LeBron James stirred up some positive controversy this week when he gave his Mount Rushmore of the NBA that included, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Oscar Robertson. Bronny also went on to say that he will eventually be one of those faces on that imaginary mountain when its all said and done. I love the confidence he has but I think he has a lot more work to do before he can make that claim. I also think his "top 4" needs some adjusting but instead I'll just give my version of what the NBA's Mount Rushmore would look like.
Bronny list is okay but I'm disappointed he did not mention two of the greatest players, not just in the NBA, but basketball period. How can your MT. Rushmore not include BILL RUSSELL and Kareem Abdul Jabbar? If I had to choose 4 players to be on that imaginary mountain I would choose Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kareem, and Russell. Those 4 players combine for 102,908 points, 19 MVPS, 11 Finals MVPS, and 28 NBA Championships, simply ridiculous. I really don't understand how Bronny can leave out Kareem and Russell though, Kareem being the all-time leading scorer and Russell with 11 NBA titles, how can you leave them out? I don't know what his criteria was but I don't think it was similar to mine. All 4 players I chose have won at least 5 NBA titles, 2 have 30,000 points, and all 4 are without a doubt game changers. There is no player that can say they have dominated every level like Kareem, who has 3 high school championships(79-2), 3 college championships (88-2) and 6 NBA championships and not to mention, he is the innovator of the most unstoppable shot, the Sky Hook. Bill Russell played for the legendary coach Red Aubach and was the only player who could slow down Wilt Chamberlain, another player who could go on that imaginary mountain. No one ever seen a player at Magic size with his type of ball handling and passing ability but his charisma is what people remember most about Magic. Then you have Michael Jordan, enough said. I respect all the players on Bronny list but I think if you're going to choose the greatest players in the history of the NBA, you can't leave out these 4.
I don't want people suggesting that I think Larry Bird and Oscar Robertson are not great, I'm just going with the players who impacted the game the most in my eyes. Larry Bird will go down forever as one of the greatest shooters and competitors to play in the NBA but his counterpart, rival, and great friend, Magic Johnson, has more rings than him and beat him twice in the Finals. Now if I had to choose a top ten list, Larry Bird would definitely be in there.
Instead of 10, I choose 12 so that I could have 3 Mount Rushmores. This is why I say LeBron has a lot of work to do. And I'm not saying he can't or won't crack this list, even though it's some things that I will always hold against him, but overall all these players built an undeniable legacy in the NBA and won multiple times. The only player who didn't win multiple rings is Julius Erving but that's only because he choose to play in the ABA first instead of the NBA. If you combine Julius Erving ABA and NBA numbers, he has 30,026 points, 2,272 steals, 10,525 rebounds, and shoots 50% from the field. And looking beyond the numbers, Dr. J changed the game of basketball with his style. He is the first player that really dunked on their opponent, back when a dunking was frowned upon. As long as LeBron continues to go at the rate he is going now he will be in this list, for now he is outside looking in.
Now some of my personal favorites, can not be in my top 12 because they do not have the championships to go with their hall of fame numbers and careers. So to make things more interesting I choose, 4 of the best player to never win a title, making this 4 Mount Rushmores. Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, and Dominique Wilkins. These 4 players are just as great as the 12 players and impacted the game just as much. A.I. took over a generation and made every kid that was smaller than average feel bigger than the biggest. He was 6 feet tall and manage to average 27 points for his career, something I don't think we will ever see again. Barkley was bigger than A.I. but he also played bigger than his size. At6'4 Barkley played in the paint and dominated 7 footers, grabbing 12,546 rebounds(12 per game) while scoring 23,757 points(22 per game). Karl Malone will probably go down in history as the best scoring power forward, 2nd on the all-time scoring list with 36,928 points. And Dominiwue Wilkins, who should have been voted apart of the NBA 50 greatest club, scored 26,688 points in his career but his highlights alone are enough to get him a spot on the imaginary mountain. Another player who could get a spot is Patrick Ewing. Pat like Barkley and Malone, can blame Jordan for not having any rings on their fingers except Pat seen him the most. Pat is one of the best scoring centers to play and probably had the best mid-range for a center. It's so many players that you could include on the Mount Rushmore of the NBA, which can be very difficult to narrow down to only 4 players.
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