Julius Erving once said that his 1983 76ers would best any team they went up against, including the Bulls, Celtics, or Lakers.
Julius Erving was heralded as one of the most exciting athletes in North American sports history when he burst onto the scene in the ABA. Of course, the merger between the NBA and ABA had him eventually going to the Philadelphia 76ers where he would showcase his talents to a wider audience.
However, Dr. J would come to realize that the competition in the NBA is much more stiff when compared to the previous league. While he did lead the Sixers to an NBA Finals berth in his first season there, his squad would get completely outclassed by Bill Walton’s revolutionary Portland Trailblazers.
The following seasons were marred with postseason disappointment when eventually, Julius Erving and company made the NBA Finals against a rookie Magic Johnson and his Los Angeles Lakers in 1980. They would go on to lose this series in 6 and would continue to get bested by the Lakers and Celtics.
Luckily for the 32-year-old Erving, his time in Philly would be rewarded as with the arrival of Moses Malone.
Julius Erving claimed his ’83 Sixers would best all-time squads.
Undoubtedly one of the greatest NBA interviewers of all time, Bob Costas got a stellar break down of Michael Jordan and his Bulls in 1996 not just from Magic Johnson but from Julius Erving and Larry Bird as well.
During this segment, all three NBA legends would talk about how their prime teams such as the ’85 Lakers and the ’86 Celtics would fare against these 72-10 Chicago Bulls. When it came to ‘The Doctor’, he very confidently said that not only would they beat the Bulls, but they would beat any other great team in league history.
“The team with Moses, which had the all-time best record, could’ve beaten any of these teams; the present day Bulls (’96), and we certainly proved ourselves against the Celtics and the Lakers.”
That 1983 Philadelphia 76ers team is certainly an all-timer for not just their roster having Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney, and several others but for their stellar journey through the season.
They finished the regular season with a 65-17 record, swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, and posted up 12-1 record in the postseason. The cherry on top would be Malone winning MVP.