2013 has been an incredible year. The calendar had hardly flipped when we saw icon Lance Armstrong hit absolute rock bottom (with Oprah watching firsthand), and yet as the year now starts to come to a close others like Calvin Johnson and LeBron James have only solidified their spots as some of the greatest things going in American sports. The lessons we can draw from athletes’ on- and off-field personas can be vast, but it’s safe to say that some certainly teach us more than others.

We’re here today to celebrate those who have given us plenty of food for thought this year. Whether we’re admiring a future Hall of Famer perform at the highest level or learning from the follies of a cheater, there are many different ways to appreciate today’s top athletes. Here on this Thanksgiving Day, let’s take a look at the Athletes We're Most Thankful for in 2013.