This is an excerpt from today's 5-on-5:
Who gets the first spot on your current NBA Mount Rushmore?
Bill Russell. The NBA's ultimate champion and ultimate statesman. I know Michael Jordan is bound be the popular pick here, but let's not forget Mr. Russell -- small-time as the league might have seemed in his heyday -- had to go head-to-head with Wilt Chamberlain to achieve all that success. Keeping Wilt off this mythical mountain gets you serious bonus points.
Who gets the second spot on your current NBA Mount Rushmore?
Michael Jordan. I've always said that, as a child of the '70s and '80s, I'm more of a Magic-and-Bird devotee than a member of MJ's congregation. But I can't ignore the way most of the world feels about Michael and what he did to take this sport to levels of popularity they never would have dared to dream of in the Russell era. My biggest challenge in judging Jordan's place in history is the fact he didn't get the head-to-head push from a standout rival or team as Russell did with Wilt, as Magic and the Lakers did with Bird and the Celtics or even as LeBron is getting now from Kevin Durant. But even a stubborn nag like me concedes that MJ's greatness is one of the main reasons no one in the '90s could reach his airspace.