LeBron James Names His NBA 'Mount Rushmore,' Says He'll Belong by End of Career

Grant Hughes@@gt_hughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2014

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Apparently, LeBron James has done some thinking since last asked to list the NBA players he sees as the best of all time.

In an interview with NBA TV's Steve Smith, James constructed his "Mount Rushmore" of historical hoops greats. The quartet included Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson. The full "LeBron James All-Star Interview" will air Feb. 17 on NBA TV at 9 p.m. ET. 

Change your plans accordingly. 

It's pretty much impossible to fault LBJ for any of his picks, unless pointless hair-splitting is among your favorite pastimes.

Notably, though, James omitted someone from his list who he included the last time around. Here's what he told Fox Sports' Bill Reiter back in August:

"Michael Jordan...wow, this is tough...Dr. J and Larry Bird."

After pleading for a fourth nomination, James included Johnson in his personal pantheon.

Sorry, Dr. J, the Big O just kicked you off Mount Rushmore. It's tough to quibble with James' change of heart, as Robertson is widely regarded as a much better player than Julius Erving.

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History aside, James also made it clear to Smith that he expected to elbow his way onto the figurative mountainside by the time his career comes to an end:

I'm going to be one of the top four that's ever played this game, for sure. And if they don't want me to have one of those top four spots, they'd better find another spot on that mountain. Somebody's gotta get bumped, but that's not for me to decide. That's for the architects.

Yet again, it's hard to argue with LBJ's logic.

Per Sean Highkin of USA Today: "James isn’t wrong. He still has several years of his prime left, so it remains to be seen where he’ll end up. But the four-time MVP has built a case as one of the all-time greats during his 11-year career, and he knows it."

A few more rings and another MVP or two will be all it takes for James' prediction to come true.

Nothing is guaranteed, but whoever's in charge of building the NBA's equivalent of Mount Rushmore might want to keep a chisel and a picture of James handy.


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