LeBron James, The Rock, Tiger Woods Make 2019 'Time 100' Most Influential List

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James wears a T-shirt with the likeness of slain rapper Nipsey Hussle during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Several athletes were included on the Time 100 most influential people of 2019 list, including Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and reigning Masters champion Tiger Woods.

Former professional wrestler and current Hollywood star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was among those chosen for the cover, and he expressed his gratitude on Instagram:

"I'm boundlessly humbled and honored to grace the cover of @TIME. I've been quite the lucky man over the decades to have such a successful career, but it's only due to the deep connection I have with the fans, the audience - the people. To have success at something is one thing, but to have global positive influence on people's lives is the greatest and most powerful strength one could ever have. Thank you TIME Magazine for this exceptional honor. And most importantly, thank you to my one and only boss - the people. Our connection will always remind me that it's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."

Other athletes included tennis player Naomi Osaka, track athlete Caster Semenya, soccer stars Mohamed Salah and Alex Morgan, and gamer Ninja.

Like The Rock, Salah was also chosen as one of the cover figures for the issue:

James has now appeared on the Time 100 on four occasions, and his selection in 2019 has plenty to do with his off-court endeavors.

Business mogul Warren Buffett wrote the entry for James on the Time website and said the following about his wide-reaching impact:

"Early heroes will mold a person's future. LeBron has justified the adulation of millions and millions of young people, thanks to his ability to live up to enormous expectations on the basketball court, his business successes in Hollywood and media, and his new I Promise School for disadvantaged kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. That adulation will make a positive difference in their lives."

Although James' first season with the Lakers did not live up to expectations, as they finished just 37-45, he was recognized for using his celebrity to contribute to the greater good.

Woods' inclusion comes at a fitting time, as he won his fifth green jacket and 15th career major championship Sunday at the Masters, completing one of the most impressive comebacks in the history of the sport after enduring multiples injuries and surgeries.

Musical megastar Justin Timberlake highlighted Tiger's perseverance in his entry on the Time website:

"Over the past few years, Tiger rehabbed rigorously from all the surgeries and returned to the top of the game. While pundits doubted he'd ever win again, Tiger's commitment never wavered. The thing we don't always appreciate is the patience. Tiger spent countless hours in the gym, and on the golf course, with a singular goal in mind. All the work he did when people weren't watching allowed him to hug his children on the same hallowed ground he hugged his father 22 years ago, amid all the adulation, a Masters champion once again."

At the age of 43, Woods won his first major since 2008, and chasing down Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major victories once again looks like a realistic goal.

His inclusion on the Time 100 list is the latest step in a return to prominence that few could have seen coming as recently as a year ago.

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