In the age of the superteam, the Brooklyn Nets both fit in and stand out. With Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving as their Big Three, the Nets’ offense has proven to stack up against the best in NBA history.
But these modern-day NBA superteams, assembled in large part because of the substantial influence of their superstars, aren’t good for the game, at least according to one Hall of Famer.
ALL the latest Nets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Nets newsletter here!
Dr. J Takes Shot at LeBron
Julius Erving, the Nets and Sixers legend, made an appearance this week on the Posted Up podcast with Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes. Erving listed his top two all-time NBA teams, consisting of 10 players in total: five on his first team, five on his second team.
Erving’s all-time first team included Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Elgin Baylor. His all-time second team included Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Glaringly, Lakers star LeBron James failed to make the cut in Erving’s eyes — never mind the fact that LeBron has made 17 straight All-Star Game appearances and is a four-time NBA MVP, a four-time NBA champion and a four-time NBA Finals MVP.
Instead, what holds the most weight is how LeBron has gone about chasing greatness, at least in the mind of Erving.
“He’s the guy who led the charge in terms of superteams being put together when he put together a team in Miami,” Erving said of James. “He put together a team in Cleveland as well and put together a team in Los Angeles. He can pick his own team. I ain’t gonna pick his team.”
Follow the Heavy on Nets Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content out of Brooklyn!
Dr. J Ripped on Social Media
Predictably, Dr. J’s comments about LeBron and his exclusion of him on his all-time team was met with swift criticism on social media.
“Dr. J, this is ridiculous. Who cares if the GM puts the team together or the player does?” Kellerman said. “Dr. J was the best player in the ABA. He was an ABA MVP. He was an ABA champion. He was an ABA scoring leader. … He’s in that top, uppermost tier of greatest players ever. … (But) let’s look at that Sixers team [Julius Erving] won a championship with.”
Indeed, the 76ers starting lineup during the 1982-83 season, when they won the NBA title, included two other Hall of Famers in addition to Erving: Moses Malone and Maurice Cheeks. And Andrew Toney, another starter for the ‘82-83 Sixers, was a two-time All-Star.
“That’s a super team,” Kellerman said. “Multiple MVPs, multiple All-Stars. Who cares if the GM puts it together or if the player does?
“You can put any combination of players you want on the all-time team. Two guys have to be on every all-time team: Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Those guys are on every all-time team.
“But (Erving’s) first team, those are the guys (Erving) idolized growing up, because we mythologize those people. And the other guys are the guys he saw and played against toward the end of his career, and he respects them. And the new dudes, he doesn’t have the same feeling for.”