Basketball revolutionary Julius “Dr. J” Erving does not believe that Kobe Bryant’s number should be retired league-wide.
Dr J. – who soared to fame with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers in the late ’70s and ’80s and played with Bryant’s father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant – greatly dmired the Black Mamba. But he believes that the recently deceased Bill Russell should be the only one whose number is retired with all NBA franchises at this time.
“Bill was a very special individual and what he did for basketball, no one else could ever do again,” Doc told “TMZ” at the Los Angeles International Airport.
“I don’t think he should be compared with the Russell situation,” Erving continued. “We’re fresh into that, but let’s see how that works out. Maybe at some point in time. Bill was 86 years old, so address it like that to an 86-year-old — multiple champions, multiple coaching champions, multiple on-and-off the court [activities of a] champion, or whatever – there’s no comparison.”
“I wouldn’t even try to compare Kobe Bryant to Russell.”
Instead, Erving believes it should be left to the Lakers to decide how to honor the Black Mamba.
“It’s more of a franchise situation with the Lakers,” Erving said. “If they wanted to do it, which I think they already have, that makes sense – but for the whole league to do it, probably not.”