Julius Erving is an NBA champion, two-time ABA champion, NBA Most Valuable Player, three-time ABA MVP, 11-time NBA All-Star, five-time ABA All-Star, Hall-of-Famer and a member of every NBA anniversary team (35th, 50th and 75th).
Dr. J is also 73 years old, so he's watched a lot of terrific players over the years.
Recently, Erving was asked by Joy DeAngela to name his 10 greatest players in basketball history, and his list surprised some people.
"I have five guys who are untouchable: Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor," Erving said. "That's my all-time best team. Everybody else has to be on the second team or the third team. I made this decision when I was 15 years old. I'm sticking with it now all these years later. There is no order. I think West and Robertson would be in the backcourt. Elgin Baylor would be in the frontcourt with Wilt and Bill Russell.
"The next group of guys would be Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Earvin 'Magic' Johnson, probably Karl Malone..."
Erving admitted that he and his son debate over his list, and struggled to name his 10th and final player.
"I always argue with my son where Tim Duncan belongs, and he's like, 'He belongs ahead of Karl Malone for sure!' I'm taking Karl Malone," Erving explained. "And that last position... I like Tiny Archibald."
Notably absent from Erving's list are current players like LeBron James and Stephen Curry. When DeAngela asked him about this, he explained his reasoning.
"He hasn't played long enough, he has to finish his career," Erving said, specifically talking about Curry. "Everybody I named there, their careers are finished."
This doesn't explain why a legend like Kobe Bryant isn't on the list. But Erving is entitled to his opinion, and it's good to see some older players whom younger fans may not be as familiar with getting some love. Check out DeAngela's full interview with Dr. J above.