Every single NBA team’s Mount Rushmore of stars


Taking a look at every team’s Mount Rushmore

Every NBA organization has a history that fans look back on and fondly remember. Some have been more fortunate or shrewd than others, but the common theme is that, at one point or another, there has been an unforgettable player leading the charge.

While debates will eternally rage about who the GOAT is of this glorious Association, there’s a question worth asking: Why limit it to one?

One of the most popular trends in the NBA in recent years has been creating a, “Mount Rushmore.” Everyone from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to LeBron James has given their take on the topic, as have a vast majority of fans in the basketball community.

As such, generations have clashed as they’ve debated whether or not their selections for being a top-4 player on the all-time spectrum belong on the Mount Rushmore of NBA history.

In order to take a step towards clarity, why don’t we break it down by franchise? Perhaps we’ll be able to appreciate those we’re less familiar with more if we take a step back and evaluate what they did for their respective teams.

We may even be able to reminisce about our favorite teams’ stars more fondly if we take a look at what they meant to the organization itself.

Regardless of how they did it, there are countless players who helped define an organization’s glory and greatness. In many regards, they’ve become synonymous with the mere mention of a team—both among fans and those they’ve scorned on the hardwood.

Regardless of why they’re revered as the pillars of a franchise, the question deserves to be answered: Who’s on each NBA team’s Mount Rushmore?

Atlanta Hawks Mount Rushmore, Dominique Wilkins
Atlanta Hawks Mount Rushmore, Dominique Wilkins /

Dominique Wilkins – Atlanta Hawks Mount Rushmore (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

The Mount Rushmore of the Atlanta Hawks

  • Lou Hudson
  • Bob Pettit
  • Lenny Wilkens
  • Dominique Wilkins

The Mount Rushmore of the Atlanta Hawks begins with Bob Pettit. Pettit was a two-time NBA MVP, a two-time scoring champion, and a 10-time All-NBA First Team honoree. That would be more than enough to make him an addition to any team’s list of four.

What truly separates Pettit from the pack, however, is the following fact: Between 1957 and 1966, the Boston Celtics won all but one NBA championship. The lone exception was when Pettit led the Hawks past Bill Russell and the Celtics to win it all in 1958.

Enough said? Enough said.

The next name on the list is Dominique Wilkins. The Human Highlight Film was one of the most exciting players in NBA history, but don’t let that confuse you. In addition to being the epitome of must-see TV, Wilkins was a legitimately great player who earned seven All-NBA selections.

Wilkins won the 1986 scoring title, and pushed Larry Bird and the Celtics to the limit in the 1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals with 47 points in an iconic Game 7 duel.

Lou Hudson joins Pettit and Wilkins as a six-time All-Star who scored upwards of 15,000 points while playing a vast majority of his career with the Hawks. He ranks third on the franchise’s all-time scoring list and fifth in points per game.

The list is rounded out by Lenny Wilkens, who made five All-Star Game appearances with the Hawks and helped guide the team to the 1961 NBA Finals.

Boston Celtics Mount Rushmore, Larry Bird
Larry Bird – Boston Celtics Mount Rushmore (Photo by Jerry Wachter/Sports Imagery/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Boston Celtics

  • Larry Bird
  • Bob Cousy
  • John Havlicek
  • Bill Russell

The list of players who could make this list is tenfold, but the first and most obvious choice is Bill Russell. Russell led the Boston Celtics to an unfathomable 11 NBA championships, was a five-time regular season MVP, and has his name on the Finals MVP award—literally, it’s named after him.

What makes Russell even more incredible is that he also won two championships as the player-coach of the Celtics. He was leadership personified.

Larry Bird joins Russell as top-10 all-time players who played their entire careers in Celtic green. He joined Russell and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in NBA history to win MVP in three consecutive seasons, and won back-to-back titles to boot during that reign of dominance.

Bird finished his career as a three-time NBA champion, had two 50-40-90 seasons, and effectively saved the Association through his compelling rivalry with Magic Johnson.

Not to be overshadowed, Bob Cousy was the NBA’s original dominant point guard. He led the Association in assists on eight separate occasions, won six titles alongside Russell, and is one of 10 players to have been named All-NBA First Team in 10 separate seasons.

Cousy also won the 1957 NBA MVP award and led the Celtics to their first-ever championship during that very season.

Rounding out the Mount Rushmore is a player who only pales in comparison to Russell amongst legends who won a ridiculous number of rings: John Havlicek. Hondo was equal parts humble and competitive, accepting any role that was asked of him and thriving on the biggest of stages.

Havlicek finished his career as an eight-time NBA champion, an 11-time All-NBA honoree, and an eight-time All-Defense selectee.

That’s an impressive feat considering Hondo debuted six years before the All-Defensive Teams even existed in the NBA.

Brooklyn Nets Mount Rushmore, Jason Kidd
Jason Kidd – Brooklyn Nets Mount Rushmore (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Brooklyn Nets

  • Rick Barry
  • Julius Erving
  • Jason Kidd
  • Buck Williams

The Brooklyn Nets have a rich history that includes time in New Jersey, New York, and the ABA. Nevertheless, the four players who are carved into the Nets’ Mount Rushmore aren’t very difficult to determine.

That all starts with the player who led the Nets to the most significant success of the franchise’s existence: “Dr. J.” Julius Erving.

Erving was a dominant force in the ABA, winning two championships, two Playoffs MVP awards, and three regular-season MVP honors. He achieved all of that while playing for the New York Nets, which makes him the easiest selection possible.

Erving was the ABA’s greatest player, as well as the No. 1 player in Nets history—and, as such, he had his No. 32 jersey retired by the Nets.

Next on the list is Jason Kidd, who led the Nets to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in the early 2000s. He was a perennial MVP candidate in New Jersey, leading the team as a world-class facilitator and elite defensive ace.

Kidd’s leadership spearheaded the Nets’ return to prominence, and his play on the court inevitably led to his No. 5 jersey being retired by the organization.

The other two players to make the list are Rick Barry and Buck Williams. Barry made back-to-back All-ABA First Team appearances as a member of the New York Nets, and Williams led the franchise to relevance in the early 1980s, when little else inspired faith.

For perspective: Williams leads the franchise in all-time games played, minutes played, and rebounds, as well as ranking second all-time in scoring.

