When NBA fans debate the all-time greats, there are a few names that are put on the list without any discussion.
Michael Jordan. Wilt Chamberlain. Magic Johnson. Oscar Robertson. LeBron James.
Yeah. About that last one.
Hall of Famer Julius Erving was on the Posted Up Podcast with Chris Haynes, and the 16-time All-Star was asked to assemble his all-time great NBA roster.
He did not have James on the first team. Dr. J’s all-time starting five is Robertson, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Chamberlain and Bill Russell. (No Magic or MJ on the first team?!? Moving on …)
His second team? Jordan, Magic, Larry Bird, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Without being asked, Erving explained why he left James off his all-time roster.
“He was a guy who led the charge in terms of ‘super teams’ being put together,” Erving said, citing James pulling strings to assemble talent in Miami, Cleveland and Los Angeles to win championships.
“He can pick his own team, I ain’t going to pick his team," he said with a laugh.
Haynes argued that “super teams” existed long before James entered the NBA.
“They were drafted and picked by management. Players weren’t picking their own teams,” Erving replied. “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.”
While it’s true that James orchestrated other big-name players to join him in the quest for titles, there is one constant on LeBron James' “super teams.” And that’s LeBron James.
The man has taken his team to the NBA Finals ten times, winning four championships. Four MVPs. Four NBA Finals MVPs.
Everyone is welcome to their opinion, but leaving James out of any list of all-time NBA greats is a tough sell, even for NBA royalty.