If you want NBA fans to completely lose it, there’s an easy way to do that, and it’s guaranteed to work because it’s one that has been tried, tested, and prescribed by no other than The Doctor himself — Julius “Dr. J” Erving.
In case you missed it, the NBA legend recently revealed his all-time top 10 NBA players, and as expected, people have some strong opinions about it like their lives depend on how much they approve of it. Stephen A. Smith of ESPN also had something to say about it. Although he recognized that Erving is entitled to his own opinion, especially when it comes to the very endeavor that made him a cultural icon, Smith went on to question the fact that Dr. J did not mention LeBron James, Stephen Curry, or any other active player.
For the record, here are the names on Erving’s list (in no particular order): Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, and Tiny Archibald.
“He didn’t choose any active players,” Smith said during a recent First Take episode. “He’s entitled to his own opinion, I just think he’s wrong. You cannot have an all-time top 10 list and LeBron James is out of it. I’ve got LeBron James as a top-two player all time. What do you mean he’s not on the list?”
Smith then brought up Curry’s name.
“You talk about Steph not being on the list. Steph has been in the league for over a decade, he’s got four championships. LeBron James has been in the league for 20 years. He played more years than most of the players Dr. J had on the list, so certainly experience is not an issue there.”
Dr. J. doesn’t have to explain himself, though. When it comes to potential back-and-forths, The Doctor is out.