Charlotte Hornets Mount Rushmore, Alonzo Mourning
Alonzo Mourning – Charlotte Hornets Mount Rushmore (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Charlotte Hornets

  • Larry Johnson
  • Alonzo Mourning
  • Glen Rice
  • Kemba Walker

In just three seasons with the Charlotte Hornets, Alonzo Mourning made an undeniable impact. He was the runner-up to Shaquille O’Neal for Rookie of the Year in 1992-93, and made the All-Star Game in both 1994 and 1995.

Mourning led the Hornets to the first playoff appearance and postseason series victory in franchise history, even scoring 33 points on Robert Parish in the close-out game.

Next on the list is a player who starred alongside Mourning and even outlasted him in Charlotte: Larry Johnson. Johnson is one of the most popular players to ever grace the NBA, as well as an accomplished individual who overcame injuries to showcase all-world, “What if?” potential.

Johnson was the first Hornet to make the All-Star Game, as well as one of the most versatile and exhilarating power forwards of all-time.

Joining Mourning and Johnson is Kemba Walker, who kept the Hornets relevant when it seemed impossible to do so. He helped Charlotte make the Playoffs in 2014 and 2016, with a high of 48 wins in 2015-16—the franchise’s most since 1999-00.

Walker also ranks first in franchise history in points at 12,009, with no other player even eclipsing 10,000—and he’s also second in assists.

The fourth and final player is Glen Rice. Rice made three consecutive All-Star Game appearances with the Hornets—tied for No. 1 in franchise history—while also leading the team to back-to-back postseason appearances and a series victory in 1998.

Muggsy Bogues, Vlade Divac, Al Jefferson, and Anthony Mason were also considered, but Johnson, Mourning, Rice, and Walker prevailed.

Chicago Bulls Mount Rushmore, Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan – Chicago Bulls Mount Rushmore (Photo credit JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Chicago Bulls

  • Artis Gilmore
  • Michael Jordan
  • Scottie Pippen
  • Derrick Rose

It goes without saying that Michael Jordan is going to be on the Mount Rushmore of the Chicago Bulls. He won five regular-season MVP awards, six Finals MVP awards, and a Defensive Player of the Year award while leading the Bulls to six championships and two separate three-peats.

The often forgotten truth about Jordan’s period of greatness: Chicago never made an NBA Finals before he arrived and has failed to reach one since he retired.

Next on the list is Jordan’s right-hand man and one of the greatest small forwards of all-time: Scottie Pippen. Pippen is on the shortlist of the best defenders to ever play, as well as one of the revolutionary individuals who popularized the point forward role.

Pippen was not only a key component of each of Chicago’s six championship runs, but amassed significant personal accolades such as seven All-NBA selections.

The next player on the list is one who helped introduce the Bulls to the NBA: Artis Gilmore. After becoming a force of nature in the ABA, Gilmore would make four All-Star Game appearances in Chicago while leading the team to its first pre-Jordan playoff appearance in the Association.

Although he didn’t quite make the cut, Gilmore’s star teammate during that time deserves immense credit, as well: Jerry Sloan.

The final inclusion may be divisive, as Bob Love, Dennis Rodman, Sloan, and Chet Walker all come to mind. The selection is Derrick Rose, however, as he’s the only player other than Jordan to win the MVP award in a Bulls jersey.

Perhaps even more importantly: Rose led Chicago to its only NBA Conference Finals appearance without Jordan since 1975, as well as five separate postseason appearances during his “healthy” seasons.

Cleveland Cavaliers Mount Rushmore, LeBron James
LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers Mount Rushmore (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Brad Daugherty
  • Kyrie Irving
  • LeBron James
  • Mark Price

Just as Michael Jordan was the obvious choice for the Chicago Bulls, LeBron James receives that accolade with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s the only Cavalier player to win MVP or Finals MVP, and he led the franchise to the only championship in the history of its existence.

James is not only the greatest player in Cavaliers history, but he’s directly synonymous with the mere mention of the organization.

Next on the list is the player who helped James win that title: Kyrie Irving. Irving became Rookie of the Year, a two-time All-Star, and an All-Star Game MVP before James returned to Cleveland, and cemented his place in franchise history with a shot that deserves the overused title of, “Iconic.”

Irving played six seasons in Cleveland and helped the Cavaliers make the NBA Finals in three of them, delivering a title with all-time great performances in 2016.

Perhaps the most underrated player to make the Mount Rushmore is Brad Daugherty. Cavaliers fans fondly remember the big man, who scored upwards of 10,000 points in just 548 games—and also averaged 20 and 10 in each of his last three healthy seasons.

Daugherty’s crowning season arrived in 1991-92, when he led Cleveland to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history.

The fourth selection is the player who starred alongside Daugherty and revolutionized the pick and roll: Mark Price. Price is one of the purest shooters of all-time, as well as the innovator of splitting defenders on high screens.

Price also helped Cleveland push Jordan and the Bulls to six games in the 1992 Eastern Conference Finals—a feat unto itself.

Dallas Mavericks Mount Rushmore, Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki – Dallas Mavericks Mount Rushmore (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Dallas Mavericks

  • Mark Aguirre
  • Rolando Blackman
  • Derek Harper
  • Dirk Nowitzki

Much like Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls and LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dirk Nowitzki is a lock with the Dallas Mavericks. He’s the best player in franchise history, and there isn’t a debate worth having as of 2020.

Nowitzki is not only the only Mavericks player to win regular season MVP, but also the only individual in franchise history to secure Finals MVP—and the team’s all-time leading scorer.

The next name on the list is Rolando Blackman, who ranks amongst the most under-appreciated players in NBA history. Blackman was a four-time All-Star who helped Dallas make six postseason appearances, including a trip to the 1988 Western Conference Finals.

Blackman was the franchise’s all-time leading scorer for a period of 18 years until Nowitzki passed him, and he still happens to rank second on the list.

The third player on Dallas’ Mount Rushmore is one of Blackman’s best teammates: Mark Aguirre. A gifted scorer who averaged a franchise record 29.5 points per game in 1983-84, Aguirre ranks third all-time on the Mavericks’ scoring list.

