In an interview with Bill Simmons, NBA legend Julius Erving talked about his favorite team for a pick-up game but also his all-time favorite starting lineup.
When it comes to picking a squad for a pick-up game, Erving will go with most of the players he played with during his time with the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers were a powerhouse in the NBA, predominantly in the first part of the ’80s. Erving also won a championship with the team in the season 1982/83 after a dominant regular season and the playoffs. He would pretty much go with the same team, except he would add Charles Barkley in the mix playing the power forward.
I would start with Moses Malone. In a pick-up game, Moses would beat the crap out of any center; maybe Wilt would have a chance. In terms of a man in the paint, nobody is like him. I could take Barkley, he is my power forward. I’ll probably let Cheeks run the show. I’m taking my guys if it’s a pick-up game. And Andrew Toney is my fifth guy.Julius Erving, Bill Simmons Podcast
When it comes to his all-time favorite starting five, the story is a bit different, and Erving names most of the players who made their mark in the league during the ’60s. Erving is convinced a team comprised of these legends would not lose a game against any team in NBA history.
You got Wilt, you got Russell, you got Baylor, you got West, and you got Oscar Robertson. That’s it. Put those guys on the court against anybody, and they would win. That’s my team, and that will always be my team.Julius Erving, Bill Simmons Podcast
Suprinsgly enough, Erving didn’t insert Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, or Larry Bird into this team and had a good reason for that. Erving was always known for sportsmanship and believed all three of these guys did a lot for the game of basketball, but the other five legends are his all-time favorite team.
Magic, Michael, Bird. I loved what they did for the game. I love their talent, they blessed ability, but I picked my all-time team a long time ago. I’m really old-school in that way that won’t change. Nobody moves in on that team, and that’s my team.Julius Erving, Bill Simmons Podcast
Erving’s choice when choosing his favorite starting five is quite an interesting one, and there is no doubt that squad would be hard to beat, especially in a seven-game series. These debates, whether a team from a particular era, could beat another one or be as equally successful are difficult. Still, it’s always interesting to hear what NBA legends think about when discussing this topic.