We all know Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever in the eyes of almost everybody that pays any attention to the basketball world. Of course, some people don't agree with that opinion, as they have different names in mind. But many times, his opponents and other players felt they were better than His Airness. It looks like the notorious Dr. J., known as Julius Erving, seems to be one of them.
Erving is widely known as one of the faces of NBA basketball of the '70s, as the athletic small forward was one of the best and most exciting players ever to watch. His athleticism and dunking ability were ahead of his time, as many people still consider Dr.J to be the best dunker of all time. He had a glorious career, notching 16 All-Star appearances, 4 MVP awards, 2 ABA championships, and 1 NBA championship, amongst many more accolades. But is that enough to put him in the GOAT discussion?
Dr. J. was recently on the Dan Patrick Show, as he was asked about his opinion on how he stacks up against MJ and told a fascinating story:
"In the beginning, you know it was interesting because uh when he (Jordan) came out of college and we actually me, he and Dominique Wilkins went to an event in Atlanta, Georgia, and it was a golf event we ended up getting in the gym and playing some basketball. So I saw what he had, but I also knew what I had and whatever, so you know it was like he was a junior version, uh but as you know time would tell the story, that's a six-time championship, five-time MVP or whatever he certainly surpassed my accomplishments."
Julius Erving, The Dan Patrick Show
The two greats have the utmost respect for each other. Jordan himself admitted how Erving inspired him while growing up because of his jumping ability, creativity, and grace, which significantly impacted how Jordan modeled his game.
It's hard to compare the two because they both had their unique career paths, as they played in different eras. Still, both of them have accolades and reputations to their name to be considered the best in NBA history, with MJ having an edge, because of his overall success and off the court impact on the game.