Miami Heat forward LeBron James prior to the game against the Phoenix Suns at the US Airways Center. Photo by Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
LeBron James says he has no doubt he will be regarded as one of the top four all-time greats in basketball by the time his career is over.
"I'll be one of the top four that has ever played this game, for sure," the Miami Heat forward told nba.com ahead of Sunday's National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star game to be played in New Orleans.
Asked to name the quartet he felt should be on the NBA's version of Mount Rushmore, the tribute to four U.S. presidents, James nominated Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls), Larry Bird (Boston Celtics) and Magic Johnson (Los Angeles Lakers).
After thinking for a few seconds, James then added Oscar Robertson as the fourth. Robertson, nicknamed "The Big O", played for the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks in the 1960s and 1970s.
Asked whether he believed he would eventually be ranked in that top four, James replied: "Yeah ... and if they don't want me to have one of those top four spots, they better find another spot. We got to bump somebody."
James, 29, who has won two NBA championship titles with the Heat, declined to say which of the four players should get "bumped" to give him a berth.
A 10-time All-Star, James has averaged 27.5 points per game with a shooting percentage of just under 50 from the field after a decade in the league with the Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture of four U.S. presidents carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. The presidents are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
(Reporting By Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Larry Fine/Mark Lamport-Stokes)