Every time LeBron James opens his mouth about the Mt. Rushmore of NBA players he gets in trouble. Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell wasn’t happy about being left off the list.
Let me get in trouble also. James is a better player than Russell was. He plays in an era where players are bigger, stronger, faster and more athletic. Some of them might not be as smart but a bunch of players in Russell’s era could not keep up today. It is tough picking just four great players in one era. Maybe it is impossible to do so.
James picked Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson and said he will join the list some day. He forgot Russell. Oh what a crime. Russell was a great player, winning five MVP trophies and 11 NBA titles. Some of his battles with the bigger Wilt Chamberlain were epic.
Russell was great. But Russell is being an old school hater. That’s OK. I do it also. He should have continued by saying who should he replace on the list.
James is better. He is a freak of nature and does things few players can do. James is also a great team player. He doesn’t just go out there to get his. He tries to get teammates involved.
We can sit up here and rip him forever about “The Decision” but the bottom line is the dude can play. Remember how many of us said he went to Miami to ride Dwyane Wade’s coattails? It looks like James is driving the truck now.
In many peoples’ minds Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Hakeem Olajuwon and Chamberlain should join James’ Mt. Rushmore list. The problem is there are only four open spots. The math does not work.
It is impossible to do. Try doing it for baseball or football or hockey. No list is universal. People will kill you no matter who you pick.
And they will kill me for saying James is better than Russell. But that is OK. This is America. Things are open for debate.