Author Topic: What's your NBA Mount Rushmore?  (Read 1887 times)

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Re: What's your NBA Mount Rushmore?
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2019, 12:43:33 PM »

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Had a discussion in another thread about how I believe that Bird isn't particularly close to being in the NBA Mount Rushmore, and I'd like to know which players you guys have in your top 4. I'm not very high on GOAT discussions, but when you start ranking players in ranges it gets interesting with so many great players in the history of the NBA.

Really? Because he's one of the first people I think of.

But to answer the question

Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Shaq.

Russell, Bird and Jordan for obvious reasons.

Shaq because in addition to his 3 championships, I've never seen a center dominate in my lifetime like him.

There's likely other guys who should strongly be in consideration, but that's who comes to mind based on what I've witnessed and then Bill Russell, because of his accomplishments.
Yeah he's really not close to being in it when I start comparing him to the other greats in NBA history, or at least imo. I like the inclusion of Shaq, even though he's not in my Mount Rushmore he's the closest player to my top 4. His apex was legendary, no centre save for Kareem dominated on offense like him (and even then Kareem was a rung down from peak Shaq), and his defense during his peak wasn't too shabby either!

Interesting. I just think Bird is one of the 4 greatest because of how cerebral he was. He wasn't the most athletic guy, but he knew the game like the back of his hand and was probably the most fundamentally sound player you'll ever see.

No flashy dunks, no fancy offensive or defensive milestones (though he had plenty)....just a guy who was a basketball aficionado.
For sure, and I rate him as one of the top players I'd pick if I wanted a guy who could fit with anyone and still crank out results, his portability was superb. But I just think that he wasn't "good" enough for a long enough period of time, and he didn't have a high enough peak to offset his lack of sterling longevity.
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Re: What's your NBA Mount Rushmore?
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2019, 01:18:47 PM »

Offline petbrick

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Real answer:

Russell, because he is the league's greatest winner. Also, because he was so innovative. First black coach. First black leader of a team. And a major advocate for civil rights. And he was also one of the greatest rebounders and defenders ever.

Bird and Magic because besides the talent and accomplishes, they led the NBA out of the disaster that was 1970's basketball with there being two leagues and rampant cocaine and other drug problems affecting the game. They saved basketball. Ratings soared, as did revenue and basketball overtook hockey and baseball as the country's 2nd most popular sport. All because of Larry and Magic. They were that influential.

Then, of course, Michael who took everything from Larry and Magic and built on it. He also became the best player ever. The greatest shoe salesman ever(after Bird and Magic started the basketball shoes revolution and branding). And a culture changer.

Those are your NBA Mount Rushmore players, because reaching those heights means more than just counting stats.
That's a great list based on your criteria, but I disagree about your swipe at statistic based evaluations being purely counting stat based - the use of impact metrics that actually attempt to tease out how a player affects the scoreboard have been gaining popularity the past decade. These statistics are hardly just counting stats, they're literally trying to quantify what Russell said in his statement about the "other 45 minutes of the game". Obviously there are massive outliers in such metrics (as with any other statistic), but you can form a very convincing list when you use those stats as a tool to aid what you see on the basketball court.
When determining the greatest that is on the Mount Rushmore, IMO, you want guys that did more than just ball. You want guys that changed the league for the better and did so in ways off the court as well.

It's fine to say LeBron is a better basketball player than Bird or Magic, but to be on Mount Rushmore of the NBA??? Bird and Magic completely changed the way basketball was played and perceived in this country. Ratings took off and better TV deals happened because of Bird and Magic. Shoe branding with Converse started with these guys. They saved the game. So because of that, I don't care that some advanced stats might say there are slightly better players than Bird and Magic, they weren't more important to the game.
They changed rules to account for Wilt.  MJ became the first global icon of the sport.  Lebron has taken MJ's iconness to new levels especially his use of social media, his media empire, etc.  This idea that the other great players didn't effectuate change is just strange to me.  So elevating inferior players for those reasons also seems strange to me.

A bold claim to assert that LeBron has ever been a bigger icon than Jordan. Not during his career thus far, 21 years after Jordan's retirement ( ;) ) Potentially he's a better basketball player. Not an opinion I share, but a valid opinion.


Anyway:
Russell, Wilt, Bird & Magic, MJ.
Kareem, LeBron, Dr. J, Oscar.
Iverson, Shaq, Duncan, Walton.

Not the best players, but the players I'd most like to see have their faces carved on a big mountain somewhere.

Re: What's your NBA Mount Rushmore?
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2019, 01:29:19 PM »

Offline Roy H.

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Mine?

Red, Russell, Larry, Magic

Not exactly objective, but itís the pair who built the NBA, and the pair that rescued it.
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Re: What's your NBA Mount Rushmore?
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2019, 01:44:56 PM »

Offline gift

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Russell, Kareem, Jordan, Magic and Bird

I really can't separate Magic and Bird, they're so much a part of each other's story and also the story of the 80s in the NBA. Both retired too soon compared to their talent and peers historically because of injury/disease as well.

