Kobe Bryant has a different Mount Rushmore than LeBron James, but only by one player. It is a player who matters much to the history of the game though, and it was a bit criminal to me that James passed him up. Bill Russell.
“I would say Magic, Bird, Michael, and Russell,” Bryant said Sunday night. “That’s impossible to do four, though, man. Come on. That’s crazy. That’s tough. Absolutely tough.”
Agree with Bryant that it is hard to narrow things down, but James still should not have passed up one of the game’s true originators.
Watching the New Orleans crowd celebrate his 80th birthday was a bit surreal, and it must be bizarre to walk in his shoes and watch how the game has grown ever since his involvement. People forget that the original players in the league really were not paid well at all, and their living conditions were sub-standard to say the least. Russell is one of the most intelligent minds to ever play in this scribe’s opinion, and to discount his contribution to the game would be a grave error for anyone examining the past of the game. The public also sometimes forget that blocks were not recorded during the Russell era, and routinely he would block upwards of eight to even ten shots in a game. Can you imagine if a player today was doing that kind of work on the defensive end? It would be an absolute hailstorm on twitter.
Thanks for reading folks, and have one more piece on the way for you. For me? There are two player that will be on the Rushmore of b-ball for the foreseeable future, and that would Michael Jordan and William Fenton Russell.