Julius Erving on the G.O.A.T. debate: ‘I stay away from it…my all-time greatest player is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read

One of the most common conversations that NBA fans have about players is who the greatest of all time is.

Fans simply love to compare and contrast players in terms of what they did on the court, achieved on a personal level and managed to accomplish for their respective teams. What is especially interesting, however, is when it is not a fan weighing in on the debate, but rather a current or former NBA player himself.

Going one step further, it is even more exciting when that former player is considered to be one of the greatest to ever don an NBA uniform. That rare but exciting circumstance was certainly at play when legend Julius Erving weighed in on the debate.

While he admitted that he doesn’t find much value in the debate, he did shine a light on who his greatest of all time is. Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar came in with top honors.

He also weighed in on the LeBron James versus Michael Jordan debate, and he deduced that the comparison can’t really be made yet because James is still playing.

When it comes to Abdul-Jabbar, his personal and team accolades seem to resemble an NBA 2K career more closely than an actual NBA career.

The accomplishments are so great and numerous that it is somewhat hard to believe they’re real.

In 20 seasons in the league, he averaged 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.6 blocks per game. He is a 19-time All-Star, six-time champ, six-time league MVP, two-time scoring champ and two-time Finals MVP.

Unsurprisingly, he’s now a member of the Hall of Fame.

When looking at those numbers, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would name another player other than Abdul-Jabbar as his or her G.O.A.T. As it turns out, one of the things that works against older players the most is that fans say the league was somehow easier to dominate back then.

That’s why it’s so great getting insight from a player like Erving. His knowledge the game, how it’s changed and how it hasn’t is priceless. If he says Adbul-Jabbar is the greatest of all time, fans would do well to listen.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.