This is one of the hard parts about Magic and Bird and arbitrary cutoffs. They are both right next to each other in most rankings and you can't really pick one over the other definitively or mention one and not the other.

I mean, you can't really make any list definitively. They're all flawed. I stopped ranking players long ago because the justifications became bigger than the appreciation.

Re: What's your NBA Mount Rushmore?
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2019, 01:47:30 PM »

Offline CptZoogs

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Magic, Bird, MJ, Duncan, LeBron


I know the mountain doesn't have 5 faces on it, but I feel like Bird and Magic count for one since they more or less shared that era.  Those five account for the major eras of the sport since the merger.


I know we can and should talk about Russell, Wilt, Kareem, Jerry West etc ... all great pre-merger players (Kareem was part of both).  I guess I just feel that the sport was so different, the league was so different, the talent pool was so different ... they belong in their own category.

He didn't make the cut for me, but I am glad he is getting some love.  Timmy is my favorite non-celtic of all time.  Basically a perfect basketball player in my mind.  I even think he would have had no trouble adapting to today's need for bigs shooting 3's if it were asked of him.

Re: What's your NBA Mount Rushmore?
« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2019, 01:50:13 PM »

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Russell, Kareem, Jordan, Magic and Bird

I really can't separate Magic and Bird, they're so much a part of each other's story and also the story of the 80s in the NBA. Both retired too soon compared to their talent and peers historically because of injury/disease as well.

This is one of the hard parts about Magic and Bird and arbitrary cutoffs. They are both right next to each other in most rankings and you can't really pick one over the other definitively or mention one and not the other.

I mean, you can't really make any list definitively. They're all flawed. I stopped ranking players long ago because the justifications became bigger than the appreciation.
Absolutely, I'm not too hot on saying who the GOAT in basketball is (unless LeBron rattles off another decade of MVP calibre play). But I do think that you can present a reasonable list of ranges where players fall in and have the list appreciated. Obviously criteria differ in every list made.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 01:58:26 PM by Somebody »
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Re: What's your NBA Mount Rushmore?
« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2019, 02:02:12 PM »

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Russell, Kareem, Jordan, Magic and Bird

I really can't separate Magic and Bird, they're so much a part of each other's story and also the story of the 80s in the NBA. Both retired too soon compared to their talent and peers historically because of injury/disease as well.

Same for me. Those five guys are my list. If I were to leave one off, it would probably be MJ or Kareem. I just cannot imagine a Mount Rushmore without Russell, Bird or Magic.

Re: What's your NBA Mount Rushmore?
« Reply #37 on: November 08, 2019, 02:04:28 PM »

Offline RockinRyA

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Russell, Kareem, Jordan, Magic and Bird

I really can't separate Magic and Bird, they're so much a part of each other's story and also the story of the 80s in the NBA. Both retired too soon compared to their talent and peers historically because of injury/disease as well.

Same for me. Those five guys are my list. If I were to leave one off, it would probably be MJ or Kareem. I just cannot imagine a Mount Rushmore without Russell, Bird or Magic.

That would be mine as well. I dont like the Lakers though so I'd replace Kareem and Magic with 2 Marcus Smarts.

Re: What's your NBA Mount Rushmore?
« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2019, 02:04:36 PM »

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Russell, Kareem, Jordan, Magic and Bird

I really can't separate Magic and Bird, they're so much a part of each other's story and also the story of the 80s in the NBA. Both retired too soon compared to their talent and peers historically because of injury/disease as well.

Same for me. Those five guys are my list. If I were to leave one off, it would probably be MJ or Kareem. I just cannot imagine a Mount Rushmore without Russell, Bird or Magic.
I apologise for having a Mount Rushmore without Bird and Magic then :laugh:, I probably "can't imagine" a Mount Rushmore leaving out more than one of Kareem, MJ, LeBron or Russell lol. But I agree with how Magic and Bird are inseparable.
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Re: What's your NBA Mount Rushmore?
« Reply #39 on: November 08, 2019, 02:09:51 PM »

Offline fairweatherfan

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Mikan, Cousy, Bob "Foothills" Kurland, Hank Luisetti


There's a theme here (besides "old"), can anyone identify it?

Re: What's your NBA Mount Rushmore?
« Reply #40 on: November 08, 2019, 02:53:40 PM »

Offline footey

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4 greatest players:

Wilt
Kareem
Jordan
Lebron

4 greatest winners:

Russell
Magic
Bird
Jordan

Re: What's your NBA Mount Rushmore?
« Reply #41 on: November 08, 2019, 02:58:27 PM »

Offline CptZoogs

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Mikan, Cousy, Bob "Foothills" Kurland, Hank Luisetti


There's a theme here (besides "old"), can anyone identify it?

Does it have to do with innovation.  I believe Kurland was the first to dunk, and Luisetti was the first to do the one handed shot (basically the precursor to the jump shot.)

