Originally Posted by BoutPractice
Notice how he's not listing any bigmen. In fact he's only listing players that he's been directly compared to. He might be creating a narrative for himself in which he's a combination of these 4 players.
I will say that Dr. J is underrated. He's often associated with his 80s, when really he was arguably the best player of the 70s not named Jabbar, and certainly the best non bigman of the 70s, the most underappreciated era of the NBA.
If you combine his ABA and NBA resume, he's a 16 time All-Star, 4 time MVP, and 3 time champion. How many players in history have 4 MVPs and 3 championships or more? Off the top of my head, Jordan, Russell, Kareem, Dr. J. Mikan would've been on that list if they'd awarded MVPs at the time. So if awards were your main criterion for ranking players, Dr. J would have a reasonable case for top 5.
Not only that, but Dr. J led the ABA in scoring 3 years, had averages like 32/12/4 and 29/11/5 with 2.5 steals AND blocks, + 50% shooting. He was top 10, in fact almost top 5, in scoring, rebounding and assists, steals, blocks, TS% and EFG%... all at the same time, for several years. Obviously he was also an advanced stats monster.
His playoff stats were even more ridiculous: in his first season he averaged 33 points, 20 rebounds and 6.5 assists (!) over 11 games. In his fifth season, 35 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists, with 2 steals and blocks as well as 53% shooting.
We've all seen how aesthetically-pleasing his game was, and how athletic he was... what gets lost is his incredible dominance as an all-around player. You can watch his performance in the 77 Finals, or even in some games against Larry Bird, to see just how good he was.
But beyond Julius Erving, LeBron's top 3 reminds us that the "consensus top 10" of bball geeks on forum such as this one really aren't a "consensus"... at all. For instance, if you ask the media, former players, or specialists, Hakeem is almost never in the top 10. Oscar Robertson almost always is, sometimes in the top 5. You'll see names like Dr. J and Jerry West far more often. Some will mention Mikan. The point is, there are many more potential ways to rank players than some here think. And it's not just players, it would be the same with say, a list of the great composers, writers, or generals in history.