Let me tell all of you reading this a little secret. LeBron James is playing all of you…for his benefit. LeBron is much too savvy a media personality and business person not to say anything on camera without bringing some attention to himself. Even that awful “The Decision” show he had on ESPN corralled millions of dollars for the Boys Club. In the parade for the “Big three”, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and Bron Bron, everybody seems to remember the four, five, six championships that LeBron was predicting. What everyone missed was that he said he was a business person that was going to do what’s best for Lebron James. The man already has a goal to be the first “Billionaire” athlete. It must be working. The man got 42 million dollars in endorsements in 2013 alone. One rule in business, you can’t make money without something important. That something is called attention. Kevin Durant has inched his way into the spotlight with the unbelievable run that he is having this year. KD is on his way to being the MVP this year. LeBron is territorial about who is considered the best and it showed in an interview about who is on his “Mount Rushmore” and how he is going to finish in the top four of all time.
First off, this is not a bash LeBron James session. I’ve said this before and will always say you have to be arrogant to be the best ball player in the world. Period. I think people do not understand the stress and strain this man goes through being the best player in the world and having to show it every night. Kevin Durant does not have a championship or bust agenda every year. LeBron James does. For Miami to win the title again this year, LeBron James has to be the best player and carry the Heat over the finish line. I understand that. He has to feel that he is going to be one of the top four on Mount Rushmore. Will he? Man, please! NO!
One thing you can count on here at Pippen Aint Easy. We keep it real. We tell the truth of how we are feeling and why. With that being said, Here is the real “Mount Rushmore” Enjoy and learn something along the way.
1) Wilt Chamberlain (Rings: two)
He is first up. Wilt Chamberlain is the most dominant player in NBA history. I could give you 100 reasons why he is on Mount Rushmore. It could be the 100 points that he scored in a single game. For one season the man averaged 50 points. Let me repeat that, 50 points. That means that every game he was good for 50. Sometimes he might score 40 points and then make it up another night scoring 60. They changed RULES because of this man. He was probably the only player that put fear into Mr. Bill Russell. As bad a dude as Mr. Russell was (more on that later) if Chamberlain could keep Mr. Russell attention, he had to be the gold standard of basketball prowess. He could literally carry a team to the NBA Finals by himself (LeBron, remember how tough that was in Cleveland?) The only thing is he would have won more than the two he did win if it wasn’t for…
2) Bill Russell (Rings: eleven)
I will only refer to this man as Mr. Russell for this article. Mr. Russell is known for winning 11 championships in 13 years. One of those years he didn’t win was because he was injured and missed the playoffs. Out of those 11 he won eight straight, with him being the leader of the greatest dynasty with different players throughout the 60’s. He was a five time MVP and twelve time all-star. But it’s bigger than that. LeBron should know better especially with it being Black History Month that Mr. Russell broke the color barrier so many times. Mr. Russell had to deal with racism in every city including his own. As sensitive as LeBron is do you really think you could have faced what Mr. Russell faced. Remember everybody, you saw LeBron’s first year in Miami. Wasn’t a happy time was it? Mr. Russell was the first African-American Head Coach in NBA history. Heard he was pretty good too. He won two titles as a player-coach. Mr. Russell used his star power to help in the Black Power movement. He supported Muhammad Ali’s refusal to enter the draft. There was a reason that he was honored on his birthday. He’s respected in ALL NBA circles. By the way, Happy Birthday Mr. Russell.
3) Michael Jordan (Rings: six)
I’m not going to bore you with his accomplishments. We pretty much know that he is the greatest of all time like we know air is needed to breathe. Back then everybody wanted to be like Mike. Now that I think about it, YOU wanted to be like Mike. Anyway, what I will talk about is how he took the NBA global. He is the single most recognized person easily in the NBA and maybe in all of sports. The Chicago Bulls probably owe the man 35% of the franchise profits because they are STILL making money off him. Check that the NBA (including you) probably owes the man 35% of your check based on how the world started paying attention to the NBA when the Dream Team played in the Olympics back in 1992. Everyone is getting money because of this guy. Oh by the way, They asked him first to play. You would not be known worldwide without this man. Then after he retired, the man bought his own NBA franchise. Recognize. By the way Mr. Jordan, Happy Birthday and congratulations on the twin girls.
4) Magic Johnson (Rings: five)
I’m not going to bore you with his accomplishments. We all know he was easily the greatest point guard like we know that the planet Earth is round. What I will tell you is that along with Larry Bird, Magic Johnson SAVED the NBA. You see before these two showed up the NBA Finals was on TAPE-DELAY. That means if it was on Friday night, the show Dallas was more important than the NBA championship. I want you to think about that. J.R. Ewing and Ewing oil was more important than the NBA Finals to CBS. The NBA was known as a bunch of black guys fighting all the time and doing drugs. When these two reignited the rivalry between the Lakers and the Celtics, the league thrived again. Michael Jordan put the NBA in the stratosphere but Magic and Bird got the NBA off the ground first. The only reason Magic gets this spot is because he has five rings to Bird’s three.
Now Earvin Johnson is such a great business person we FORGET how great a basketball player he was. He saved my LA Dodgers like he saved the NBA. He bought the LA Sparks. He owns so many businesses that it would take a week to name them all. This is the modern-day blueprint of all athletes who want to keep their money right here. If I get to meet this man, I’m going to ask him for business advice…after I pick my jaw off the floor and hug him for improving my baseball team. All of this AFTER showing the entire world the HIV virus is not an automatic death sentence.
Again this is not a bash session. Here’s your Mount Rushmore. These guys were bigger than the game itself. Plus they knew it and did not have to tell everyone in sound-bites.