Bill Russell confronts LeBron James about Mount Rushmore snub

Bill Russell Barack Obama LeBron James
President Barack Obama is greeted by Bill Russell during a stop to view the statue of Russell at City Hall Plaza in Boston, Mass., Oct. 30, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

More than a few Celtics fans spit up their Sam Winter Lagers last week when LeBron James listed his “Mount Rushmore” of NBA greats.

The Heat superstar said he would one day belong on the four-person list, telling NBATV that “Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Oscar Robertson” were his current Top 4. Conspicuously left off of James’ list was the greatest winner in NBA history, Celtics legend Bill Russell – who won 11 NBA titles in his career with the C’s.

During NBA All-Star weekend, the 80-year-old Russell talked to James about his selections. TNT’s Craig Sager relayed the story and MassLive.com posted the following quote Monday:

“Before the game,” Sager said, “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.”

Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS


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