Aguirre’s greatest achievement in Dallas came in 1988, when he led the team in scoring as they pushed the Showtime Lakers to seven games in the Conference Finals.

The fourth player on the list is the third from those famous teams of the 1980s: Derek Harper. Harper ranks third in franchise history in games played, as well as first in both steals and assists—while ranking fourth in points with nearly 13,000.

Michael Finley, Jason Kidd, and Steve Nash all made this difficult, but Harper’s 10-plus years proved to be the difference-maker here.

Denver Nuggets Mount Rushmore, Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony – Denver Nuggets Mount Rushmore (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Denver Nuggets

  • Carmelo Anthony
  • Alex English
  • Dan Issel
  • David Thompson

The Denver Nuggets’ Mount Rushmore features four of the most skilled scorers in NBA history. That all begins with Alex English. English ranks first in franchise history with 21,645 points in a Nuggets uniform, as well as No. 1 in assists, offensive rebounds, and games played.

Not to be confused with a player who posted empty numbers, English led Denver to nine postseason appearances and the 1985 Western Conference Finals.

Next on the list is the star of the Nuggets’ revival in the 2000s: Carmelo Anthony. Anthony led Denver to the Playoffs as a rookie in 2003, thus ending a drought that began in 1995—and he never missed the postseason a single time during the rest of his tenure.

Anthony famously led Denver to the 2009 Western Conference Finals, thus providing the Nuggets with their deepest run since 1985.

Joining the two greatest players in franchise history is Dan Issel. Issel led the Nuggets to the 1976 ABA Finals, which stands the test of time as the only time that Denver has been in the championship round of an ABA or NBA postseason.

Despite playing most of his prime with the Kentucky Colonels, Issel ranks second in Nuggets history in points with 16,589, and second in games with 802.

Rounding out the list is the man who inspired Michael Jordan: David Thompson. The man known as Skywalker was one of the sport’s original high-flyers, scoring with grace and style as he received back-to-back All-NBA First Team selections as the star of the Nuggets.

Nikola Jokic may one day give these players a run for their money, but as of now, it’s Anthony, English, Issel, and Thompson on the Mount Rushmore.

Detroit Pistons Mount Rushmore, Isiah Thomas
Isiah Thomas – Detroit Pistons Mount Rushmore (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Detroit Pistons

  • Dave Bing
  • Joe Dumars
  • Isiah Thomas
  • Ben Wallace

Isiah Thomas led the Detroit Pistons to back-to-back NBA championships in an era that included Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan. Let that simmer for a second and then try to argue that anyone else should be the first name mentioned here.

Thomas ranks first in franchise history in points, assists, and steals, and was both the engine and the heart and soul of the Bad Boys teams that put the franchise in the record books.

Playing alongside Thomas during those years was Joe Dumars, who actually won the franchise’s first Finals MVP award. Dumars is universally respected and praised as a lockdown defender who was never afraid of the big moment.

While this is limited to playing days, Dumars’ case could even be strengthened by the fact that he also constructed the championship team of 2004 as general manager.

Back on the court, you can’t talk about the Pistons without mentioning Dave Bing. Bing became a six-time All-Star in Detroit, additionally winning Rookie of the Year in 1967, the scoring title in 1968, and earning All-NBA First Team honors in both 1968 and 1971.

Bing also helped end a four-year postseason drought and starred alongside Bob Lanier when the Pistons made their push for prominence in the 1970s.

It was difficult to leave Lanier off of this list, as he may have been a better player than Ben Wallace. Wallace helped create the identity of the Pistons teams of the 2000s, however, which included a championship in 2004 and an NBA Finals appearance in 2005.

Wallace was also a four-time Defensive Player of the Year, which is tied for the most in NBA history with Hall of Fame center Dikembe Mutombo.

Golden State Warriors Mount Rushmore, Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors Mount Rushmore (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Golden State Warriors

  • Paul Arizin
  • Rick Barry
  • Wilt Chamberlain
  • Stephen Curry

The Golden State Warriors built a dynasty around the style and play of Stephen Curry. The offensive system revolutionized the NBA, as Curry displayed how the three-point shot could be used as much more than a momentum-swinging play.

Curry won two MVP awards and helped the Warriors win three championships, which easily solidifies him as a lock for the franchise’s Mount Rushmore.

Next on the list is the player who led the Warriors to a title in 1975: Rick Barry. Barry’s title run ranks amongst the most improbable in Association history, as the roster generally consisted of young players before their prime and journeymen beyond their own.

Throw in Barry’s five All-NBA First Team nods, his 1967 scoring title, and the Rookie of the Year award he won, and it’s impossible to leave him off of this list.

Third is Wilt Chamberlain, who needs no introduction—but let’s offer a reminder nonetheless. He averaged 41.5 points and 25.1 rebounds during his six seasons with the Warriors, winning MVP in 1960 and six of his seven scoring titles between 1960 and 1965.

Chamberlain would win his two championships elsewhere, but in an era run by Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics, he often made the Warriors the top competition.

The final inclusion on this list was difficult to pin down, as Paul Arizin, Kevin Durant, Chris Mullin, and Klay Thompson all battled it out. It was Arizin who led the Warriors to their first title under the NBA banner, however, and he also played 713 with the franchise to Durant’s 208.

It admittedly could’ve gone either way, but being that Arizin was the franchise’s original superstar, with two scoring titles to his name, he gets the nod.

Houston Rockets Mount Rushmore, Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem Olajuwon – Houston Rockets /

The Mount Rushmore of the Houston Rockets

  • James Harden
  • Elvin Hayes
  • Moses Malone
  • Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon is the greatest player in Houston Rockets history. With all due respect to a surging player on this list, it’s not really a close discussion. Olajuwon led the team to back-to-back championships and is one of the most revered centers to ever grace the NBA.

Olajuwon won NBA MVP, two Defensive Player of the Year awards, led the Rockets to the only two titles in franchise history, and even made a third NBA Finals appearance.

Joining him is another legendary center: Moses Malone. Malone won a pair of MVP awards while playing in Houston, both during the prime of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s career, and led the team to the 1981 NBA Finals—where he, like Olajuwon in 1986, pushed Boston to its limit.

Malone had a genuine case for being the franchise GOAT before Olajuwon got there, and should be safely on anyone’s Mount Rushmore for the Rockets.

