One of the best debating points in any sport will always be the ‘Mount Rushmore’ topic. There is always that question of who is truly the best and everyone’s answer tends to be different. The discussion becomes even more difficult when talking about a franchise like the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers franchise has a history unlike any other in basketball and arguably all of sports. Players such as Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have all worn the purple and gold.
Deciding who is at the top is tough, even for a lifelong fan such as rapper Ice Cube. He recently appeared on ESPN’s First Take and named who he would have on his all-time Lakers Mount Rushmore:
“Kobe is on there, Magic, Kareem, for sure. And I would say Jerry West. That to me is the Mount Rushmore of the Lakers.”
It is very difficult to argue with those selections, and many would agree with Cube. Someone who didn’t was host Stephen A. Smith. He argued that Shaq would be among his selections. While Cube didn’t disagree, he stuck with his selections:
“You can change the parts wherever you want to. There’s been some great Lakers. We’ve been lucky in Los Angeles, the Lakers have been great since before I was alive. You can exchange some parts, but those are my four.”
In a debate such as this there will always be deserving players left off. Baylor literally kept the Lakers from folding with his outstanding play in the 1960s while someone like James Worthy is barely even mentioned despite his Hall of Fame credentials.
Nonetheless, this discussion is proof of why the Lakers are a one of a kind franchise. This debate could go on for days without ever coming to a consensus and there aren’t many teams you can say that about.