Originally Posted by D-Fence
Julius Erving's best years were in the ABA. This list is called the 100 greatest NBA players of all time. And, the ABA was an inferior league. Erving pulled down huge rebounding numbers in the ABA (12.1 per game over 5 seasons); in the NBA, he averaged a more modest 6.7 boards per game over 11 seasons. Erving shot a .322 3-pt percentage with the lightweight ABA ball and .261 in the NBA. The ABA was generally poorer defensively, which is how Erving, otherwise generally considered a weak man-to-man defender, was awarded once for defense.
In the NBA, Erving had some great years. He was awarded an MVP in 1981 and was in the top 5 voting for MVP another 3 seasons from 1980 to 1983. But, here's what I find difficult to accept: Erving isn't the best player from his era not yet picked. Moses Malone joined the NBA the exact same season as Erving (1976-77 when the NBA absorbed the ABA players). Malone was awarded MVPs in 1979, 1982 and 1983. That's 3 to 1.
Dr.J was considered by fans in the late 70's the second best player behind Jabbar.
He is the idol of guys like Magic and Michael. He brought the game to another level and was much more important to the history of Basketball than a guy like Moses.