On a recent podcast appearance, Julius Erving revealed how a young Michael Jordan was successful in carrying the NBA’s torch.
Michael Jordan is easily one of the greatest players the league has ever witnessed. Apart from being one of the most impactful players, Mike was considered a basketball god. Till today, fans rave about his insane gameplay and achievements.
It was because of Michael that the Chicago Bulls franchise is one of the greatest dynasties in history. Of course, with the help from stars like Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, MJ helped the Bulls be the most dominant team in the 1990s. Winning two successful three-peats, finishing a season with a flawless 72-10 record, there was virtually nothing that the Bulls hadn’t achieved because of their leader.
With 14 All-Star appearances, 10 Scoring titles, 11 All-NBA selections, 6 NBA championships, 6 Finals MVP and 5 league MVPs under his belt, MJ has one of the most decorated resumes in NBA history to rightfully claim the GOAT title.
“I always liked Michael Jordan and felt he had a lot of respect and admiration”: Julius Erving
It didn’t take Mike long enough to dominate the league when he stepped on the hardwood. In fact, in only his first season, as a young 21-year-old, His Airness torched the league night in and night out, averaging an incredible 28.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists.
Julius Erving was one of the many superstars who a young MJ dropped numerous buckets on at will. Even though His Airness has a 2-6 losing record against Dr J, Mike outscored (27.9-20.4), out-assisted (5.3-3), out-stole (2.9-1.4), and tied Erving in rebounds (4.6-4.6) in the 8 duels the two legends had.
Recently, Dr J made an appearance on the “Knuckleheads” podcast where he was asked about being Jordan’s favourite player. Right then, Erving spoke about Mike’s early days, a funny exchange the two shared on the court and the time Mike carried the torch.
“MJ and I played against each other — there were three years where we overlapped. I caught him before he really hit his stride. He was scoring a lot of points, but he was trying to find himself. Find the right mix of teammates. There were a lot of things going on during that time.”
“It was funny, because I remember one time he came down and dunked on our whole team … and then I went down and dunked on his team. So I’m looking at him, and he’s looking at me. And he was like … ‘I can do it again, you know?’ And I was like, ‘Alright, well, I only get one shot at it and I made it!’ But it was fun. Those years where we overlapped, I always liked him and felt he had a lot of respect and admiration. He was going to carry the torch, and he certainly desired to do it. He did a hell of a job at it.”