NBA Twitter went a bit nuts last week with the whole LeBron James tried to name who would go on his "Mount Rushmore" of NBA history. That exercise is a bit tired and a bit pointless as there are more than four players that deserve a place in that National Monument to basketball greatness — and if you have not been to Mount Rushmore, you should do so next time you are around South Dakota, it is pretty cool.
One all-time great who does not want anything to do with being on Mount Rushmore? That is the NBA's greatest champion Bill Russell.
He celebrated his 80th birthday this past week and got some special recognition at the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans. It was in his interaction with today's stars that he offered LeBron James this nugget of "mine is bigger than yours." Craig Sager reported the following (h/t John Karalis of Red's Army):
Before the game, LeBron James was talking to Bill Russell and Bill said ‘hey, thank you for leaving me off your Mount Rushmore.’ He said ‘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.
It was great seeing the entire NBA family recognize Russell at the All-Star Weekend and give him the reverence he and his career deserve.
And, sorry, LeBron, Russell is right. Team achievements still matter and Russell has you beat there not three, not four, not five . . .