Bernucca: Who Is On Your Team’s Mount Rushmore?


rushmoreThis past week, NBA TV released excerpts of an extended interview with LeBron James (airing in its entirety Monday night) in which Steve Smith asked “The King” to name his Mount Rushmore of basketball.

James offered a quartet of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson. But it’s really an unfair question, because in addition to those four players, there are at least three more – centers Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell – who are in the “best ever” conversation. And that group doesn’t include active players who eventually will join the conversation as well, like Kobe Bryant and James himself.

A better exercise might be establishing a Mount Rushmore for each team.

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Tweet of the Night: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar evaluates the return of Kobe Bryant

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KobeThe wait for the return of Kobe Bryant is officially over.

The superstar guard posted a 2-minute video on facebook of his jersey going through the seasons before ending on a note that said 12.8.13, an indication that he will play against the Toroto Raptors on Sunday.

The league has already dealt with plenty of devastating injuries, so this is truly a welcoming sight. The question now is, what will Bryant look like when he hits the floor for the first time since injuring his Achilles heel eight months ago? Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shared his thoughts on that question, as see below: 

Tweet of the Day: NBA, Players Remember Nelson Mandela

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Many amazing men have walked the earth having had a profound impact on the world with their lives. Men like Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr.. Their deaths were monumental and the cause of grief to many.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela died Thursday at the age of 95.

Mandela was instrumental in bringing about the end of Apartheid (racial segregation) and ushering in an era of ethnic equality in South African politics. His efforts earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.

Addressing his passing, United States President Barack Obama spoke to the press from the White House.

He achieved more than could be expected of any man. Today he’s gone home, and we’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth.”

The Numbers Say… The Pacers’ Defense and Lakers’ Bench Joined Rare Company

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hibbertAfter months of agonizing anticipation, the 2013-14 NBA regular season has finally begun. Three games ushered in the new year, and as one might imagine, the numbers were quite astonishing.

No team posted numbers that were as impressive as the Indiana Pacers.

Indiana won its season opener by defeating the Orlando Magic 97-87 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Paul George scored 24 points, Lance Stephenson added a surprisingly strong 19 and Orlando Johnson scored nine off of the bench as the defending Central Division champions started the season with a big win.

With a closer evaluation of Indiana’s opening day performance, it’s clear that the Pacers were historic during their win.

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Tweet of the Night: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar posts a full video of his first game ever in the NBA

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KareemAbdul-JabbarBefore there was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, there was Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr., (aka Lew Alcindor). Alcindor was his actual name when the legendary center first came into the NBA and played for the Milwaukee Bucks, before changing his name to Abdul-Jabbar for religious reasons.

But enough about the name and onto the player. The man who remains the leading scorer in the history of the NBA with 38,387 total points dominated his competition immediately as a rookie back in 1969-1970 season. He averaged 28.8 points, 14.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists that year to win the Rookie of the Year award. Unfortunately, there is no account of the number of steals and blocks he recorded in his first four seasons in the league – those had yet to be considered counting stats.