Re: What's your NBA Mount Rushmore?
« Reply #42 on: November 08, 2019, 04:22:31 PM »

Offline Moranis

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Real answer:

Russell, because he is the league's greatest winner. Also, because he was so innovative. First black coach. First black leader of a team. And a major advocate for civil rights. And he was also one of the greatest rebounders and defenders ever.

Bird and Magic because besides the talent and accomplishes, they led the NBA out of the disaster that was 1970's basketball with there being two leagues and rampant cocaine and other drug problems affecting the game. They saved basketball. Ratings soared, as did revenue and basketball overtook hockey and baseball as the country's 2nd most popular sport. All because of Larry and Magic. They were that influential.

Then, of course, Michael who took everything from Larry and Magic and built on it. He also became the best player ever. The greatest shoe salesman ever(after Bird and Magic started the basketball shoes revolution and branding). And a culture changer.

Those are your NBA Mount Rushmore players, because reaching those heights means more than just counting stats.
That's a great list based on your criteria, but I disagree about your swipe at statistic based evaluations being purely counting stat based - the use of impact metrics that actually attempt to tease out how a player affects the scoreboard have been gaining popularity the past decade. These statistics are hardly just counting stats, they're literally trying to quantify what Russell said in his statement about the "other 45 minutes of the game". Obviously there are massive outliers in such metrics (as with any other statistic), but you can form a very convincing list when you use those stats as a tool to aid what you see on the basketball court.
When determining the greatest that is on the Mount Rushmore, IMO, you want guys that did more than just ball. You want guys that changed the league for the better and did so in ways off the court as well.

It's fine to say LeBron is a better basketball player than Bird or Magic, but to be on Mount Rushmore of the NBA??? Bird and Magic completely changed the way basketball was played and perceived in this country. Ratings took off and better TV deals happened because of Bird and Magic. Shoe branding with Converse started with these guys. They saved the game. So because of that, I don't care that some advanced stats might say there are slightly better players than Bird and Magic, they weren't more important to the game.
They changed rules to account for Wilt.  MJ became the first global icon of the sport.  Lebron has taken MJ's iconness to new levels especially his use of social media, his media empire, etc.  This idea that the other great players didn't effectuate change is just strange to me.  So elevating inferior players for those reasons also seems strange to me.

A bold claim to assert that LeBron has ever been a bigger icon than Jordan. Not during his career thus far, 21 years after Jordan's retirement ( ;) ) Potentially he's a better basketball player. Not an opinion I share, but a valid opinion.


Anyway:
Russell, Wilt, Bird & Magic, MJ.
Kareem, LeBron, Dr. J, Oscar.
Iverson, Shaq, Duncan, Walton.

Not the best players, but the players I'd most like to see have their faces carved on a big mountain somewhere.
I think Lebron is known by a lot more non-basketball fans, especially around the world.  He has also used his platform and taken stands far more than Jordan ever did.  Jordan never inserted himself into issues unrelated to basketball.  Lebron's done a lot more of that.  Sure it provides more fodder, but that fodder also keeps him in the news.  He has all sorts of business interests (owned a pieced of Beats, stakeholder in Blaze Pizza, etc.). He has been in several movies (not all basketball themed) and created/produced several main stream television shows with his media company.  Then of course you have his philanthropy and political activism including the creation of a public school for at risk youths in Akron. 

Jordan was a global icon, but it was all basketball related.  I think James has taken that to the next level with all of the non-basketball stuff.
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Re: What's your NBA Mount Rushmore?
« Reply #43 on: November 08, 2019, 04:26:57 PM »

Offline BMark

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Re: What's your NBA Mount Rushmore?
« Reply #44 on: November 08, 2019, 04:35:14 PM »

Offline johnnygreen

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Real answer:

Russell, because he is the league's greatest winner. Also, because he was so innovative. First black coach. First black leader of a team. And a major advocate for civil rights. And he was also one of the greatest rebounders and defenders ever.

Bird and Magic because besides the talent and accomplishes, they led the NBA out of the disaster that was 1970's basketball with there being two leagues and rampant cocaine and other drug problems affecting the game. They saved basketball. Ratings soared, as did revenue and basketball overtook hockey and baseball as the country's 2nd most popular sport. All because of Larry and Magic. They were that influential.

Then, of course, Michael who took everything from Larry and Magic and built on it. He also became the best player ever. The greatest shoe salesman ever(after Bird and Magic started the basketball shoes revolution and branding). And a culture changer.

Those are your NBA Mount Rushmore players, because reaching those heights means more than just counting stats.

Great list! And is the same as mine.

MJ, Bird, Magic, Russell

As great of a player as LeBron is, he disqualified himself from ever being on a Mt Rushmore when he formed a team in Miami to win a title. He cheated the game, and that simply canít be dismissed. Something like that should have consequences, and that is mine.

To add to your line of reasoning.

Russell is one of the NBA's greatest ambassadors too. MJ, Bird and Magic not only saved the league and took it to new heights, but they also made the NBA global. They were the face of the US Olympic team, that many feel was the greatest team ever assembled. That team helped influence the league as we know it today, with the amount of quality international players.