Next on the list is Elvin Hayes, who adds to the list of legendary big men who wore a Rockets uniform. He won the scoring title as a rookie, led the league in rebounding the very next season, and made the All-Star Game in each of his first four seasons in Houston.

Hayes would return to and retire with the Rockets late in his career, which thus pushed him to fifth in scoring and second in rebounding on the franchise’s all-time list.

The fourth spot had competition, including Clyde Drexler, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, and Ralph Sampson. James Harden has done more than enough to find himself on Mount Rushmore, however, including two Conference Finals appearances and an MVP award.

Harden has also won three scoring titles, led the NBA in assists, and earned five All-NBA First Team nods—with a sixth potentially coming in 2020.

Indiana Pacers
Indiana PAcers (MATT CAMPBELL/AFP/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Indiana Pacers

  • Roger Brown
  • Mel Daniels
  • George McGinnis
  • Reggie Miller

The first name on this list is the greatest Indiana Pacers player in NBA history: Reggie Miller. Miller was a thorn in the side of countless legends, including Patrick Ewing and Michael Jordan, and ultimately became a legend himself because of it.

Miller scored nearly 3,000 postseason points to complement his 25,279 points in the regular season, and led Indiana to one NBA Finals and five Eastern Conference Finals.

The second name on this list ist he greatest Indiana Pacers player in ABA history: Mel Daniels. Daniels won two ABA MVP awards, three ABA championships, and made four All-ABA First Team appearances as a genuine icon of Indiana basketball.

Most remember the Pacers’ NBA years, but it was in the ABA that the Indiana became the winningest franchise of the 1970s—in either league.

Next on the list is George McGinnis. McGinnis won the 1975 ABA MVP award to put a bow on a Pacers career that also included two championships, 1973 ABA Playoffs MVP honors, and two consecutive All-ABA First Team selections.

Daniels is widely regarded as the greatest Pacer in ABA history, but McGinnis did more than enough to earn his place on the Mount Rushmore.

The last spot may be the most difficult, as both Roger Brown and Paul George have legitimate cases. Brown won three championships and was the 1970 ABA Playoffs MVP, and George was three-time All-NBA and three-time All-Defense while leading Indiana to two Conference Finals.

Players such as Ron Artest, Danny Granger, and Jermaine O’Neal were also considered, but it was ultimately George who got the nod.

LA Clippers
LA Clippers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Los Angeles Clippers

  • Elton Brand
  • Blake Griffin
  • Bob McAdoo
  • Chris Paul

The Mount Rushmore of Los Angeles Clippers basketball may forever begin with Chris Paul. When Paul was traded to the Clippers in 2011, he immediately revived a franchise that had been lying dormant for the better part of 41 years.

Others have since viewed the Clippers as a destination, but that never would’ve happened if Paul hadn’t led the team to six consecutive postseason appearances.

For perspective: The Clippers had made seven postseason appearances in the previous 41 years combined.

Second on the list is Blake Griffin, who starred right alongside Paul. He was the star of Lob City, as well as an underrated playmaker who could handle the ball, create for others, and score on all three levels despite not even being in his prime during their run.

Griffin battled injuries, but he was also a five-time All-Star, a four-time All-NBA honoree, and a Rookie of the Year award-winner.

Tracing the lineage of the Clippers back further, Bob McAdoo becomes an easy selection. He’s the only player in franchise history to win MVP, as well as the only Clipper—or, back then, Buffalo Brave—to win the scoring title.

Considering McAdoo won the scoring title in three consecutive seasons during Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s prime, that’s quite a feat.

The final name on the list is Elton Brand. For Brand, two All-Star Game appearances, an All-NBA nod, and leading the Clippers’ first postseason appearance in almost a decade was more than strong enough.

Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP via Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Los Angeles Lakers

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Magic Johnson
  • Shaquille O’Neal

Picking four players for the Los Angeles Lakers is close to impossible. Seriously, go ahead and try without second-guessing yourself at least 15 times. Thankfully, there’s a reasonable and undeniable starting point: Magic Johnson.

Johnson won three NBA MVP awards, three Finals MVP awards, and five championships—and he did so in the midst of rivalries with the likes of Larry Bird and Isiah Thomas.

Next on the list is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who helped make the Lakers a championship-level team again. He won three of his six MVP awards as a Laker, as well as five of his six titles, and received six All-NBA First Team selections along the way.

Abdul-Jabbar is in the GOAT discussion overall, and the winningest portion of his career was in purple and gold—undeniable factors.

Third on the list is Kobe Bryant, who played 20 unbelievable seasons with the Lakers. He won five championships, two Finals MVP awards, and one regular-season MVP, and was a 15-time All-NBA honoree with 11 First Team nods.

Throw in 12 All-Defense selections, two scoring titles, and some of the most incredible individual games we’ve ever seen, and Bryant is a lock.

The hardest part about the fourth selection is that there are three top-20 all-time players competing for one place. That list consists of 10-time All-NBA First Team honoree Elgin Baylor, three-time Finals MVP Shaquille O’Neal, and 12-time All-NBA selectee Jerry West.

With three consecutive championships to help define the Lakers’ resurgence as the most dominant organization in basketball, however, O’Neal gets the nod.

Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Memphis Grizzlies

  • Mike Conley
  • Marc Gasol
  • Pau Gasol
  • Zach Randolph

The Mount Rushmore of Memphis Grizzlies begins with two brothers. The first to make the list is Pau Gasol, who began his NBA career in Memphis and led the team to its first three postseason appearances—after the organization missed the playoffs in each of its first eight seasons.

Gasol would set a since broken record of 8,966 points as a member of the Grizzlies, also winning Rookie of the Year and making the All-Star Game.

Second on the list is Marc Gasol, who helped take Memphis to another level entirely. As the anchor of an elite defensive team, Gasol led the Grizzlies to seven consecutive postseason appearances and the three winningest seasons in franchise history.

Gasol won Defensive Player of the Year in 2012-13 and, facing criticism after defeating LeBron James for the award, led Memphis to the Western Conference Finals.

Playing alongside Gasol during that string of success was bully-ball power forward Zach Randolph. The Gasol brothers received the accolades, but Z-Bo has helped resurrect the Grizzlies as a franchise.

