Just recently, the Associated Press ranked the Chicago Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory the top sports story of the entire year.
And although we might like to say, well, duh … the truth is that Muhammad Ali’s death and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first NBA Title (led by LeBron James) aren’t exactly boring runners-up.
With that said, the AP’s annual voting/ranking isn’t over, and neither are the Cubs. Indeed, in the rankings for the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year, the Cubs’ own Kris Bryant finished tied for fourth with NBA star Steph Curry.
That is not bad company for the 24-year-old third baseman and NL MVP.
- LeBron James – 24 Points
- Michael Phelps – 16 Points
- Usain Bolt – 9 Points
- Kris Bryant – 3 Points
- Steph Curry – 3 Points
- Christiano Ronaldo – 1 Point
- Von Miller – 1 Point
- Andy Murray – 1 Point
- Matt Centrowitz – 1 Point
LeBron James leads the way, with which I don’t take issue, as he ended a 52-year “sports heartache” by bringing the Cavs a championship. And sure, 52 years is literally less than half of what the Cubs’ 108 year “sports heartache” looked like, but I think I still understand, given that the Cavs’ title was the first for any major team in Cleveland during that stretch. Also, basketball is so much more of an individual sport than baseball is, so LeBron’s ability to genuinely shine/stand-out/carry a team is a bit more obvious.
But to that end, consider how insanely impressive it is that Bryant – one of 25 baseball players on a roster at any given time – made the list. Ahead of him is one of the best basketball players of all-time, and two Olympians with 32 gold medals between them. Bryant has been a whirlwind of talent and attention since he was drafted by Chicago, and he’s already shaping up to be one of the most popular, talented, and impressive Cubs of all time. Hard to believe it’s been only a little under two full years so far.
Also, on LeBron:
I guess I didn't look close enough at LeBron during Game Seven. pic.twitter.com/0eDleIrMP9
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) December 3, 2016