Okay, it’s after the NBA All-Star weekend but before that, the whole sports world heard LeBron James loud and clear: he was on the NBA’s “Mount Rushmore” as the top four players to ever play the game. In his version of “Mount Rushmore”, this list included Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and himself. Of course, it’s implied that this is the final list when his career is over but for now, let’s do some debating.
As you might have read in my last article, I voiced my thoughts on the season MVP award and what it means. The title that once held significant meaning is now an award of who’s the most popular guy in the league, LeBron has taken four of those awards in the past five years. Does that help him belong on that mountain? NO! Why, because I explained what that title meant and what it represents now. Sorry LeBron fans, but the truth hurts. Don’t get me wrong, LeBron is very talented and for a guy his size and build, he is a very dominant player and one of very few players that can play all five positions (maybe). But to make a statement saying you belong as among one of the top four players of all time, you’re putting yourself past a lot of great players before your time. Sorry LeBron, but I disagree with you here.
While every announcer continues to be your cheerleader for you in every game you play, much like everyone else, they only pay attention to your highlights. Now I’m not saying you’re not an elite player, but you’re not perfect. No one is. In fact, not even the great Michael Jordan is perfect but he set standards so high that his career alone could take two of the four spots on the NBA’s Mount Rushmore. Let’s talk stats. Since LeBron’s been in the NBA, he’s been to the NBA Finals four times. Of those four times, he won two rings. Those two rings he “won”, was with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and the Miami Heat. Now when he made the decision to sign with the Miami Heat, a lot of the NBA legends had criticize his decision just to get an NBA ring. Many has argued that both he and Dwyane Wade sold out to make an elite team to win the championships. On a side note, I agree with that. Things got to hard in Cleveland so he sold his soul to the Miami Heat, even though he led the team to a season best record twice. A great player like that shouldn’t join an already good team and still call himself great. When Michael Jordan had trouble with the “Bad Boys” of the Detroit Pistons, we certainly didn’t see him join the Lakers or the Celtics. When Kobe had trouble in the 2005 and 2006 season, he didn’t jump to another team with better talents (though he tried). Point is, neither of these illustrious players quit and join a team and bought their way to a ring. No, they worked for it, trained, and earned it. Something LeBron wouldn’t know anything about. I’ve always joked with my friends saying that for every three rings LeBron wins in Miami, it would equal to one of Michael Jordan’s rings. That’s how I see it. Now LeBron has talent, he’s a walking triple-double, I get that. But until he truly wins a ring on his own, I don’t think he deserves to be on the NBA’s Mount Rushmore, at least until his career is over and then we can debate it.
As far as I’m concerned, I disagree with most of the NBA analysts and go with this NBA Mount Rushmore: Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Kobe Bryant. All these men did something LeBron didn’t and that is staying with one team and winning it all with that team. That’s what’s most of the NBA analysts are missing in their arguments. In this era of basketball, the analysts, even the referees, are more fans than officials. And that’s the problem. These four great players didn’t get their name etched in history by jumping teams or flopping their way to the top. They worked for it and earned it.