Kobe offers Mount Rushmore picks

Updated: February 17, 2014, 10:08 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

LeBron James said he'll be there one day, but Kobe Bryant said Bill Russell is there right now.

Four days after it was revealed James said he'll go down as one of the four best players in NBA history, Bryant offered up his Mount Rushmore on Sunday night at the All-Star Game.

Bryant's picks? Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Russell. LeBron also listed Jordan, Bird and Johnson, but ultimately settled on Oscar Robertson as his fourth choice.

"I would say Magic, Bird, Michael, and Russell," Bryant said during a news conference before Sunday's All-Star Game. "That's impossible to do four, though, man. Come on. That's crazy. That's tough. Absolutely tough."

Robertson is the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season (1961-62), while Russell has more NBA titles as a player than anyone else with 11.

"It doesn't matter who he says, inevitably you're going to leave somebody out," Bryant said during an in-game interview on TNT's All-Star broadcast. "... It's tough."

James, a two-time NBA champion and four-time MVP, said he believes he will be remembered as one of the game's all-time greats, though he didn't specify who would get bumped from his Mount Rushmore to make room for him.

"I'm going to be one of the top four that's ever played this game, for sure," James said in an interview that will air on NBA TV on Monday. "And if they don't want me to have one of those top four spots, they'd better find another spot on that mountain. Somebody's gotta get bumped, but that's not for me to decide. That's for the architects."

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