athletes who inspired him to look at the bigger picture. "They sacrificed everything that could have happened to them could have been stripped of everything they accomplished to that point, but their calling and reason to do what they had to do was for a night like tonight," James said. "This isn’t about me, it’s much bigger than me."
Watch the ceremony above, with Jay's introduction starting at the 1 hour 43 minute mark.
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