In a recent interview with NBATV, 4 x MVP LeBron James was asked who he sees on the “NBA’s Mount Rushmore” and James gave a surprising 4th name along with the common big 3 of Magic, Bird & MJ.
“The easy three, that we all talk about in our league, you’ve got Michael Jordan, you got Larry Bird and you’ve got Magic Johnson,” LeBron said. “And I would say the fourth… wow, this is so tough. The greatest players of all time that I’d like to see on Mount Rushmore? This is not fair … Oscar Robertson. Those are my four.”
The Big 0 at number 4 might be a very generous pick but it’s worth noting that the only player in history to ever average a triple double has always been very fond of the current version of him.
Back in 2010, Oscar even said LeBron is in a “class by himself” when he was asked about the LeBron vs MJ debate. But as surprising as picking the Big O as the 4th pick might be, if LeBron has his way, that face wont be on the mountain 10 years from now.
“I’m going to be one of the top four that’s ever played this game, for sure,” he said. “And if they don’t want me to have one of those top four spots, they’d better find another spot on that mountain. Somebody’s gotta get bumped, but that’s not for me to decide. That’s for the architects.”
That’s an answer that I’m sure will make his fans love him more and give his critics more ammo to try to shoot holes in the 29 year old’s game and image. That confidence and willingness to let critics know about it has also been on full display in the past 48 hours.
During a practice before the Suns game, LeBron put on a dunk exhibition and then interrupted an interview with Dwyane Wade saying he would win the the dunk contest, that he continues to turn down each year, if he was in it.
The viral video and answer didn’t sit well with a lot of his critics including Skip Bayless who accused LeBron of “taunting” his fans.
Then we have the interview with South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman. Winderman asked LeBron if he thought his defense was overlooked and LeBron again gave his honest opinion.
”To be honest, I feel I’ve been snubbed two years in a row, and Im serious. And that’s one selfish thing about me. . . . I feel like I should have won it.”
LeBron was named to the All-Defensive 1st Team for the past 5 years so it’s not a stretch to say he deserved it more than Tyson Chandler and Marc Gasol over the past 2 seasons.
Last year, LeBron was 2nd in DPOY voting with only 18 first place votes compared to Gasol’s 30 but when he heard the “sucky” news he didn’t hold back then either.
Via Palm Beach Post
“It sucks,” James said. “It sucks. It sucks.”
James was asked if his candidacy for other awards — notably the MVP — hurt his chances. “I don’t know,” James said. “It definitely sucks, though. Finishing second? Who wants to finish second?”
Was this his best defensive season? “Probably,” James said. “I mean, I guard everybody on the floor. I don’t know if there’s one player in NBA history who’s guarded one through five (positions). It’s over with now, but that’s cool.”
The season before that Serge Ibaka, Shawn Marion an Dwight Howard were the runner-ups to Tyson Chandler for DPOY. The funny thing about Chandler winning the award was he wasn’t even on the first team with those other guys and LeBron who had the most votes.
It does sound like LeBron has a good case because he obviously has the talent but if it’s up to the “architects” to decide what he should win and where he stands when it’s all said and done, he might not be at the top of the mountains where he belongs because a lot of those “architects” aren’t as fond of him as he is of his own game.