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Julius “Dr. J” Erving thinks Lebron James is the king of super teams, which is why he didn’t include the Lakers star on his own “super team.”
The Hall of Famer made waves on social media on Wednesday, when he assembled his all-time NBA roster as a guest on the “Posted Up” Podcast with Chris Haynes.
Erving’s all-time starting five includes obvious names: Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. Though, some would argue Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson’s absence.
His second team features Jordan, Magic, Larry Bird, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Erving then took it upon himself to explain James’ absence in his all-time roster, as if he knew the backlash was already brewing.
“He was a guy who led the charge in terms of ‘super teams’ being put together,” Erving said, noting how James had a role in recruiting talent to Miami, Cleveland and Los Angeles — all of which ended in championships with James leading the way..
“He can pick his own team, I ain’t going to pick his team,” Erving said, laughing.
In response to a hypothetical argument from James that “super teams” have “always existed,” Erving hit back and said that it wasn’t the players who were pulling strings before James got to the league.
“They were drafted and picked by management. Players weren’t picking their own teams. They didn’t have the clout. Like when Kareem got traded for four players from Milwaukee to Los Angeles, that was management’s deal. That wasn’t his deal.”
The internet came down hard on Erving’s all-time list and his logic behind it — arguing that James has dragged “garbage teams” to the NBA Finals, including in 2017 when the Warriors crushed James’ underdog Cavs in a 4-1 series.
While he’s likely unfazed by Erving’s snub, James’ resume speaks for itself.
James — who’s vying for back-to-back championships with the Lakers, once he returns from a high ankle sprain — already has four rings, four MVPs, four NBA Finals MVPs and 16 All-NBA selections (13 first-team selections).
Despite Erving’s argument, it’s quite common in today’s NBA that championship teams have multiple stars.
For example, as fans pointed out, Kevin Durant won two championships with the Warriors in 2017 and 2018 when he joined forces with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. He’s currently chasing a third ring in the east with the No. 1 seeded Nets, alongside a deep roster that includes NBA champion Kyrie Irving and 2018 NBA MVP James Harden.
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