In what he called his “personal opinion,” Hall-of-Famer Julius “Dr. J” Erving named three former ex-Lakers on his list of five best NBA players of all time.
“I decided on my five when I was 15 years old – that was Wilt [Chamberlain], [Bill] Russell, [Elgin] Baylor, [Jerry] West and Oscar Robertson,” Erving said Tuesday on Fox Sports Live.
Weirdly enough, Erving kept Kareem Abdul-Jabbar out of his top five list despite proclaiming him as “the best who ever played in the NBA.”
Erving had special affection for Baylor, who finisehd with 23,149 points, 3,650 assists and 11,463 rebounds. Baylor did so with various qualities, including a running bank shot, strong jumping and superior strength and footwork. Baylor became one of nine Lakers to have their jersey retired. He made 11 NBA All-Star Game appearances. Baylor averaged more than 30 points in three seasons and at least 20 in eight seasons. Baylor posted an NBA Finals record 61 points in Game 5 of the 1961 NBA Finals against Boston.
“Elgin Baylor was my favorite guy to watch,” Erving said. “He brought me out of my seat and made me want to run outside and try to do something that I wanted to do.”
Erving seemed highly talkative, showering praise toward LeBron James and Gary Payton, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame over the weekend. For Payton’s part, he listed Russell, Chamberlain, Erving. Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson in his top five. But Erving jokingly soured on one specific topic.
What did he make of Dwight Howard leaving the Lakers for the Houston Rockets?
“Who?” Erving said before laughing.
Safe to say Howard isn’t close to making Erving’s top five list anytime soon.
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