In an interview earlier this week, not only did superstar LeBron James reveal his vision for an NBA themed Mount Rushmore, he also asserted that by the time his playing days are over, he expects to be on the metaphorical monument.
Of course, pondering potential an NBA themed Mount Rushmore means considering those players worthy of being mentioned in the discussion of the top four NBA athletes of all time.
Should James' name be thrown into the hat at this point? Will he stand tall as one of the all-time greats when it's all said and done?
In any event, as could be expected, such an assertion by itself has stirred the pot with plenty of debate and discussion amongst basketball fans in the past couple of days.
With that in mind, the team blogs across SBNation.com's basketball community have joined in the fun by putting our own spin on things. Continue reading below to see which players made the cut on RidiculousUpside.com's D-League themed Mount Rushmore, complete with comments from those who have worked closely with them over the years.
Ron Howard, NBA D-League Player, 2007-Present
"Ron is one of the nicest most down to earth guys I've ever dealt with. He deserves nothing more than to finally get the call up he's earned. His spot on the Rushmore will be a image of him shooting a free throw no doubt."
-- Bernie Lee, NBA agent
A longtime D-League veteran who has spent parts of the last seven seasons in Fort Wayne, Howard is affectionately and deservedly well known as "Mr. Mad Ant." A great player in his community and the team's locker room, Howard only seems to get better with age. He was recently named to his third NBADL All-Star Game, and is still one of the league's better offensive players with a 21.5 point average on 48% shooting this season.
Jeremy Lin, NBA D-League Player, 2010-2012
"Having a little piece of the Linsanity story was really special for Erie. His one-game performance in a BayHawks uniform is by far the #1 moment in our 6-year history."
- Matt Bresee, President, Erie BayHawks
Current Houston Rockets' guard Lin spent time with the Bighorns before finally beating down the door in the NBA a season later with the New York Knicks. But before he took the Big Apple by storm, it could be argued that his massive triple-double performance while on assignment with the BayHawks in 2012 was ultimately what gave way to the outbreak of Linsanity. The young gun's rapid rise to worldwide fame easily makes him the most notable D-League alumni of all.
Renaldo Major, NBA D-League Player, 2006-Present
"Renaldo's accomplishments and accolades on the court are only trumped by his character off the court. He is a true ambassador for the D-League and the game of basketball."
-Brian Levy, Assistant General Manager, Bakersfield Jam
Like Howard, Major is also competing in what is his seventh D-League season after recently returning to the Bakersfield Jam. Call him Mr. Consistent, the swingman has averaged 15.2 points on 51% from the field along with 4.8 rebounds through 277 games. A well respected veteran, Major is also the consummate teammate who many in various D-League circles believed deserved this Mount Rushmore honor the most.
Morris Almond, NBA D-League Player, 2007-2013
"Mo was always a pleasure to have on our team. Every time he stepped on the court you knew he was going to score points and do everything he could to help the team win. But his scoring ability is what stood out most, you always expect when Mo is on the court he is going to drop 30."
-Bill Ryan, President and Owner, Maine Red Claws
One of the most dynamic scorers the D-League has ever seen, Almond has graced the minor league hardwood in parts of seven different seasons. Though he's struggled to stay on with an NBA team full time to this point, he's a veteran of stints with teams like the Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards. An instant fan favorite (he's played for five D-League teams-- including the Red Claws in 2009-10 and 2011-12) whose name is relatively known amongst even casual basketball fans, Almond owns a career average of 22.7 points on 50% from the field and 38% from deep. He was a dominant offensive NBADL player, and perhaps still stands to return yet again, after spending last season with the D-Fenders.