The 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend is upon us, meaning the best in the game are gathering in one place and, in the absence of any meaningful basketball contests, feel the insatiable need to ponder their places in history.
Miami Heat forward LeBron James has been in a contemplative mood ever since word leaked of his "Mount Rushmore" comments in an interview with NBA TV's Steve Smith (full interview to be aired on Feb. 17).
But James isn't merely content with getting his face chiseled on some metaphorical four-player mountain. He has his eyes on a greater prize, per Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver:
"There's no reason I can't be number one." LeBron James on Mount Rushmore and GOAT debate— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) February 14, 2014
Technically, he has a point: There's no reason he can't eventually be the greatest player of all time. His career has been on a nonstop upward trajectory since he was chosen No. 1 overall out of high school in the 2003 draft.
Since that time, he has been named to 10 All-Star teams, won Rookie of the Year, four MVPs, two All-Star Game MVPs, two Finals MVPs, four Eastern Conference championships and two NBA championships.
Of course, there is still a fellow by the name of Michael Jordan who might have something to say in the argument. According to Basketball-Reference, Jordan still beats out James in career player efficiency rating, 27.91-27-72, even before taking into account the 6-2 NBA title discrepancy.
But Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype.com (via USA Today) makes a compelling argument for James' eventual success: "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."
If he can avoid injury and apathy, James has a legitimate chance to go down as the greatest player in NBA history. Now, if he could only stop talking about it, and get back to doing it.