LeBron James' recent interview with NBA-TV in which he discussed the NBA's Mount Rushmore and said that he felt that some day he'd be up there has gotten a lot of people talking. Among the NBA bloggers at SB Nation, we thought it would be fun to know who is on each team's Mount Rushmore?
I thought I'd submit it to the citizenry. Now, I'm not swearing that I'll abide by your decisions here. I'm not sure, for instance, how I would feel about giving a spot to Chris Paul after a tenure of less than three years with the team. I'm not really convinced that Bob McAdoo, the only player to ever win an NBA MVP while part of the franchise, deserves a spot on the Clippers/Braves Mount Rushmore simply because the bulk of his career was played elsewhere. If Paul plays a majority of his career with the Clippers when all is said and done, then he'll almost certainly have his face carved in this imaginary mountain, but we're just not there yet.
Likewise with Blake Griffin -- who it must be noted, is already in eighth place in career scoring in just his fourth season with the team. Griffin's got a decent case already, and it would take something pretty drastic to keep him off the mountain in the long run; but I'm not sure I'm personally willing to put a 24 year old up there just yet.
I do absolutely want to include the Buffalo era in this project. Half of the thirty NBA teams have been around longer than the Clippers/Braves 44 years combined -- those teams have to cull through their history to make decisions, and we should too. Besides, these choices will literally be carved in stone (at least they would literally be carved in stone if we were literally doing this). History and permanence should definitely be part of the thought process.
So I'll be curious to see how the vote comes out, and I'll certainly let everyone know the results of the vote -- but the final decision belongs to me alone. I'm the sculptor.
Bear in mind that this is all subjective at the end of the day. Even Mount Rushmore itself is more than a little debatable. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, sure. Thomas Jefferson -- decent choice, though he probably gets on more for his body of work (like writing the Declaration of Independence) than strictly as a president (Louisiana Purchase was a pretty good deal I guess). But Teddy Roosevelt? Plenty of historians would dispute the inclusion of that face in a presidential big four.
So who you got? I've made a form to capture your votes. I pre-populated a drop down with the top 15 scorers in franchise history and five more names that caught my eye -- including Chris Paul. But you can always write in candidates. Or maybe you think Donald Sterling should be up on the mountain. Cast you votes, and then let us know your thoughts in the comments.