LeBron James Reveals the Faces of His NBA Mount Rushmore

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Source: Michael Daniel Drost / Flickr

The idea of a National Basketball Association Mount Rushmore is silly. First and foremost, there are no four players that hold court exclusively over every other NBA athlete. Also, the format: Do you have to reserve a spot for James Naismith, who invented the sport? What about the owners who merged the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League to create the modern-day NBA in 1947? But when LeBron James was asked last week about his personal Mount Rushmore, he gave an answer that, because he’s LeBron James, became a flashpoint for discussion.

LeBron’s list?

  • Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls shooting guard
  • Larry Bird, Boston Celtics small forward
  • Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers point guard
  • Oscar Robertson, Milwaukee Bucks point guard
  • LeBron James, Miami Heat small forward

Those are great choices, even in selecting himself (smart money says 99.9 percent of NBA athletes want to be counted among the best who ever played). Jordan’s the G.O.A.T., or Greatest of All Time, to at least two generations of basketball fans, and his individual and team dominance over the NBA in the 1990s is seared into the minds of LeBron’s peers — LeBron was born in 1984, a year after Jordan entered the NBA. (Of course, nowadays kids wear no. 23 because of LeBron, not Jordan, which is your daily reminder that time perpetually marches onward.)

Bird and Magic stand as one of the best rivalries in basketball, and Robertson is a great choice because he’s perennially underrated despite being the only player to average a triple-double in league history. Of course, there are a whole bunch of players that LeBron left off.

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