Bill Russell schooled LeBron James on his NBA Mount Rushmore

Bill RussellLeBron James put himself on the NBA’s hypothetical Mount Rushmore last week, leaving out some of the best players who have ever played the game in the process. Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell was one of them.

Russell won 11 NBA championships — that’s right, 11 — during his 14-year NBA career. His run included eight-straight NBA titles from 1959 to 1956, which probably put fans of every other NBA team to sleep for the better part of a decade. At the All-Star Game on Sunday night, TNT’s Craig Sager said Russell had a word with LeBron about his Mount Rushmore.

“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, nine in between. And that, Mr. James, is etched in stone.”

LeBron has said several times (mostly before he won his first championship) that he does not believe championships define a career. The thing that irritated most people about LeBron’s Mount Rushmore is that he put himself on it, which is awfully cocky.

Kobe Bryant was also asked the Mount Rushmore question on Sunday night, and he gave a more humble response than King James.

“I would say Magic, Bird, Michael, and Russell,” Bryant said, via ESPNLosAngeles.com. “That’s impossible to do four, though, man. Come on. That’s crazy. That’s tough. Absolutely tough.”

Bryant said there is no way to not leave someone out when choosing four people, which is true. However, LeBron could have left one less person out by not choosing himself. That was probably the message Russell was trying to relay to him.

Video via Red’s Army

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  • SpinMax


  • Youseline A Robinson

    I don’t think the above article is true to the facts. I saw the partial interview & James did not put himself on his mount Rushmore this instant. When Steve Smith asked the question James gave four names, Magic, Bird, Jordan & Oscar. He was then asked if he would be on there one day; he said “yes” and that they would have to carve a 5th spot for him. Smitty said “no, it can only be 4 & that’s when he said “then when it’s all said and done someone would have to be bumped, as for who it might be, it’s for the architects to decide, not me,” because for sure he plans on being there one day. There’s nothing wrong with having confidence about your future aspirations. An argument can be made whether or not leaving out Mr. Russel was a snub by James, but I’m sure everyone has their choices an opinions as to who belongs up there. But I don’t think It’s cocky of James to think he’ll be there one day.

  • JANICE52508 .


  • Fluffer4

    Bill Russell – The Best Basketball Player of All-Time, because he played Team Ball more than any other in Hoops History and the results of 11 NBA Titles speaks for itself. Bill Russell is also a champion off the court in ways Lebron James will never know or understand. Bill Russell’s career will never be duplicated on or off the court by any of today’s NBA players…

    Lebron James meant no ill will toward Bill Russell but he (Lebron James) needs to STOP ACTING like he “knows” all there is to know about basketball and time for the NBA Celebrity Press to ask him questions he lacks depth about.

    You all have former NBA Commissioner David Stern, as well as ESPN, to thank for this new era and age of selfish NBA players who put their individual talents ahead of the Team Game in basketball.

    David Stern and today’s NBA Celebrity Press all think Basketball started with Michael Jordan and give short shrift to the legends like Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West, etc.

    Lebron James probably also thinks he should replace Jerry West on the NBA logo and if he doesn’t think so, I am sure that David Stern does….(wink, wink….lol)