LeBron James has been selected as The Associated Press male athlete of the decade. James won three NBA championships, played in eight straight finals and changed teams three times over the last 10 years.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady finished second in the vote by AP member sports editors and AP beat writers and Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt was third.

James started the decade 124th on the NBA's all-time scoring list and is about to pass Kobe Bryant for third.

"You add another 10 years of learning and adversity, pitfalls, good, great, bad, and any smart person who wants to grow will learn from all those experiences," James told Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press regarding the honor.

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James spent roughly half of the decade playing for his hometown Cavaliers over two different stints. Cleveland made the playoffs during each of those five seasons, including four straight NBA Finals from 2015-18.

James won his second straight NBA MVP in 2010, and six years later led the Cavs to their first-ever NBA championship and the first major sports title for the city since 1964.

LeBron James hoists NBA Championship Trophy
Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James celebrates with the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy after defeating the Golden State Warriors, 93-89, in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California on June 19, 2016.
Ronald Martinez

James also spent four years with the Miami Heat, winning his first two titles and his third and fourth MVPs. After coming back to Cleveland in a much-publicized return (following a polarizing departure), he now finds himself in Los Angeles, where he has the Lakers positioned as one of the best teams in the league.

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