Shaquille O'Neal On Julius Erving: 'I Still Think He Was The Best'

For Shaquille O’Neal, Julius Erving is the greatest basketball player who ever lived. 

O’Neal said Erving is better than both Michael Jordan and LeBron James. This was what O’Neal told AFP (via Yahoo! Sports) on Aug. 18:

“I’ve seen young Mike and young LeBron and I must say Dr. J is still my favorite player. A lot of people today don’t even mention his name but to me I still think he was the best. But these are questions that we’ll never know the answer to. 

“It’s a bit like if I met Bruce Lee in an alleyway. Who would win? You’ll never know. Some people say, ‘Well, Bruce would kick Shaq’s ass.’ Some people say, ‘Well, Shaq is two times bigger than Bruce Lee.’ 

“It’s a good question, a good conversation. But we’ll never know.” 

O’Neal also told AFP he feels a young Jordan would beat a young James:

“Mike. I think you have to go with a young Jordan every time. 

“It would be an interesting game. Young LeBron was more like Magic Johnson. He was sort of like Magic with Jordan’s abilities. He liked to pass, and he liked to get it up. 

“But Mike was Mike. He was just special, like no one else. He always did things no one else could do, and things you couldn’t compare to anyone else. So he was special, and he’d win.” 

Jordan said he would beat James in his prime. “No question,” was his response to USA TODAY’s Marc Cugnon on Aug. 10. 

O’Neal is in Hong Kong to promote Mike Miller’s L.I.F.E. energy drink. Miller is a 15-year NBA veteran. He now plays for the Portland Trail Blazers, per The South China Post’s Matthew Scott. 

This is O’Neal’s 25th trip to China. He told Scott another great Chinese player should emerge soon. This player will follow in the footsteps of retired NBA center Yao Ming:

“I think it’s something we’re all waiting for. Basketball is now very much a global game. You talk about the top 20 players and they might be from all over. It used to be just an American game but now the world has caught up and I think that’s what has happened in China.

“China has got better but the whole world has got better at the game at the same time.

“But there will be another great player like Yao coming through soon. You go to camps in China and you see the talent. It’s just a matter of time. People forget sometimes, it’s a tough league to get in to. 

“He (Yao) was tall, he could shoot, he could just play. He made me adjust my game. That tells you all you need to know about how good he was.”

Miller launched his energy drink in 2012. It was then known as “Let It Fly Energy” drink. Now, it carries the name L.I.F.E. energy drink, per The South China Morning Post’s Ben Sin. 

The drink’s producer told Sin he is pushing for an “aggressive expansion” in Asia. The first two markets in the agenda are Hong Kong and Macau. The drink will soon hit other Asian Markets such as the Philippines. 

L.I.F.E. forged a partnership with beverage distributor A.S. Watson Group in May. The group will sell the drinks to consumers in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, per 

Miller told he’s excited about this new venture:

“I am so excited to have such a prestigious partner as A.S. Watson in this project, they have almost 200 years of leading beverage experience in Asia. When my friend and business partner, Curt Flaitz, found this venture feasible, he brought it over to the Waters Group and then nutured the deal. 

“I was impressed by the magnitude of volume their groups negotiated. To have this happen with such an amazing team in such a quick time frame, is a real testament to A.S. Watson’s belief in L.I.F.E. and my team’s commitment to quality-first expansion into Asia.”


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