MIAMI — If the Miami Heat locker room was polled, LeBron James would not have unanimous support in the race for Time's Person of the Year.
James wouldn't even vote for himself.
Calling it "crazy" just to be on the list of finalists for the award, the NBA's reigning two-time MVP seemed almost a bit embarrassed on Monday when he learned that he was one of the final 25 names under consideration. The winner of the award, bestowed since 1927 on a person or group who "has done the most to influence the events of the year," is expected to be revealed next month.
"I am who I am and I think I'm in a position of my life where I'm going to get better every day," James said after Miami wrapped up its practice Monday. "But it's too much."
Other finalists this year include President Barack Obama (the 2008 winner), Lady Gaga, Sarah Palin, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, conservative commentator Glenn Beck, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Also on the list: The trapped Chilean miners who spent more than two months underground before finally being reached and rescued in a gripping story that was covered worldwide.
"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."
Charles Lindbergh was the first winner of the award. President Franklin D. Roosevelt is the only three-time winner, and most recent winners include Vladimir Putin in 2007, Obama in 2008 and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in 2009.
SUNS' CENTER SIDELINES WITH KNEE SPRAINS: Phoenix Suns center Robin Lopez is expected to miss several weeks with moderate sprains of two ligaments in his left knee.
Lopez sprained his knee in the second quarter of Phoenix's win over the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday night when teammate Jared Dudley fell into him while driving to the basket. An MRI revealed sprained medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments.
Lopez started the Suns' first nine games, but struggled while trying to recover from a back injury last season that damaged nerves in his right leg and hampered his explosiveness. He averaged 5.3 points and 4.3 rebounds while playing just 17 minutes per game.
MAGIC'S REDICK OUT WITH BACK SPASMS: J.J. Redick is sidelined with back spasms and was inactive for the Orlando Magic's game Monday against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Forward Malik Allen was activated in Redick's place before Monday night's game.
Redick had his best year in the NBA last season and was a key contributor in the playoffs. But the former Duke standout is shooting only 12 percent from 3-point range through nine games, averaging 4.4 points a game.
Keeping Redick was the most expensive move Orlando made this summer. The Magic matched a $19 million, three-year offer sheet made by Chicago in the offseason to keep the restricted free agent.
Redick has averaged 18 minutes per game playing behind Vince Carter this season.
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