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Julius Erving Makes His Opinion On Kobe Bryant Very Clear

Julius Erving looks on during a basketball game.

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 29: Head coach Julius Erving of Tri-State looks on during the game against the Ball Hogs at United Center on June 29, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dylan Buell/BIG3/Getty Images)

The National Basketball Association made the decision earlier this month to retire Bill Russell's No. 6 jersey across the entire league.

Should the same be done for Kobe Bryant?

Fans have been calling for the NBA to retire Bryant's No. 8 and No. 24 following his tragic death in a helicopter accident back in 2020.

One legendary NBA star doesn't believe that should happen, though.

While Julius Erving is a fan of Bryant, he doesn't believe his numbers should be retired.

"I don't think he should be compared with the Russell situation," Erving told TMZ Sports. "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 champion, or whatever -- there's no comparison."

"I wouldn't even try to compare Kobe Bryant to Russell."

That is certainly fair.

Bryant is a legendary NBA star, but he's not Bill Russell.