He was the steadying force who may not have jumped over many phone books, but set the tone for Memphis’ grind-it-out mentality.

Shareed Abur-Rahim was a big-time scorer and Mike Miller had some strong years, but the last spot goes to Mike Conley. Conley ran the show during Memphis’ most successful era and became the near-consensus choice for being the best player to not make an All-Star Game in the 2010s.

Memphis’ history is relatively brief, but the four players on the team’s Mount Rushmore could be there for many years to come—unless Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. say otherwise.

Miami Heat
Miami Heat (Photo by Christopher Trotman/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Miami Heat

  • LeBron James
  • Alonzo Mourning
  • Shaquille O’Neal
  • Dwyane Wade

Another player on this list may have more accolades, but any fan of the Miami Heat will tell you without pause that Dwyane Wade is the franchise GOAT. He not only won three championships in Miami, but put forth an all-time great performance to win the Heat their first-ever title.

Wade won Finals MVP, three titles, and made eight All-NBAs. He won a scoring title and ranks No. 1 all-time in points, assists, steals, and games played. In short: Wade is No. 1.

LeBron James comes in second with two championships, two Finals MVP awards, and two regular season MVP trophies with the Heat. That may give him a case for No. 1 in the eyes of those who aren’t Heat fans, but regardless, he’s on the list.

James only played in Miami for four seasons, but he did significant damage during his time as one of the Heatles.

Alonzo Mourning is the next Heat player to make the list as an individual who, for many years, was the heart and soul of the organization. He won two Defensive Player of the Year awards, made two All-NBA appearances, won a ring, and led Miami to the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals.

Doing all of this while battling back from a life-threatening kidney disease made Mourning a fan favorite who will always be held in high regard.

The final spot came down to three players: Chris Bosh, Tim Hardaway, and Shaquille O’Neal. All three had strong cases to make, but it was O’Neal’s arrival in Miami that helped propel the team into the realm of the contenders.

O’Neal was also All-NBA First Team in both 2004-05 and 2005-06, meaning his play on the court was as profound as his influence.

Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks (Photo by: Ron Kuntz Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Milwaukee Bucks

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Sidney Moncrief
  • Oscar Robertson

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar makes his second appearance on this slideshow with the Milwaukee Bucks. Before he was the star of the Los Angeles Lakers, the UCLA Bruins legend led the Bucks to the first and only championship in franchise history.

Abdul-Jabbar won Finals MVP during the 1971 championship season, as well as league MVP in 1971, 1972, and 1974.

Next on the list is the player who co-starred when Abdul-Jabbar and the Bucks won it all: Oscar Robertson. Another player who could be on the NBA’s Mount Rushmore, Robertson played four seasons in Milwaukee and undoubtedly made his mark.

After years of being heralded as the best player to never win a title, Robertson fittingly scored a game-high 30 points to close out the Bucks’ first championship win.

Up next is two-time Defensive Player of the Year and recently inducted Hall of Famer Sidney Moncrief. Moncrief’s peak was brief due to injury, but he was an All-NBA, All-Star and All-Defensive Team member in five straight seasons.

Moncrief also led the Bucks past Larry Bird’s Celtics and Michael Jordan’s Bulls in playoff series during Milwaukee’s underrated string of success in the 1980s.

Ray Allen was previously the fourth member of this Mount Rushmore, but that honor has since gone to Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo joined Abdul-Jabbar as the only Bucks player to win MVP in 2018-19, and added a trip to the Conference Finals to his résumé that same year.

Antetokounmpo is still young and early in his career, but he’s already solidified his place as one of the four greatest players in Bucks history.

Minnesota Timberwolves, Kevin Garnet
Kevin Garnett #21 of the Minnesota Timberwolves – (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Sam Cassell
  • Kevin Garnett
  • Kevin Love
  • Karl-Anthony Towns

It’s clear as a sunny summer day that Kevin Garnett is the No. 1 player in Minnesota Timberwolves history. He’s the franchise’s only player to win MVP. He also led Minnesota to eight consecutive postseason appearances from 1997 to 2004.

During the other 23 seasons in franchise history, the T-Wolves have made a grand total of one postseason appearance. Enough said.

Latrell Sprewell received consideration, but it’s Sam Cassell who emerges as the next name on the list. The three-time NBA champion became an All-NBA honoree in Minnesota, helping Garnett lead the Timberwolves to the Western Conference Finals in 2003-04.

It was the first and only time that the Timberwolves have made it beyond the first round of the NBA Playoffs—a bold enough statement on its own.

Next on the list is the player whom Garnett took under his wing: Karl-Anthony Towns. Playing alongside Jimmy Butler, Towns made the All-NBA Third Team after helping end a 14-year postseason dourght in Minnesota.

Towns is also one of the most statistically prolific big men in NBA history, recording averages of 22.7 points and 11.8 rebounds through five NBA seasons.

Although he never managed to end that postseason drought, Kevin Love is on the Timberwolves’ Mount Rushmore. He, like Towns, posted otherwordly statistics while giving the team a glimmer of hope as far as winning was concerned.

Love set an NBA record with 53 consecutive double-doubles, won the 2011 Most Improved Player award, and secured his place on this list.

New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the New Orleans Pelicans

  • Anthony Davis
  • Baron Davis
  • Chris Paul
  • David West

Chris Paul makes his second Mount Rushmore appearance as the man who effectively put the New Orleans Pelicans—then Hornets—on the map. He was a two-time assists and three-time steals leader during his tenure, as well as a three-time All-NBA honoree.

Most importantly: CP3 led New Orleans to a franchise-record 56 wins and its first postseason series victory in 2007-08, and even pushed the San Antonio Spurs to seven games.

Anthony Davis is the second player to have his face carved into the granite, owning three All-NBA First Team appearances and three seasons as the league-leader in blocks. Davis also led New Orleans to two postseason appearances, including its second-ever postseason series win.

Davis is the franchise’s all-time leader in points, rebounds, and blocks, as well as All-NBA First Team appearances—an easy way to find yourself on the Mount Rushmore.

Davis later passed him, but David West is another lock as the franchise’s former all-time leading scorer. He also led the Pelicans in rebounds before Davis broke that mark, and famously dueled with Dirk Nowitzki in the 2008 Playoffs—a series that New Orleans won.

