David Thompson, Dominique, and Vince, they’re kind of in a class by themselves in terms of leaping and making the leaps very interesting because they could finish.Julius Erving, The BS Report with Bill Simmons
Julius’s argument isn’t solely based on who could’ve jumped the highest (Michael Jordan’s 48-inch vertical). Erving also looked at flashiness and who was the best at utilizing their leaping ability. Or, as he put it, who he would be ok being on the wrong side of a poster with.
Like if I was gonna get posterized by somebody, I could accept getting posterized by one of those three guys. Other guys — I’d be a little upset because I’m a shot blocker.Julius Erving, The BS Report with Bill Simmons
Erving was an elite shot blocker. As a 6-7 forward, he averaged 1.7 BPG over his 16-year ABA/NBA career, constantly being in the Top 10 in blocks. “As a shot blocker, you’re gonna get dunked on,” Dr.J explained. “So I got dunked on by a lot of people, but I blocked a lot of shots.”
As far as who had the craziest dunk on the Hall of Famer, Erving singled out a poster by Hakeem Olajuwon, which came after a bad foul call on The Dream’s dunk attempt few possessions prior.
I think I’ve purged it from my memory. Maybe Olajuwon — he caught me one time. I actually blocked his shot, and they called a foul. But he knew it was a clean block. So the next time, he came with a little ‘Moses Malone Mo Better,’ and I was like, ‘I need to get out of the way.’Julius Erving, The BS Report with Bill Simmons
The former Sixers’ legend didn’t get out of the way. True shot-blockers never do. It resulted in an embarrassing sequence for one of the best high-flyers in NBA history. But Erving could live with that.
Had it been one of the guys from his Top 3 list of the best leapers ever, dealing with it would’ve been much harder for Dr.J.