You scratch my back, and I'll (almost) scratch yours.
That's what seems to be going on between Oscar Robertson and LeBron James, as The Big O took time to respond to the reigning MVP's statement about his NBA Mount Rushmore.
During an interview with Steve Smith that will air Feb. 17 on NBA TV at 9 p.m. ET, LeBron revealed that Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Robertson would be the four faces representing the best of the best from NBA history.
There have been plenty of Mount Rushmores coming out in recent days, including Ric Bucher's, which you can see up above. But not so fast, says the only man in NBA history to average a triple-double over a full season. Well actually, he said something a little bit different.
"I didn't think about it whatsoever. It’s just what LeBron thinks. LeBron's a great basketball player," Robertson told FOX Sports Daybreak’s Andy Furman and Mike North. "Now, if you ask Jerry West, he would have some players to go up there...This is what makes all sports great...This is what the world’s all about. This is what—we believe in this kind of stuff."
But he wasn't done.
"If LeBron says he should be on Mount Rushmore, you know what? I think he should be there," the legendary point guard espoused before providing a little bit of context. "But he's gotta go and play. I mean, he's on the bubble. He came back great from moving from Cleveland to Miami and, you know, there's still challenges for him."
To be on the bubble is quite impressive for a superstar who hasn't even turned 30 yet. LeBron still has a good bit of his prime left, and he's in no way done adding to his legacy.
If Robertson thinks he's that close already, what is he going to think in 10 years? Maybe he'll agree with Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype.com, who wrote via USA Today, "LeBron may be a Top 5 all-time player already and he's just entering the second half of his pro career. So you do the math."
Will LeBron James end up on NBA Mount Rushmore?
Calling the current face of the NBA one of the five best players in league history might be going too far right now, but it won't be by the time he's hung up his sneakers for good. If you're already close in Robertson's book, then you're in great shape down the road.
Ultimately, we won't be able to define LeBron's legacy until he's done creating it. That bubble could grow, leaving no doubt the Miami Heat superstar is in the same tier as M.J., but it could also pop.