West didn’t receive his flowers until he played for the Indiana Pacers, but he established his star-caliber level of play in New Orleans.

Baron Davis and Jamal Mashburn have strong cases for the final spot, but it’s instead Jrue Holiday who makes the cut. Davis was previously the pick, but Holiday has been with the organization for the past seven seasons—and was a legitimately dominant force in the 2018 Playoffs.

For those who forget, Holiday went up against Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and averaged 27.8 points and 6.5 assists on 56.8 percent shooting—thus helping New Orleans sweep Portland.

New York Knicks
New York Knicks (Photo credit should read MARK D. PHILLIPS/AFP via Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the New York Knicks

  • Carmelo Anthony
  • Patrick Ewing
  • Walt Frazier
  • Willis Reed

The Top 4 players in New York Knicks history are known and established. The order they’re ranked in changes, but the athletes included are rarely ever altered—with all due respect to Bernard King, who is firmly in the No. 5 spot.

The first name to be etched into Mount Rushmore is Willis Reed, as the only player in franchise history to win NBA MVP—or Finals MVP, which he won twice.

Joining Reed on Mount Rushmore is Walt Frazier, who ranks amongst the 10 greatest point guards in NBA history. A four-time All-NBA First Team selectee and six-time All-NBA honoree overall, Frazier got the job done on both ends of the floor—see: Seven All-Defensive First Team nods.

For those who want to argue against Frazier, remember: He posted 36 points, 19 assists, and seven rebounds in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals to give New York its first championship.

The third player on the list may be the most popular of all: Patrick Ewing. Ewing helped the Knicks make two NBA Finals appearances and led the team into unforgettable battles with Michael Jordan’s Bulls and Reggie Miller’s Pacers.

The Knicks made the Playoffs in 13 consecutive seasons with Ewing at the helm, and have been cursed by the basketball Gods ever since they traded him.

The last spot comes down to Anthony and King, which is a debate that could swing in either direction. King led the Knicks to multiple playoff series victories, as well as an iconic duel with Larry Bird in 1984, but Anthony’s seven seasons trump King’s three healthy years.

Anthony’s tenure didn’t end on the highest of notes, but helping end a seven-year postseason drought and leading the Knicks to their most wins in 18 years does the trick here.

OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder (Photo credit should read DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Oklahoma City Thunder / Seattle SuperSonics

  • Kevin Durant
  • Gary Payton
  • Jack Sikma
  • Russell Westbrook

The first member of this multi-name Mount Rushmore is Gary Payton. Payton led the Seattle SuperSonics to 67 wins and the 1996 NBA Finals, also winning Defensive Player of the Year and making nine All-NBA teams during his Hall of Fame career.

Payton also won two Olympic Gold Medals as a member of the SuperSonics, with his defense being a crucial contributing factor in both events.

Next on the list is Kevin Durant, who led the Oklahoma City Thunder to the 2012 NBA Finals. Durant won league MVP in 2014 and is one of just five players in NBA history to win at least four scoring titles—all of which were won in Oklahoma City.

Durant was also named All-NBA First Team in five separate seasons, as well as Rookie of the Year during the franchise’s last season in Seattle.

Next up is Russell Westbrook, who played 11 seasons with the Thunder. He won MVP in 2016-17, was the No. 2 player in Oklahoma City when it reached the 2012 NBA Finals, and earned eight All-NBA nods with the franchise.

Westbrook is also one of the most beloved figures in Thunder history, with fans revering him for his loyalty and intensity on the court.

It was difficult to leave Dennis Johnson, Shawn Kemp, and Gus Williams off considering their role in pivotal franchise success. The fourth and final spot, however, goes to seven-time All-Star Jack Sikma, whose combination of value to victory and longevity sealed the deal.

Sikma played nine seasons in Seattle and averaged 16.2 points, 14.8 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks when the SuperSonics overcame Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld in the 1979 NBA Finals.

That stands as this franchise’s only championship.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic(Photo credit should read TONY RANZE/AFP/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Orlando Magic

  • Penny Hardaway
  • Dwight Howard
  • Tracy McGrady
  • Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal kicks off this Mount Rushmore with his third(!) appearance. O’Neal has a genuine claim for being the Magic’s greatest player of all-time, as he led Orlando to the first NBA Finals appearance in franchise history.

O’Neal also made four All-Star Game appearances, three All-NBA teams, and won the scoring title during his time in Orlando—quite a résumé.

Perhaps O’Neal’s top competition for the GOAT title, Dwight Howard comes in as the other great center on the list. Howard won three consecutive Defensive Player of the Year awards during his time in Orlando, and made five straight All-NBA First Team appearances, as well.

Perhaps most importantly: Howard led the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals, defeating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers along the way.

The third player on the list is Tracy McGrady, who represented hope throughout the early 2000s. He won two scoring titles, made two All-NBA First Team appearances, and was All-NBA Second Team during the other two years he spent in Orlando.

McGrady’s average of 32.1 points per game in 2002-03 currently stands as the highest-scoring season by any player in Magic history.

The fourth and final player on the list is Penny Hardaway, who was a slew of career-shortening injuries away from being a Hall of Fame lock. Hardaway and O’Neal led the Magic to the 1995 NBA Finals, and Hardaway continued to play at an All-NBA level once O’Neal left.

Nikola Vucevic is quietly rising up the list of all-time Magic players, but as of now, these four are safe and secure on the Mount Rushmore.

Philadelphia 76ers
(Photo credit should read TOM MIHALEK/AFP via Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Philadelphia 76ers

  • Wilt Chamberlain
  • Julius Erving
  • Allen Iverson
  • Moses Malone

With all due respect to Charles Barkley and Dolph Schayes, this Mount Rushmore came down to four players—beginning with Wilt Chamberlain. Chamberlain led Philadelphia to the second championship in franchise history in 1967, and won three consecutive league MVP awards along the way.

Any time a player has three regular season MVP awards in one jersey, it’s safe to say that they’re going to be on that franchise’s Mount Rushmore.

Next on the list is Julius Erving, who left the ABA and hit the ground running in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite having five professional seasons of milage on him already, Erving won made five All-NBA First Team appearances and even won NBA MVP.

