Julius Erving has had the same five best players of all time ever since he was 15. He’s not changing it now for the modern game.
“I have five guys who are untouchable — Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, and Elgin Baylor. That’s my all-time best team. Everybody else has to be on the second or third teams, and 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, Ervin ‘Magic’ Johnson, probably Karl Malone. 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 and that last position… I like Tiny Archibald.”
He’s Dr. J, a Hall of Famer and Philly legend, and we won’t argue his list. Baylor may be the star player most underrated by modern fans, who don’t always understand he was the first to popularize playing above the rim. Karl Malone over Tim Duncan may not be the call I would make, but one can argue it, at least. No active players? I think we have reached the point in LeBron’s career where there is a large enough body of work to say he is top 10 all-time. But it’s Dr. J’s list, and if he wants the also underrated Tiny Archibald on there, so be it.
It’s definitely a deviation from the standard, but it’s an interesting top 10.