SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Hall of Famer “Dr. J” Julius Erving included former Utah Jazz superstar Karl Malone on his All-Time NBA Second Team.
Erving, the former Philadelphia 76ers legend compiled his own list of the two best teams in NBA history which included Malone, the NBA’s second all-time leading scorer.
In addition to being the only Jazzman on the list, Malone is the most contemporary player to earn the honor from Dr. J. Among those to earn the honor, only Malone and Michael Jordan played into the 2000s.
Erving’s first team included guards Oscar Robertson and Jerry West, forwards Elgin Baylor and Bill Russell, and center Wilt Chamberlain.
His second team included a backcourt of Jordan and Magic Johnson, forwards Malone and Larry Bird, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at center.
The list wasn’t without controversy, however. Not only did Erving leave Jordan, arguably the greatest player in NBA history off of his all-time first team, he neglected to include LeBron James on either list.
Erving explained to Chris Haynes why he chose to leave James off the list.
“He’s the guy who has led the charge of super teams,” Erving said.
While it’s true James has had more than his share of superstar teammates, from Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in Cleveland, to Anthony Davis in Los Angeles, he’s far from the first player to win a championship surrounded by Hall of Famers.
Robertson won his lone NBA title alongside Abdul-Jabbar and All-Star Bob Dandridge. West won his only championship on a roster that included Chamberlain. Russell, Johnson, Bird, and Jordan all played alongside multiple Hall of Famers en route to their championships.
Malone who never won a ring joined a Lakers squad that included Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Gary Payton in hopes of winning a ring long before James left Cleveland for Miami.
Even Erving, whose lone NBA title came in with the 76ers in 1983 played alongside Hall of Famers Maurice Cheeks, Bobby Jones, and Moses Malone.