Julius Erving takes swipe at LeBron James for starting superteam movement
The King is receiving a bit of criticism this week from The Doctor.
Retired NBA legend Julius Erving appeared this week on the “Posted Up” podcast with Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes. Erving named his top two all-time NBA teams, consisting of ten players in total. Surprisingly, Erving declined to list LeBron James at all.
“He’s the guy who led the charge in terms of superteams being put together when he put together a team in Miami,” said Erving of the four-time MVP 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.”
Erving named Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Elgin Baylor to his first all-time team. Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Karl Malone, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar appeared on Erving’s second all-time team.
The 71-year-old Erving obviously went all old-school with his picks, also declining to list players like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, and Stephen Curry. But the criticism of James as the pioneer of sorts of superteams is an interesting one.
The obvious counterpoint, which was raised by Haynes, is that it was very common for elite NBA teams to have three or four All-Stars well before James even arrived in the league. Erving was part of some of those teams too. In 1984 in particular, his Philadelphia 76ers had four future Hall of Famers in himself, Charles Barkley, Maurice Cheeks, and Moses Malone. They also had two other All-Stars in Andrew Toney and Bobby Jones.
In any case, Erving has made no secret of his disdain for the way that teams are loading the boat with talent these days. James is the latest player to get caught in his crosshairs.