Professional Basketball Player
The biggest name in sports in 2010 was basketball phenomenon LeBron James, who proved what an amazing friend he is this summer by leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join his best buddies and fellow All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South Beach. And, while the sports world may be obsessed with how many championships the high-powered Heat can win, it is abundantly clear that, no matter what happens, 25-year-old LeBron James is already an all-time NBA Champion of Friendship.
After all, LeBron James knows that having good friends and keeping close ties—being a Most Valuable Pal, if you will—is the most important thing of all. Which is why, out of every franchise in the NBA, he chose the one team that would give him the best chance of winning a lifetime of memories: the Miami Heat. Even though his new team is packed with superstar-level talent, is managed by five-time NBA champion Pat Riley, has every ingredient needed to win on an unprecedented scale for the next decade, and is located in a glamorous market with no income tax, that all comes second for LeBron James, who already has the greatest prize of all: amigos. Super amigos. Better amigos, even, than those he had in Cleveland, the city he once promised and then failed to deliver a championship to.
Whether this Miami Heat team wins big or buckles under the weight of enormous expectations—just as LeBron James has every year of his career thus far—it will hardly matter to the NBA's all-time leader in hugs and being-a-super-awesome-bud. Because for LeBron James, it isn't about the rings. It's about slam-dunking a great hang-out session and boxing out the bad times with the two greatest friends and Olympic-level talents that an elite, once-in-a-generation athlete desperately in need of postseason validation could ask for.
So let's hear it for LeBron James—and let's hear it for friendship!