National Basketball Association

Dr. J omits LeBron from all-time teams, puts Michael Jordan on second team

April 28

"The Doctor" has administered some tough-to-swallow medicine for a few of his fellow NBA legends.

Hall of Famer Julius Irving, better known as Dr. J, joined the "Posted Up" podcast earlier this week and broke down his top two all-time NBA teams with host Chris Haynes.

Not among Dr. J's first or second all-time team? LeBron James.

Dr. J went decidedly old-school with his selections, naming Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain to the first team.

Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar made up the five selections for Dr. J's all-time second team.

As for why James didn't make the cut, Dr. J pointed toward the Los Angeles Lakers star's proclivity for teaming up with other superstars.

"He’s the guy who has led the charge in terms of superteams being put together when he put together a team in Miami. He put together a team in Cleveland as well and put together a team in Los Angeles. So he can pick his own team. I ain't gonna pick his team."

That notion ruffled more than a few feathers, including those of Nick Wright of "First Things First," who offered Dr. J a history lesson on superteams.

"Julius, I love ya," Wright said. "But superteams beat you up until you got your own, and you had the greatest team ever. That's the history there, America. I just feel like everyone needs a bit of a reminder because it was 35 years ago."

Nick Wright gives the history of superteams in the NBA and why superteams beat Dr. J until he got his own.

The superteam on which Irving featured was the 1982-83 Philadelphia 76ers, which paired Dr. J with Hall of Famer ⁠— and reigning league MVP ⁠— Moses Malone after the Sixers made six straight playoff appearances without a championship.

Of those six playoff exits, three came in the NBA Finals, to the Portland Trail Blazers in 1977 and the Lakers in 1980 and '82.

But come '83, with Malone in the fold, the Sixers went 12-1 in the playoffs, including a sweep of the Lakers in the Finals.

As Marcellus Wiley of "Speak For Yourself" pointed out, it seems that Dr. J's issue lies not with superteams but with players, rather than front offices, being responsible for their construction.

That's a sentiment Shannon Sharpe echoed on "Undisputed."

"I hate to break it to Doc, but superteams have always been in existence," Sharpe said. "Doc is an old-school guy because he said, 'I want basketball players to just play.' See, he had no problem with front offices, general managers and teams putting these superteams together. He just didn't want to players [to]."

Aside from the James snub, there's another living legend who might have beef with Dr. J's two teams.

While Jordan made the second team, does anyone in the world think "His Airness" is content to play second fiddle in any scenario?

With M.J. relegated to the second squad, Skip Bayless outright dismissed Dr. J's list.

It seems that quite a few folks aren't ready to follow the doctor's orders, in this case.

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