Well, that was unexpected. TIME Magazine just released its list of 25 nominees for its annual “Person of the Year” award, and Heat forward and Controversial Person LeBron James is one of them. After “the decision,” the 25-year old James has never been less popular, but he’s also never been more in the news. Since the TIME “Person of the Year” poll is based on “influence,” LeBron’s nomination does make a measure of sense.
Here’s what TIME’s Sean Gregory had to say about James’ nomination:
Yes, The Decision, which followed a year of intense speculation about where James would land, decidedly stunk. But we watched it. And talked about it. And debated whether coddled professional athletes like James owe their hometown fans anything more than years of success, even if falling short of winning a championship. As James teams up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, all eyes are still on LeBron.
For his part, James doesn’t think he has any business being on the list of nominees, which includes people like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, Lady Gaga, Mark Zuckerberg, Sarah Palin, Jonathan Franzen, The Chilean Miners, and The Unemployed American:
“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.”
The people who have voted on TIME’s online poll so far seem to agree with James — LeBron is currently ranked 24th out of the 25 nominees for the award, and the only person behind him is former BP CEO Tony Hayward, whose own nomination piece calls him “one of the most openly reviled people of 2010.” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is currently leading the TIME poll, with Lady Gaga in second place.