Hall of Famer Julius Erving Explains When He Felt He Was Better Than Michael Jordan

Published 03/11/2021, 11:22 PM EST
Chicago Bulls All-Star forward # 23 Michael Jordan file photos. (Photo by Tom Berg/WireImage)


Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest player to ever grace the basketball court. Be it his insane athleticism or his out-of-the-world scoring, Jordan was the face of the NBA in the 1990s.

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But for players like Jordan and Magic Johnson, there was one name they looked up to, Julius Erving. A 6’7″ forward, Dr.J primarily played for the Philadelphia 76ers and had a host of individual accolades.

Julius Erving reveals the moment he felt he was better than Michael Jordan

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The 16-time All-star recently made an appearance on the Dan Patrick show. When the 71-year-old was asked whether for once he considered himself better than Michael Jordan, Dr. J shared an interesting anecdote.

“In the beginning you know it was interesting because uh when he came out of college and we actually me, he and Dominique Wilkins went to an event in Atlanta, Georgia and it was a golf event we ended up getting in the gym and playing some basketball.”

“So I saw what he had, but I also knew what I had and whatever so you know it was like he was a junior version uh but as you know time will tell the story, that’s a six-time championship, five time mvp or whatever he certainly surpassed my accomplishments.”

While Dr. J remains one of the most influential basketball players ever, Jordan certainly surpassed the legend from an individual standpoint, winning six championships and even becoming the league MVP five times.

How influential was Doctor J in the NBA?

The ABA was the biggest competition to the NBA in the 1970s. With a different approach to basketball, the ABA had its host of flashy basketball players. But arguably the biggest star the league had was Doctor J.

Despite being only 6’7″, Erving was one of the most dominant players in the 1970s and early 80s. He displayed a skill-set never seen before and even made dunking the ball cooler.

Understandably, players like Michael Jordan and Grant Hill grew up idolizing Dr.J. MJ even spoke about Erving once.

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“First person I saw was Julius Erving in the NBA. He brought so much creativity to the game. Under the hand against the Lakers, we behind the basket, we all try to do it once he did it. I guess I would have never had those visions. If I hadn’t seen Dr. J in his time.”

“He above the rim, around the rim, and underneath. You know, he did a lot of different things and you have to give credit to the doctor.”

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Dr. J certainly left his mark in the league. In the 16 seasons he played, he became a 3-time champion, 4-time MVP, and even became a 3-time scoring champion.

The 71-year-old certainly left his mark on the game and remains one of the most influential players the league has ever seen.

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Aditya Mohapatra

1186 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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