Erving also helped the 76ers win the NBA championship in 1983—the fourth time that Erving had led Philadelphia to the NBA Finals.

It’s only fitting that the next name on the list is the individual who was Finals MVP that season: Moses Malone. Much like Chamberlain and Erving, this is Malone’s second appearance on a Mount Rushmore—and perhaps his most awe-inspiring.

Malone won NBA MVP, Finals MVP, and the NBA Championship during a 1982-83 season that put the finishing touches on both he and Erving’s top-20 all-time résumés.

The fourth and final player on this list is Allen Iverson, who may have accomplished less than Schayes, but simply means too much to Philadelphia to omit. Iverson won MVP in 2000-01, led the 76ers to the NBA Finals, and won four scoring titles during his groundbreaking career.

Iverson also led the league in steals on three different occasions and has his culturally iconic No. 3 jersey retired by the 76ers.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns(Photo by MIKE FIALA/AFP via Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Phoenix Suns

  • Charles Barkley
  • Kevin Johnson
  • Steve Nash
  • Paul Westphal

The Phoenix Suns are one of the most important organizations in NBA history. In addition to being a contender in multiple decades, the Suns have consistently revolutionized offensive execution—including when Kevin Johnson led a duel-facilitator backcourt to multiple Conference Finals.

Compounded by his five All-NBAs the crucial role that he played in Phoenix reaching the 1993 NBA Finals, KJ is on the Mount Rushmore—and should be in the Hall of Fame.

On the topic of revolutionizing offense, Steve Nash is the next name to be added to the Suns’ Mount Rushmore. He won two NBA MVP awards and made five All-NBAs in Phoenix, including three First Team selections.

Nash also led the NBA in assists on five separate occasions and was a four-time member of the 50-40-90 club—plus, he led Phoenix to three separate Conference Finals.

The third inclusion could’ve been the first player mentioned: Charles Barkley, who has a strong stake to the claim of being Phoenix’s GOAT. Barkley won MVP in 1992-93, also leading Phoenix to the NBA Finals and pushing Michael Jordan’s Bulls to the absolute limit.

Barkley was named All-NBA during each of his four seasons in Phoenix, and averaged 26.5 points and 13.4 rebounds during 48 playoff games with the Suns.

The final spot came down to a select few stars, including Jeff Hornacek, Shawn Marion, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Paul Westphal. Hornacek, Marion, and Stoudemire may be more popular amongst the current genration of fans, but Westphal gets the nod.

Westphal was named to the All-NBA First Team on three separate occasions with the Suns and led Phoenix to the 1976 NBA Finals.

Portland Trail Blazers Mount Rushmore, Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers Mount Rushmore – Damian Lillard – . (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Portland Trail Blazers

  • LaMarcus Aldridge
  • Clyde Drexler
  • Damian Lillard
  • Bill Walton

Here’s a quick crash course on why Bill Walton is so highly regarded. In 1976-77, Walton led the Portland Trail Blazers to the first and only championship in franchise history. Along the way, he led a clean 4-0 sweep of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Los Angeles Lakers.

In 1977-78, Portland was 48-10 (.828) when Walton was injured—and went 10-14 the rest of the way, even losing its first series of the 1978 NBA Playoffs.

MVP doesn’t even begin to describe what Walton meant to Portland, nor how incredible a player he was.

Following Walton is Clyde Drexler, who may have the best career in Trail Blazers history when longevity is factored in. He led Portland to two NBA Finals appearances, only falling to iconic opponents in the Bad Boy Pistons and Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.

Drexler ranks first in Trail Blazers history in points, steals, games played, and minutes played, and made five All-NBAs during his Portland career.

Next on the Mount Rushmore is a player who’s rapidly climbing Portland’s all-time list: Damian Lillard. Lillard led the Trail Blazers to the Western Conference Finals in 2018-19, thus marking the franchise’s first appearance in that round in 19 years.

With multiple series-ending shots, four All-NBAs, five All-Star Game appearances, a Rookie of the Year award, and a ranking of No. 2 all-time in scoring, Lillard makes the cut.

At No. 3 in points, No. 1 in rebounds, and No. 4 in blocks in franchise history, the final player on the list is LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge was a three-time All-NBA honoree in Portland, as well as a driving force behind five different playoff appearances.

Lillard hit the biggest shot, but Aldridge was also Portland’s best player when it won a playoff series for the first time in 14 years in 2014.

Sacramento Kings
Sacramento Kings (Photo credit should read PAUL BUCK/AFP via Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Sacramento Kings

  • Nate Archibald
  • Jerry Lucas
  • Oscar Robertson
  • Chris Webber

Oscar Robertson is the greatest player in Sacramento Kings history and one of the 20 greatest players in NBA history. He was the first to average a triple-double over the course of a full season, as well as one of the NBA’s original dynamic playmakers.

A player who helped push the NBA into a new generation with his influential style of play and nearly flawless skill set, Robertson is the GOAT of Kings basketball.

Second on the list is Chris Webber, who made five All-NBA appearances as he led Sacramento to a franchise resurrection. Webber’s unique and well-rounded skill set enabled the Kings to build a free-flowing offense that emphasized ball and player movement around a gifted big man.

Webber was then trusted to shoot, pass, drive, or post, and made the most of those opportunities when he led the Kings to the Conference Finals for the first time in 21 years in 2002.

Third on the list is Nate Archibald—known to many as Tiny Archibald. Archibald led the NBA in both points and assists during the 1972-73 season, which is a feat that has yet to be duplicated.

Archibald also made three All-NBA First Team appearances during his Kings career and led the franchise to the Playoffs in 1974-75.

The final pick for Mount Rushmore is Jerry Lucas. Lucas won Rookie of the Year in 1964 and simultaneously began a stretch of five consecutive seasons with an All-NBA nod—including three on the All-NBA First Team.

There are other players to consider for this list, but Lucas was a pioneer of Kings basketball and the rational choice to round out this Mount Rushmore.

San Antonio Spurs Mount Rushmore, Tim Duncan
San Antonio Spurs Mount Rushmore – Tim Duncan – (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the San Antonio Spurs

  • Tim Duncan
  • George Gervin
  • Tony Parker
  • David Robinson

Tim Duncan is not only the greatest player in San Antonio Spurs history, but the No. 1 power forward in NBA history. He won five championships while anchoring a variety of systems that ranged from grind-it-out defensive schemes to modern motion offenses.

