Julius Erving Includes Lakers Greats Like Magic Johnson & Kareem Abdul-Jabbar On All-Time Top-10 List But Not LeBron James & Kobe Bryant
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA has hit the doldrums of the offseason when free agency has all but ended and teams and personnel are off enjoying their break before the beginning of the 2023-24 season.

Most rosters have already been settled, with just a few notable moves left to be made. Fans have eagerly been awaiting any updates on trades involving stars like Damian Lillard and James Harden, though it looks like there has been no movement on those situations either.

At this point of the year, it’s common for people to begin debates about players and their standing in league history. The GOAT debate is a never-ending discussion that always riles up fans, but there are also those who get up in arms when someone puts out an all-time list.

For example, NBA legend Julius Erving was recently interviewed by Joy De’Angela and rattled off his all-time top-10 list of players. Suffice to say, he raised plenty of eyebrows when he named who he did and perhaps more importantly who he left off:

Erving started off with Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, in no order. He then named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Karl Malone before rounding his list with Nate Archibald.

The Los Angeles Lakers are well-represented with Chamberlain, West, Baylor, Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson, but Erving curiously left off players like Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Erving has a clear bias for players who played in his era, and when asked about why he left off any current players he said that they needed to finish their careers first.

Using his criteria, there are strong arguments to be made for O’Neal’s and Bryant’s inclusion on the list. Once James retires, he should also be a shoo-in considering what he’s managed to accomplish in his illustrious career.

Players will judge their peers differently, especially across eras. James Harden paid homage to O’Neal, Bryant and James in his all-time starting five, so Erving is just doing the same thing.

Tyronn Lue Says 2001 Lakers are greatest team of all time

When it comes to all-time teams, the Lakers also have a case for one of their own. Tyronn Lue was a member of the 2001 squad that infamously mailed in the regular season just to dominate the playoffs. Lue believes the 2001 iteration of the purple and gold is the greatest team of all time and they certainly have a case.

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