Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Doctor Julius Erving

While listening to the radio, I chanced upon an interview with Dr. J, who won an NBA championship in 1983.

He was asked who was the greatest basketball player ever. Interestingly enough, his answer was that for pure consistency, he would have picked Kareeem Abdul-Jabbar.

Wow. I almost had been swayed by everyone else on Michael Jordan’s performance. But Dr. J said he would start building at center.

1 comment:

Randy said...

Basketball has changed a lot since Kareem's time. Think about it: who were considered the greatest players pre-1975? Kareem. Wilt Chamberlain. Bill Walton. Bill Russell. All big men. That's because the NBA's rules favored big men, and offenses almost exclusively ran through them. Guards took lower-percentage outside shots, and if they dared to go inside they got KILLED by the big men.

But in the 1980's you saw the NBA adopt the 3-pt line, and suddenly the outside shooter became a viable offensive option. Combine that with the wider free throw lane (which, because of the three-second rule, forced big men farther from the basket), and suddenly the point guard became the facilitator of the offense. Kareem was great, but even a UCLA homer like myself has to admit that Jordan is the master of the modern game.