A two-time NBA MVP, 15-time All-NBA honoree, and 15-time All-Defense selectee, Duncan was class personified on the basketball court.

Second on the list is the player who preceded Duncan and later helped him win two titles: David Robinson. Robinson was a star unto himself, winning MVP in 1994-95 and Defensive Player in 1991-92—making him one of just four players to win the award.

Robinson may have gone down as the franchise GOAT if not for Duncan, and is one of the easiest additions to a Mount Rushmore thus far.

Third on the list is George Gervin, who truly doesn’t receive enough credit for the player he was. The Iceman won four scoring titles in San Antonio, making five All-NBA First Team appearances and an additional two on the All-NBA Second Team.

Gervin also led the Spurs to three separate Conference Finals appearances, thus proving that his all-time great scoring numbers carried substance.

Tony Parker made sense for the fourth spot as the more decorated player, but Manu Ginobili was the better and more valuable star. He selflessly accepted the role of sixth man and led one of the NBA’s elite second units, no matter who was placed around him.

Ginobili was also San Antonio’s go-to player in many crunch time situations, and has a strong case for being the best player during the entire 2005 NBA Playoffs—quite a counter to the 2007 Finals MVP award.

For what it’s worth: San Antonio won the title during Ginobili’s first season as a starter.

Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Toronto Raptors

  • Chris Bosh
  • Vince Carter
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • Kyle Lowry

Let’s address the most polarizing inclusion first: Yes, Kawhi Leonard is on the Mount Rushmore of the Toronto Raptors. Despite only playing one season in Toronto, Leonard helped orchestrate a number of firsts for the organization.

Leonard became the first Finals MVP in Raptors history when he led Toronto to its first NBA championship—and he was the team’s best player from beginning to end.

Joining him on that ride was the heart and soul of the organization: Kyle Lowry. Lowry has become a Raptors legend, making six All-Star Game appearances as he’s led the franchise to its most rewarding stretch to date.

Lowry guided the Raptors to the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals and posted 26 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds, and two steals when Toronto closed out its first title.

Before anyone else could shine in Toronto, however, it was Vince Carter who made the organization relevant. Air Canada made five All-Star Game appearances as a representative of the Raptors, and had the franchise a single shot away from the Eastern Conference Finals in 2001.

Carter is still regarded by many as the franchise GOAT, and although the debate is more valid than ever, he’s certainly on the Mount Rushmore.

Rounding out the list is Chris Bosh, who made sure the Raptors would continue to be relevant in the mid-to-late 2000s. He led the team to back-to-back postseason appearances in 2006-07 and 2007-08, and became the first player in franchise history to score at least 10,000 points.

DeMar DeRozan nearly made the cut, but he’s instead locked in at No. 5 as one of the greatest players to ever wear a Raptors uniform.

Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz(Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Utah Jazz

  • Adrian Dantley
  • Karl Malone
  • Pete Maravich
  • John Stockton

The Utah Jazz boast one of the greatest 1-2 punches in basketball history with Karl Malone and John Stockton. That all begins with Stockton, who ranks No. 1 in NBA history in both assists and steals—a statistic that truly requires no rebuttal.

Stockton was an 11-time All-NBA honoree, a nine-time NBA assists leader, and a two-time steals leader who’s on the shortlist in the, “Best point guard after Magic,” debate.

On the receiving end of many of those assists was Malone. Malone ranks second in NBA history with 36,928 points scored, with 36,374 of those points being scored in Utah. He was also a 14-time All-NBA honoree with 11 First Team nods—good for second all-time.

Considering Stockton and Malone led Utah to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances, it’s easy to see why they’d lead the charge on Utah’s Mount Rushmore.

Next on the list is Adrian Dantley, who won a pair of scoring titles and made six All-Star Game appearances in Utah. The Jazz won two playoff series with Dantley as the star player, thus displaying his ability to translate to the postseason.

With the only two scoring titles in franchise history and a series victory over Hakeem Olajuwon to his name, Dantley makes the Mount Rushmore.

The fourth and final player comes down three options: Rudy Gobert, Pete Maravich, and Deron Williams. Gobert has become a one-man defensive system that’s paved the way for multiple No. 1 scoring options to thrive, Maravich was a revolutionary playmaker, and Williams was briefly elite.

Maravich never led Utah to the team success it desired, but his pioneering ways helped introduce the Jazz to the NBA—and that shouldn’t yet allow him to be replaced by Donovan Mitchell.

Washington Wizards Mount Rushmore, Elvin Hayes
Hakeem Olajuwon, left, and Washington Wizards Mount Rushmore Elvin Hayes – (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Mount Rushmore of the Washington Wizards

  • Walt Bellamy
  • Elvin Hayes
  • Gus Johnson
  • Wes Unseld

In 1968-69, Wes Unseld joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to win MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season. 10 years after he was drafted, Unseld brought it all full circle when he delivered a championship to the Washington Wizards.

Heralded as tough, unselfish, and unfathomably competitive, Unseld is the best and greatest player in the history of the Wizards.

Joining Unseld on the Mount Rushmore of Washington basketball is the player who won with him: Elvin Hayes. Hayes also appeared on the Houston Rockets’ Mount Rushmore, but it was in Washington that he won an elusive NBA championship.

Hayes made six All-NBA teams with Washington, including three First Team appearances, to solidify his place in franchise history.

The next player included is Gus Johnson. Johnson played nine seasons with the team that was then known as the Baltimore Bullets. He was a five-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA Second Team honoree, and two-time All-Defensive First Team selectee.

Johnson averaged 17.5 points and 12.9 rebounds during his career with Baltimore, and earned his place on this Mount Rushmore.

There was competition for the final spot on this list, including Gilbert Arenas, Bradley Beal, Earl Monroe, and John Wall. Instead, it’s Walt Bellamy who makes the cut. Bellamy was an athletic and skilled center who entered the NBA when Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell were on top.

Despite the iconic competition, Bellamy pieced together a Hall of Fame career.

To date, Bellamy is the Wizards’ franchise leader in both points (27.6) and rebounds (16.6) per game.