LeBron James has recently been the media’s top dog. Bringing up the topic of the greatest NBA players of all time. He said that his top four players of all time would be MJ, Magic, Bird, and the big O himself. However, he added that one day somebody on the Rushmore will have to get knocked in place of his face being on top of it. A bunch of people including people like Kobe Bryant, have had their input on the debate and personally I’m not thrilled about it one bit. LeBron not only got the media rallied up, but now people are divided. As of now I do not think LeBron is even in the discussion for being a top 4 player of all time but when he finally decides to hang his jersey he may be top 4 in the eyes of many. For now however, here’s my NBA Mt. Rushmore of players.
Bill Russell – Played during the time where America was still in the midst of the civil rights movement. I heard some say that he was considered an activist during the time but all he was told to do was “Shut up and play basketball”. When he did play basketball, he was a dominating force on the court. Playing from 1956-69; he is a 5 time MVP, a 12 all-star, an 11 time NBA champion, and not to mention one of the greatest defensive players of all time. He owns nearly every rebounding record and now has the NBA finals MVP trophy named after him.
Larry Bird – He shoots! He scores! Like Russell, Bird was another Boston Celtic and is an all-time great. He is a 3 time NBA champion, 2 time finals MVP, 3 time MVP, 12 time all-star, NBA rookie of the year, and even has a Coach of the year & Executive of the year to add to his overall basketball resume. Bird is often seen as one of the best shooters of all time and is best remembered for his clash with Magic Johnson in the 80s where the Lakers and Celtics would often clash for supremacy in the league.
Magic Johnson – The orchestrator of the “Showtime” Lakers, Magic is the best Point Guard in NBA history and even has a trademark move called the baby skyhook. Johnson is a 5 time NBA champion, a 3 time Finals MVP and regular season MVP, 12 time NBA all-star, and also led the league in assist for multiple seasons. Like I’ve said before, he is best known for his rivalry with Larry Bird in the 80s. Johnson is now a polarizing figure in sports management as he has part ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Michael Jordan – Jordan is Jordan. There is no way around it. He is the greatest basketball player in history not because of the stats or the awards but because of his impact on the game. In the 90s Chicago was a force to be reckoned with, winning nearly every championship that year spearheaded by Jordan and Scottie Pippen. MJ has 6 NBA championships, multiple all-star appearances with 14, a 6 time Finals MVP, an 5 time MVP, and is the only basketball player in history to save the Looney Tunes from aliens. He also has brain washed the youth today with his sneakers. Now what other player do you know can do all that?
Honorable mention: Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Patrick Ewing, Julius Erving, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John Stockton, Moses Malone, Kevin McHale, James Worthy, Charles Barkley, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, Clyde Drexler, Jerry West.
Someday maybe LeBron will find his place on the Mountain. However that day is not now. It is a good discussion but the man is only 29 years of age. It would be more appropriate to discuss whether or not Kobe would fit the top 4 or even Tim Duncan since they’re about 2-3 years away from being on the way out. Kobe has been suggested the remix to MJ so let’s say if (and that’s a big if) he wins ring number 6? Does that influence ones opinion? Only time will tell.