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  • in my childhood and my youth, he may have been the most beloved athlete in the United States.

  • And pretty much everyone who has played basketball since he did idolizes him.

  • The one the only Dr J.

  • Julius Irving is with me here on ESPN radio.

  • Good morning, Dr J.

  • Good morning, Greeny.

  • How are you today?

  • Listen, if you had told me when I was a kid that someday I would say good morning to you when you would call me greeny, I would have said I'm gonna have the best life of anybody.

  • Well, so there we go.

  • You know, I told the story earlier, by the way, about you today that I don't know if if I ever had a chance to tell you, but I'm sure you haven't heard.

  • In 2000 and eight, when I was hosting Mike and Mike, we had the two presidential candidates at the time, Then Senator Obama and Senator McCain on the show, and we we made it.

  • We didn't want to show any favoritism, so we asked them all the same questions and one of the questions we asked Waas, who was your favorite athlete growing up, and Senator McCain said.

  • Ted Williams and then Senator Obama said, You Julius Erving, Have you ever had that conversation with him?

  • I have.

  • You know, I've had the privilege.

  • It was actually in 2016, and my family and I, my attorney and my nephew visited President Obama in September of 2020 16.

  • And, you know, I presented them with a a assigned Converse shoe, which which she enjoyed receiving.

  • Uh, you know, and he presented me with the story of being one of his heroes when he was growing up.

  • That touched me in a very special way because, you know, it's not something you know, people just talk about every day.

  • And it's not something that it happens to.

  • You know, a person regarding a president of the United States, especially one you know, who had who had eight years in office and did the bang up job that he did?

  • Yeah, it's got to be something.

  • I mean, it's one thing for Michael Jordan to say he grew up idolizing you.

  • It's another thing when the president of the United States says I grew up idolizing you, the great Dr James with me, all right, so they put a bunch of stats up here for me and and most of them I don't need.

  • So the 1983 sixes.

  • We'll get to today's game in a minute.

  • But I like talking to guys like you about when you play.

  • So the 1983 Philadelphia 70 Sixers, legendarily known as the Foa Foa Foa Sixers with You and Moses and Mo Cheeks and I've Baroni and Andrew, Tony and Bobby Jones and on and on I have said many times, is not remembered enough because for one season I thought you were the best team I ever saw.

  • And people because the Celtics and the Lakers at that time and then the Bulls a generation later, won multiple titles.

  • When people talk about the best teams, they don't tend to mention that.

  • But for one, would you take your chances with that team for anyone season against any team that has ever been assembled?

  • Well, of course I would, you know.

  • I mean, I grew up idolizing the guys who came before me.

  • Bill Russell on 11 championships in 13 years.

  • Phenomenal.

  • Oscar Robertson, the big old you know, even though he only had the the one championship in Milwaukee when he was playing with Kareem Abdul Jabbar or whatever.

  • Still pound for pound, Probably probably the best of the best on.

  • And you know, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor.

  • Well, Chamberlain, you know, I'm never going to, uh, really put anybody ahead of those guys when I picked my all time team.

  • I mean, you know, I love watching LeBron and Magic and Larry Bird, Kareem and Moses.

  • But, you know, when I was 15 years old, I said, It's West Baylor, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain.

  • Uh, you know, next week I'll be 71.

  • That's still my team.

  • That's my first teen.

  • Everybody else starts with becoming the sixth man 6 to 10, 11 through 15.

  • You know, I you know, one of those guys, one of those principal guys, you know, principles guide you values.

  • So I So I value that team more more than any other.

  • And you know, that's an all star team.

  • When it comes to teams that got out there and won the championship, nobody's gonna be 12 and one, you know.

  • I mean, it was foe foe foe and one loss to Milwaukee, which was our nemesis and wear not that man at that situation.

  • But nobody's gonna be 12.

  • And when I think the Bulls was 16 to and they're probably a few others who have lost three games or four games or whatever, but, you know, until somebody beats 12 and one, they should put us into the number one spot.

  • You guys were awfully good.

  • The doctor is with me.

  • Julius Erving.

  • Let me ask you this when we talk about great players now, a big part of the conversation is how maney rings they have, how many championships that is such a huge part off the way we identify and, uh, judge value the greatness of players.

  • What do you think of using that is part of the evaluation of the players greatness?

  • Do you think it's the championship?

  • Should be as important as they seem to have become when we evaluated players Greatness?

  • Well, I think ultimately, you know you have to have the crowning moment.

  • You know, where you're a champion as Faras champion, multiple times being the determining factor in team sport.

  • You know, it's a little different than golf and and tennis, you know, and golf you could win, you could win a major tournament.

  • And it takes you Thursday to Sunday to win a major tournament on basketball.

  • You know, it takes you September to June, uh, Thio, claim the major, and then you need 11 other guys who are in sync with you.

  • You know who make it.

  • You know, who make it a reality.

  • S o.

  • I think, you know, in team sports, you know, we are, We are groomed and we're trained.

  • And we're, you know, we're focused on the ultimate prize.

  • Uh, used to be a lot more so back in the day than now.

  • I mean, I see.

  • I see the celebration now on, you know, I remember.

  • Yeah, I might do something spectacular, but I wouldn't dare celebrate until riding the bus back to school If we won the game, if you didn't win the game, you just get on the bus and shut up.

