Feb 12, 2014, 1:47 PM EDT
It’s been the barstool debate of the day around the NBA — who is on your Mt. Rushmore of the NBA?
LeBron James gave his (Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson) then awakened the legions that want to hate him by saying when his career was over his face should be on that mountain.
Stan Van Gundy says it already should be.
Like the rest of us, Van Gundy struggled to narrow it down to four when asked about it on the Amani and Eytan Show on NBC Sports Radio Tuesday night.
“Man, you’re talking four guys on Mount Rushmore. So, for me, I got Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson there for sure, Michael Jordan and, probably… yea, I’ll put LeBron there.
“Look, you could probably throw a lot of other names at me and I’d say ‘yea,’ it’s tough. Really it’s tough. How do you leave out Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? How do you leave out Magic Johnson? How do you leave out Larry Bird? How do you leave out Jerry West? We could go on and on, guys like Elgin Baylor, when you’re trying to get it to four guys it’s going to be hard. But on mine, yea, I’ll go with Wilt, Oscar, Michael Jordan and LeBron. That’s at least as good a four as anybody else is going to put up there.”
Here’s my question about the NBA’s Mount Rushmore: Does it have to be just players? If not, doesn’t David Stern or Red Auerbach get a spot for how they influenced and changed the game?
It’s hard to narrow the list down even if it is just players. Personally, I’d go with Magic, Jordan, Kareem and Bill Russell as players, but I’m not fully comfortable with that small a list. When it’s all said and done will LeBron be in that group? Maybe. He’s going to go down as the best athlete to ever play the game, but he’s in his prime now and we don’t know what the resume will look like when he hangs it up. A few years after he does, that’s when we can talk legacy with him.