Lakers Nation Debate: Who Is On The Lakers Mount Rushmore?
Topic Of Debate: What four individuals have distinguished themselves enough to cement their place on the Lakers’ Mount Rushmore?
Context: There’s been a lot of hoopla after LeBron James listed the four players that he felt would be on the “Mount Rushmore” of great NBA players. So in line with the hype of that moment, we at Lakers Nation felt the need to discuss the people that we felt would be on that mountain.
Since the Lakers are a very historic franchise, we felt the need to not limit this debate to only players. There have been great coaches, executives, players, and announcers. Yes, it makes the discussion that much harder, but it also adds value to the debate.
Verdict: We took this poll question to Twitter to get the fans take on who they had on their Mount Rushmore.
I presented the poll question:
Hey Lakers fans, Who would be on your Mt. Rushmore for the Lakers franchise? This is not exclusive to only players. Coaches, owners, etc.
— Ry (@JustRyCole) February 15, 2014
Here are some responses:
@JustRyCole Jerry Buss, Magic, Baylor and Kobe
— Matheus Meyohas (@matheusmeyohas) February 15, 2014
@JustRyCole Buss, Kob’, Magic & West.
— James L (@RaessaelSemaj) February 15, 2014
@JustRyCole this is impossible lol Especially with Chick, Jerry Buss and Phil involved
— Ped is Bike (@pedta326) February 15, 2014
@JustRyCole Buss-Kobe-Chick-Phil. Owner, the player who holds the most records, top announcer, most impactful coach
— aj taylor (@ajstarting5) February 15, 2014
It’s important for us to first recognize what individuals have a case to be on this list. Of course, you have the legendary Lakers owner in the late Dr. Jerry Buss. There’s a laundry list of players such as Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, and Shaquille O’Neal.
And there are also a few individuals that didn’t play, but left a historic mark nonetheless, such as Chick Hearn, Phil Jackson, and Pat Riley.
It’s difficult trying to cut this down to four, but I have to stay that I agree with the response from @ajstarting5.
I think that Dr. Jerry Buss is an automatic selection, as he was the architect in crafting this Lakers franchise to what currently is. He was the man that had the plan, and his vision is so still apparent despite the fact that he isn’t alive today.
Chick Hearn is also a man that deserves his place on the Lakers Mt. Rushmore. He was a key aspect of Lakers culture for decades, as his talent of calling games live on air was something that fans loved. True Lakers fans understand how important Chick was to this franchise.
Phil Jackson is the greatest coach in Lakers history, so it’s only right that he get some recognition. He’s contributions are often forgotten in the grand scheme, but he played a very big role in seven trips to the NBA Finals, and five championships.
It’s difficult picking one player to be represented on the Lakers’ Mount Rushmore, but if we had to narrow it down to two, those players would be Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant. Ultimately I think Kobe should be the player represented. He’s been a Laker longer than any player in the franchises history, and is going to hold the majority of the individual records. I wouldn’t be opposed to Magic receiving this recognition, but I’d go with Kobe.
So in the end, we have Dr. Buss, Kobe, Chick, and Phil. That’s the Lakers Mt. Rushmore.
Any disagreements? If so, comment on who you think should be on this list.
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