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“If Kareem couldn't...” — Julius Erving recalls telling Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, and Clyde Drexler who's the only player that could'vee possibly guarded Moses Malone

For Dr. J, only one guy might've defended Moses, “throwing an elbow, knocking some teeth out or whatever, but it wasn’t going to take Moses out of the game. He was going to get back up and hit him back.”
Philadelphia 76ers Julius Erving and Moses Malone

Julius Erving and Moses Malone

Have you ever wondered what NBA legends talk about whenever they meet? There’s a great chance your answer is correct because yes, they talk about basketball! Julius Erving shared a moment that reveals it's not just the fans who engage in endles theoretical discussions. 

The Hall of Fame debate club

As fans, we often see NBA legends cross paths during events and ceremonies. Most of the time, we see them pose for a couple of photos and sometimes have a little chit-chat. Surprisingly, Dr. J said that more often than not, those discussions weren’t just ordinary small talk as there’s always some sort of debate going on between these legends.

I happen to be friendly with Bill Russell, Clyde Drexler, Michael Jordan. And we go to different public events, and guys gather over in the corner, and you hear this noise…and you go over there, and it’s a basketball discussion,” Erving stated in 2015 via Bleacher Report.

Erving added that most of the time, they argue about, “could this team have beaten that team? Could that guy have guarded this guy?

Doc always had one answer when talking about Philly

Having been a key figure for the Philadelphia 76ers team that won the NBA championship in 1983, Erving takes pride in what he and fellow NBA legend Moses Malone have accomplished at the time. While Dr. J had always been one of the best players of his generation, it was Malone who dominated the competition that year, sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers and winning the NBA Finals MVP award. Of course, Erving always rubs it on his peers’ faces.

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As per Erving, when guys began making cases for other championship teams, he would shut them up by stressing “if Kareem couldn’t” guard Malone in ’83, undoubtedly, nobody else could have.

I just kind of look at them and say, ‘Well, who is going to guard Moses (Malone)?’ Forget about me and Andrew (Toney) and Maurice (Cheeks) and (Marc) Iavaroni and the supporting cast…Bobby Jones. You figure if Kareem couldn’t guard Moses, and he was the best player in the history of the NBA, then none of those other guys could have.

For Dr. J, “maybe” Shaquille O’Neal could get the job done. But then again, it’s just maybe.

Maybe Shaq, throwing an elbow, knocking some teeth out or whatever, but it wasn’t going to take Moses out of the game. He was going to get back up and hit him back,” he argued.

Indeed, Erving was right, as Malone was a beast during his playing years in the league. However, what remains a fact is that we can never say one player is better than the other, as every era is different.

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