  • It's like, all right, we got practice and we got practice when we get back, or we got practice the next day or whatever.

  • There was known, uh, premature, uh, celebrations.

  • And now they're celebrations.

  • I mean, every play, it's just like, you know, doing something that you know, you're trained to do you work so hard to be able to do, And then when you do it, you know, you gotta let out this, this growl that this, uh, we're own or pump your chest jump up on the scars table, believe your fist and whatever.

  • So, you know, I guess it's every is counting every second of every day.

  • And, you know, letting it work for you in terms of how it affects your emotions.

  • Whatever.

  • So you know, guys are winning championship every week, you know, based on some of the reaction to some of the highlights.

  • Uh, it's kind of crazy.

  • And I'm you know, I'm old school and, you know, maybe I'm hating a little bit whatever, because I probably had a lot of celebratory moments that, you know, I just just didn't celebrate because it wasn't part of my my DNA.

  • And the ultimate goal was to, you know, when the league title, when the division title, when the championship.

  • So, you know, my experience is there, uh, with the A B A and the two championships over there, and then the chase with title in Philly, which was basically a seven year chase.

  • I mean, we went to the play.

  • We play for the championship four times in seven years, so just getting there four times it's quite in the accomplishment makes sound a little bit like the Buffalo Bills.

  • But getting there, uh, in year seven waas, you know, ultimately something that if it hadn't happened, uh, I think I might be viewed a little differently, but not a whole lot differently, because, you know, guys know how to market themselves and sell themselves these days.

  • So, guys, you know, guys without rings doing doing very well and have made that transition from player to former player and you could do it.

  • So on the other side of the coin is you know, you guys you have guys with six or seven rings who probably never played in the All Star Game.

  • I think Robert Horry, in that sense, uh, you know, great ring collector and great, uh, factor on winning teams.

  • Uh, multiple times.

  • Um, probably not on the ballot for the Hall of Fame unless they decide.

  • Well, we're gonna put you in the Hall of Fame because you've got a lot of rings.

  • The great Dr J is with me here, Julius Irving, and I'm just looking back at your statistics.

  • Your final year in the N.

  • B.

  • A.

  • Was your age 36 season, and I certainly remember that season for you.

  • LeBron James is 36 right now and and is playing at or at least near the very best he ever has.

  • So what do you think of that?

  • When you see these athletes that are able to play, I'm sure a lot of it has to do with all sorts of things nutrition and whatever else that is.

  • But what do you make of a guy like LeBron in particular who is doing what he is doing at the age of 36?

  • I think it's phenomenal.

  • I think it's a part of theory.

  • Jinnah plan in terms of coming out of high school, Um, and knowing that, you know, this is gonna be the statement for its life, you know, playing basketball.

  • I'm gonna be a professional basketball player.

  • And I'm gonna be out there asl ong as I could be there, and I'm gonna accomplish as much as I can accomplish.

  • You know, when I came out of high school.

  • I was trying to be a a student athlete at the University of Massachusetts on then, you know, a group three inches and gained £30 while in college.

  • And my career path certainly changed from wanting to study business and goto work and some from New York, uh, to becoming a professional athlete and hoping that I could go there.

  • I could play there for 10 years, you know?

  • And so the mindset totally different during that time when I got to 10 years, I was like, Man, that went fast, you know?

  • So, you know, I signed a new deal, and next thing I know, I'm 13 years, 14 years on.

  • The next thing I know, I'm at 16 years, and you know, I'm figuring I need to figure out what I'm gonna do the rest of my life.

  • I haven't I haven't made enough.

  • You know, during the course of my 16 years, I probably came close to making $16 million whatever and, you know, spent two thirds of that lifestyle and and so suddenly the net take away waas.

  • All right.

  • You know, I got about four thio start my life with or whatever he's gonna have, like, 400 What?

  • What, what what?

  • He's finished.

  • Like he said more than that.

  • And also, it's not over until he says it's over.

  • And, you know, look at Tom Brady's accomplishments in football.

  • Guys going well into their forties on playing at a very high level of the highest level possible and in team sport you could do that.

  • Individual sports is it's a lot tougher and, generationally speaking, it's a lot tougher, you know, you look Attman.

  • Larry Bird finished, and you know, he was in his early thirties and Michael Jordan was in his early thirties, whatever.

  • So the norm is especially for the previous generations to finish, you know, in your early to middle thirties eso LeBron is a phenomenon and that I think I think I think he put a fire under Carmelo Anthony because we came in together, you know?

  • You know, I'm hobbling up and down the court and this guy, you know, the balance for M v P.

  • So he tightened up his game and got on a nice program, and now he's playing better.

  • So yeah, LeBron is the new model.

  • Dr.

  • J.

  • It is such a pleasure to talk to you.

  • Thank you so much.

  • A happy early birthday to you as you mentioned.

  • This is coming up next week.

  • It's great to see you.

  • Thank you so much.

  • We'll check in again soon.

  • Be well.

  • Thank you, Granny.

  • Thank you for watching ESPN on YouTube for live streaming sports and premium content.

  • Subscribe to ESPN, plus.

in my childhood and my youth, he may have been the most beloved athlete in the United States.

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Julius Erving on LeBron James playing at a high level at the age of 36 | #Greeny

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/17
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