Quite a year: two MVP awards, an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. -- LeBron James swung for the fences this year. He now has his grand slam.
With the United States' 107-100 victory over Spain in the Olympic gold medal game, James became just the second player to be named NBA regular-season and NBA Finals Most Valuable Player while also winning NBA and Olympic championships in the same year, something previously only accomplished by Michael Jordan, in 1992.
"It has been a great ride for me. I could have never scripted it this way," James said. "I've had many dreams about it, winning an NBA championship and then following it up with a gold medal."
On the way to Sunday's gold, James passed Jordan for second place on the United States' all-time Olympic scoring list, his 273 points now behind only the 280 of David Robinson.
James said Sunday was not about him or his year but the golden moment itself. "This is all about U.S.A.," he said moments after it was over.
It was a resounding punctuation mark for the Miami Heat forward in his march to the top of the basketball universe, overcoming foul trouble on Sunday with an emphatic dunk and three-pointer late in the fourth quarter to put away a game the United States led by only one point at the end of the third quarter.
"I just wanted to try to make an imprint on the game," he said.
He did just that.
"He's a basketball genius," NBC commentator and 76ers coach Doug Collins said.
From NBA villain after leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers as a free agent in July 2010, James now finds himself world champion in the truest sense.
"People like him again," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who served as an Olympic commentator for NBC. "It's OK again to cheer for LeBron."
Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski said it is not out of place to mention James in the same breath as Jordan. "What a year. NBA champ. MVP. Gold medal," Krzyzewski said.
James closed Sunday's game with 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists, leading the United States in assists in their 8-0 Olympic run.
"I am happy to be in a position where I can say I had something to do with us being back on top," he said.
It was the 14th Olympic men's basketball gold medal for the United States, with James and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony joining Robinson as the only three-time U.S. men's basketball medalists, each with two gold and a bronze.
Whether James goes -- or even can go -- for a third gold medal remains somewhat in doubt, with the NBA pushing basketball's international ruling body for a 23-years-and-under format for Olympic play. Such an approach is not expected in time for the 2016 Brazil Games, when James will be 31. "I have no idea," he said of 2016. "I'm not even thinking about that right now."
|San Diego||12/12/13 7:25 PM|
|SW Oklahoma St||55||FINAL|
|San Diego St||70|
|(13) Oklahoma State||24|
|(16) Arizona State||14|
|(1) Florida State||45|
|(7) Ohio State||24||FINAL|
|(4) Michigan State||34|
|(21) Fresno State||24|
|Army||12/14/13 2:00 PM|
|(10) Penn State||77||FINAL|
|Central Conn St||82||FINAL|
|(12) South Carolina||76||FINAL|
|Cal State Fullerton||52||FINAL|
|(20) Iowa State||79|
|Stephen F Austin||83||FINAL|
|Long Beach St||67||FINAL|