Skip to main content

Julius Erving explains why he felt he was better than Michael Jordan

Julius Erving initially thought he was better than Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan going up against Julius Erving in his rookie season

Michael Jordan going up against Julius Erving in his rookie season

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.

Surpassing Dr.J

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?

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

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. 

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Remember when KCP played with an ankle monitor?

In terms of serving time, continuing to play games while in prison is not that bad.

jason-williams-jordan-lebron-min

Jason Williams shares who is the GOAT between Michael Jordan and LeBron James

The "White Chocolate" thinks one guy is the GOAT, while the other one would be his pick if he has a must-win game.

Bill-Russell

“As trophies are concerned, that was the highlight of my career.” — the heartwarming story behind Bill Russell's favorite trophy

The NBA will retire the No. 6 league-wide honoring Bill Russell. The story of his favorite trophy makes it clear why he's the first person ever to receive that honor.

Detroit Pistons guard Isiah Thomas and Utah Jazz center Karl Malone

Isiah Thomas on why Karl Malone was the "weak link" of the Utah Jazz

Isiah Thomas was referring to a particular instance when Karl Malone displayed his weakness at the free throw line.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

“I’m too old for that, man” — when Kobe Bryant gave up on defense during the twilight years of his career

Kobe Bryant once told fans sitting courtside in Madison Square Garden that he just wanted to chill because he was too old to get back on defense.

Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O'Nea

“I wish I was playing with these buttercups right now. It’ll be a slaughterhouse out there" —Shaquille O'Neal sounds off on today's NBA

According to Shaq, there's an apparent disparity in talent between the past generation and this current one

LeBron-James-Rob-Pelinka

Rob Pelinka’s big promise to LeBron James as contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers nears

The Lakers have been a bit trepid about making big roster moves recently, but they appear to have said what they needed to say to keep James in L.A.