Julius Erving is, without a doubt, one of the most iconic players in NBA history, popularly known as ‘The Doctor’. Julius was a polarizing player, and a real high flyer who’s dunking ability is still unmatched. As an avid fan of basketball and someone who played against and watched numerous great players in his career, Erving weighed in on the topic of whether he would choose between the late great Kobe Bryant or LeBron James.
In an interview with David Friedman, Erving talked about several topics related to basketball and was asked about the never-ending debate if he is more a Kobe Bryant or LeBron James fan. Erving said the dynamic of their relationships is that Kobe carried the torch of being the best player in the league for a long time, and after that, it was LeBron’s time to take that torch.
Erving did share more details on the main things that separate Kobe from LeBron and concluding Kobe is more of a finesse player, while LeBron relies more on his physical attributes. He respects both of them quite a bit but believes Kobe has a more rounded game than LeBron.
“The years of experience, the fact that there is no substitute for that. In terms of his individual ability, he does things in a little bit more of a traditional sense to get it done. LeBron is kind of like a bull in a china shop. He is a fantastic talent. I don’t think he knows how good he is. Looking at him coming full speed at 270 pounds, that is like Shaq playing point guard. It’s like, ‘All you little boys need to move out of my way.’ But, the combination of offense and defense, finesse and power, Kobe is the package.Julius Erving, via David Friedman
Erving is convinced LeBron is also aware that Kobe had a more polished game even though their egos wouldn’t allow them to admit such a thing.
“I think that LeBron would probably admit that. Well, maybe because of their egos, neither one would admit anything! But, that is part of it, don’t give anybody any quarter or do anything that will put you at a disadvantage.”Julius Erving, via David Friedman
Throughout his entire career, Kobe worked extremely hard to expand his game and perfect it every possible way. LeBron, on the other hand, often relied on his unbelievable athleticism and physical strength. However, in the last few years, you can see LeBron expanded his game as well, predominantly shooting from the three-point land. Opposing teams used to leave him convinced he would miss more than he would make, but that is no longer the case. In the last finals runs with the Lakers, he showcased he is still the best player in the NBA, using his basketball IQ and athleticism in the right way, which was one of the main reasons for the Lakers’ success last season.