Milwaukee • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took the chisel to LeBron James’ Mount Rushmore on Monday.
James, the Miami Heat star, ignited a debate last month, when he opined on who he considered to be the NBA’s four greatest players of all times. In an interview with NBATV, James picked Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Oscar Robertson.
Then James said, “I’m going to be one of the top four to ever play this game. For sure. If they don’t want me to have one of those top four spots, they better find another spot. We’ve got to bump somebody. Somebody got to get bumped.”
Since then, the question “Who’s on your Mount Rushmore?” has been asked of just about every basketball mind you can name.
On Monday in Milwaukee, Abdul-Jabbar fielded it during a press conference before the Jazz and the Bucks tipped off.
“It’s impossible,” he said of picking just four players. “I don’t know what LeBron was thinking. He didn’t even see Bill Russell play. He has no idea what Bill Russell did. Eleven championships in 13 years? Eight in a row? LeBron isn’t going to get anywhere near that. I don’t get it. And here he didn’t want Bill Russell on his Rushmore. I think today’s players have a very limited perspective on the game.”
“LeBron has to re-think that,” he added. “He needs to go and do some research and watch some old film, and hopefully he’ll be impressed.”
The Hall of Famer famous for his skyhook, went on to say that the rules of today’s game are tailored to help offensive players.
“I don’t think any of the big men playing today could have coped with the big men of that era,” he said. “Wilt Chamberlain would have crushed those guys.”
Jazz center Enes Kanter scored a career-high 27 points in Monday’s loss to Milwaukee. On the other side of the ball, Ersan Ilyasova dropped in 31 points on 13-of-14 shooting for the Bucks.
“Something about those Turkish guys, huh?” Kanter said of his countryman. “He did a really good job. I’m proud of him. But the sad thing is he did it against us. But he played really hard and he represented the country.”