Julius Erving Picks Spurs Over Heat In Finals, Says He'd Take Kobe Over LeBron

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2013

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 10:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat plead with a referee during a game  at American Airlines Arena on February 10, 2013 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Julius Erving has LeBron James losing twice.

Speaking with reporters before a special premiere of The Doctor, a documentary produced by NBA TV on the Hall of Famer's life, Erving predicted that the San Antonio Spurs would dethrone the James-led Miami Heat.

Plan your betting slips accordingly.

Dr. J wasn't done ruining James' day, though.

When asked to pick between Kobe Bryant and James, he chose Bryant, citing him as a top-five player of all time.

Man, James can't seem to catch a break. First, his Heat are falling to 37-year-old Tim Duncan and the Spurs in the NBA Finals, and then he can't top Kobe in the eyes of Dr. J. Now that's a tough day at the office.

Erving isn't the first NBA legend to side with Kobe over LeBron, either. Michael Jordan also went with Bryant, noting that five championship rings trumps someone who doesn't have five championship rings.

Thanks, MJ.

James can find at least some relief in knowing that Erving finds his Heat more trustworthy than the Los Angeles Lakers or Boston Celtics. He pinpointed those two franchises as masters of deception.

"When you talk to the Lakers, when you talk to the Celtics, when you talk to – well, those two in particular – the guy on the other end of the phone has his fingers crossed," Erving said, according to Jason Wolf of USA Today. "So whatever he's telling you, he's not telling you the truth. He's working a deal for him."

Case in point: the Andrew Bynum trade.

Dr. J, a four-time league MVP, three-time champion and 16-time All-Star (ABA and NBA combined), who is a special consultant to the Philadelphia 76ers, referred to the soon-to-be free-agent center as "damaged goods." Can't say we blame him.

"And what happened to us last year with getting damaged goods hopefully will only happen once," said Erving of the trade. "And that's the extent of that learning curve."

Bynum appeared in fewer games for the Sixers this season (zero) than James has titles (one). And as Jordan would say, one beats zero every time.