When it comes to LeBron James’ 3-5 record in the NBA Finals, you can either hold the fact that he’s fallen on five occasions (one of only four players to do so) against him, or celebrate his eight total appearances, which is the most of any non-Boston Celtics player.
“Dr. J” Julius Erving won titles in both the NBA and ABA during his legendary playing career. He did, however, experience the heartache that comes from losing on the big stage multiple times as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Erving has been in LeBron’s shoes, and knows full well that it takes a collective effort to reach the mountaintop.
“The game is a team sport, so individuals don’t win championships. Teams win championships. You’re only as good as the team can take you. You can only go as far as the team can take you,” Erving said during a Monday appearance on FS1’s Undisputed. “So, 3-5 doesn’t mean anything. I’m more impressed with eight Finals than I am with the record in the Finals.
“If he was 0-for-8 in Finals, that would still be an amazing achievement. That’s like going to eight Super Bowls.”
When asked if his Nets and 76ers teams would have been as successful without him, Erving did recognize himself as their strongest player, but didn’t contradict what he had just said about LeBron by accepting all of the acclaim for the team’s success.
“Being the best player, that’s icing on the cake. All the guys who were on my Nets teams and on my Sixers teams during the championship year in Philadelphia, and the two Nets championships in New York, we’re all close today because of that experience,” Erving added. “I take my hat off to them, because I wouldn’t be sitting where I am if it wasn’t for them. That’s just the skinny on it.”