Miami Heat forward LeBron James inadvertently made headlines recently when he said he hopes to be on the NBA's "Mount Rushmore" as one of the four greatest players in basketball history. That comment got SB Nation's NBA folks thinking about which players would make their teams' individual Mount Rushmores, and you can read their stories here.
James' comment also got me thinking about who might belong on the Orlando Magic's monument. It's pretty easy to determine the four greatest players in team history, after all: they are, in some order, Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway, Tracy McGrady, and Dwight Howard. But that answer raises some key questions. For one, is such a clear-cut answer to a complicated question even desirable? And further, ought the less-than-ideal circumstances under which those four men left Orlando count against them?
I can't help but feel like there's room on the Magic's Mount Rushmore for at least one player whose greatness doesn't rival that of O'Neal and company, but whose tenure with the team and connection with its fans elevates him above those four players. And if one believes that consideration to be valid, it opens up questions about which such player most deserves that honor: Bo Outlaw? Darrell Armstrong? Jameer Nelson? Each of those three has a strong case.
So too do non-players. Broadcaster David Steele, executive Pat Williams, and equipment manager Sid Powell have been with the Magic since their inception in 1989. Their longevity ought to count for something. And what of team owner Rich DeVos or other executives like John Gabriel and Otis Smith?
Ultimately, I find the question of who merits inclusion on the Magic's Mount Rushmore too complicated to answer in this space, despite the ease with which I determined the team's greatest players. That's why I'm opening the floor to you, Orlando Pinstriped Post readers: who are the four greatest players in Magic history, in your opinion? Would you put those same four players on the team's Mount Rushmore? If not, then who, and why? Please let us know your answers by commenting on this post.