LeBron James brought this topic upwith the belief he’ll be one of the four when he retires. Who are your four?
Bill Russell, chamberlain, Jordan, Kareem
Jordan, Bird, Magic, Russell
Mine are also Russell, Chamberlain, Kareem and Jordan. Also in the argument are Magic, Bird, Havlicek, Cousy, Wilkins, and Mikan, with possible arguments for Kobe and Shaq. Every one of them were dominant players, but none of them can bump the Big Four. LeBron has a good case, but who do you bump? The most dominant players of their generation (Chamberlain, Jordan, and Kareem)? The best defensive player of all-time, acknowledged leader of the team with the longest sustained dominance, with rings that cover both hands (Russell)? You just can’t do it.
I couldn’t vote against any of these. Over time LBJ could make the cut but I’m not sure how you decide who to demote. I think the difference is that it used to be a game dominated by big men and that’s really not the case anymore. The new style of game should be represented.
Yep. I don’t see LBJ knocking any of these 4 off.
Russell, Wilt, Bird, Jordan.
Magic, Jordan, Bird, Russ
Which doubles as four-fifths of my all-time team, so that makes it pretty easy. LeBron is probably going to replace Bird when it’s over, but they don’t put you on Mount Rushmore while you’re still in progress.
My picks: Jordan, Russell, Chamberlain, and–after also giving Bird and Magic serious consideration–Kareem.
PG - Magic
SG - Jordan
SF - Bird
PF - James
C - Russell
That would be an interesting team - all the speed in the frontcourt.
Goddamn, LeBron has an ego!
Mine would be Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell. If Mount Rushmore had 10 heads on it, maybe LeBron would crack it. But I don’t like him much.
As always, there are far more than four worthy candidates. But for now…
Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell
But it’s hard to leave off Oscar Robertson, Kareem, Bird, and others. And I’d probably have to remove somebody to add on LeBron eventually.
My Rushmore isn’t for the players you like, it’s for the BEST players! :rolleyes:
Not always. Lincoln was good on the boards but was weak on offense.
True. As a Celtic fan, I hated Jerry West, but he was great.
Bill Russel, Michael Jordan, Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain
with apologies to Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson
Magic and Bird resurrected basketball.
Russell and Jordan…obvious.
Lebron wouldn’t be in the top 10. Magic Johnson and Kareem are far above King Decision.
Jordan, Kareem, Lebron, Wilt.
I’ll also point out, for the benefit of no one, because no one will care, that Lebron didn’t in fact bring the topic up; he was asked about it. And he gave the totally uncontroversial response that he thought he’d be in the top 4 before he retired, which he clearly will.
Clearly? I’m not sure I’d say that. I think he’s got a good shot to get there, but I don’t think it’s assured. Jordan and Russell are nearly unreachable, and Magic and Bird have better resumes than I think people remember. Wilt and Kareem are still both clearly ahead of LeBron, too. It’s a long road ahead and one twisted knee derails the whole train.
I just don’t think people give him the credit he’s earned. Without factoring in anything subjective at all (which for the record I think would help him if we factored it in), if he tears his knee up today and never plays again – despite the fact that he’s 29 – he’s tied with Wilt for MVPs, Russell and Jordan are one ahead of him, and Kareem’s got him by two. Two Finals MVPs; only Jordan and Magic have more (Jordan of course has six).
He’s got all of them except Jordan & Wilt in career scoring average, and he’s got Wilt in playoff scoring. He’s got more playoff Win Shares than Bird or Russell, more regular Win Shares than Bird or Magic and in an effective tie with Russell. He doesn’t have the All-NBA totals the other guys have but he has been All-NBA every year other than his rookie season; first team all but one. It’s subjective but I don’t think it would be controversial to suggest that neither Magic nor Bird was anywhere near his level defensively.
He’s also #2 all-time in PER by a whisker to Jordan. Win Shares per 48, behind Wilt and Jordan, ahead of the rest.
Again, he’s 29 right now. It’s not terribly likely that he’ll find a way to fail to add to his totals. Add it all up and I honestly don’t see what the argument is that either Bird or Magic, for instance, has a better resume than he does, if you don’t start from the assumption that those guys are in the stratosphere and Lebron has to reach them. I see the argument for Russell, but I don’t think it’s persuasive. Lebron is a much more effective player than he was.