The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player—and two-time recipient of the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP trophy—selected Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson to adorn the face of this hypothetical mountain.
One notable player left off his list: Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell.
Although it's debatable as to who deserves this coveted distinction, some people believe that Russell's 11 championships are worthy of inclusion in the club.
Russell took the time to talk about being excluded:
Here's a clear look at the Hall of Famer's statement, via CelticsLife.com:
Hey, thank you for leaving me off your Mount Rushmore. I’m glad you did. Basketball is a team game, it’s not for individual honors. I won back-to-back state championships in high school, back-to-back NCAA championships in college, I won an NBA championship my first year in the league, an NBA championship in my last year, and nine in between. That, Mr. James, is etched in stone.
The conversation continued on Monday. Bleacher Report's Ethan Skolnick spoke with James in Dallas about Russell's response to the snub:
"Well, obviously, (I have) the utmost respect for Bill Russell, and what he's been able to do. Not only just on the floor, but off the floor, too. Being a pioneer that helped me get to this point, he paved the way for myself and guys who came after him. Hopefully I continue to do (that) for the guys who come after me. But for me to comment on his comments, I really don't want to do that. He has his own opinions, he is his own man. I'm my own man, too."
"It's a true statement. I mean, the facts are the facts. That's what I believe in myself. Once again, these are my personal goals. I don't care where no one puts me as far as best ever, or analysts, or so-called gurus of basketball place me when I'm done. These are my personal goals. I believe I could be one of the best, if not the best, to ever play this game. And that's my personal goal. If someone wants to throw dirt on my personal goals, then they have a problem, not me."