A former American professional basketball player
Julius Winfield Erving II (born February 22, 1950), commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, is a retired American basketball player who helped launch a modern style of play that emphasizes leaping and play above the rim. Erving helped legitimize … see full wiki
They all swore that Michael Jordan was an outstanding player. But what often skipped minds was that he was a good student too. He was (and still is) very smart. He learnt very well. …By standing on the shoulders of giants!
Before dragging you further, let me reveal that I run an NBA lab here. Oh yes! An ultramodern one—right inside my room! It is a survey-and-test lab: with research emphasis on Competitive Genealogy. As for my track record; I ain't gonna exaggerate. But, it's so far so good. All my tests are accurate. No surprises; nothing underwhelming! I don't promote big names; I pursue efficiency.
My analytical focus shifted to Michael Jordan this morning. And I decided to reanalyze his professional DNA. No blood samples were needed: only pro DNA (taken from NBA clips and stats). Few hours later, the result was conclusive. His court ancestors are proven. And I shall make it official!
To Whom It May Concern, my analysis confirmed that Michael Jordan has indeed two ‘fathers'. One is named Elgin Baylor, and the other Julius Erving.
Elgin Baylor was the first to prove that this vertical game called basketball could be played horizontal. That left the NBA grumbling in vain. A decade later, an ‘Afro-with-Apparition' upped the stake. And his inventions left the NBA speechless! His play-view and play-style were too radical for his era. No sooner did ‘Dr. J' arrive from the ABA that he rewrote the NBA rules. He enacted his dictatorial skills and ultimately decided that the game should be played entirely off the floor. NBA fumed with a mixture of fear and rage. But there was no stopping the sunrise! Dr J had the four aces; so, his choice prevailed.
This incomprehensible choice left spectators' jaws hanging with disbelief. Game tickets began to sell-out way-way in advance. And, each night a grateful crowd yearned for more. Leaving acknowledged whiz-kids like ‘Magic' Johnson and Larry Bird sulking with envy. However, as others screamed and mused, an inspired Jordan watched and learned.
Julius Winfred Erving (Jr.) was the player better known as "Dr. J". He was born in Roosevelt, New York, on February 22, 1950. His childhood was dotted with proportioned amounts of sadness and joy—given the fact that an impoverished and frustrated dad left when he was only three. But (single) mum astonishingly brazened the candor of a lone lioness: seeing her son through college.
Julius was first called ‘Dr. J' at his High School (in Roosevelt, NY), where he first showcased his basketball brilliance. He was already in demand by the time he arrived at Massachusetts for college (in 1968). And he didn't disappoint. The 6'7" 210lbs Forward went on to average 32.5 points per game and 20.2 rebounds per game for two seasons. This feat made him one of the only five players ever to tally 20ppg and 20rpg (seasonal averages) in Men's NCAA Basketball.
‘Dr. J' did not create the feud, which threatened professional basketball at that time, but (like everyone else) it affected him. As NBA and ABA bickered like unruly schoolboys, the young Forward pitched tent with (the then ABA's) Virginia Squires. He averaged a respectable 27.3 points per game as a rookie, and earned reputation for his brilliant baseline moves. He would also be feared for his authoritative (and sarcastic) hard dunks.
By 1977 the ABA had gone the way of ancient dinosaurs. Protracted financial palavers saw to that. But the NBA didn't mourn. It gained Dr. J. And, he dwelt among the Sixers!
Although the Forward had spent his prime in ABA's homeland, he quickly made his intentions clear at the new NBA turf: convincing all-and-sundry that he was the one to watch. For the opposition, his skills were nightmarish. He consistently took the ball to that level where only birds and Baylor could reach. Hang-time was reincarnated. And, a grateful sophomore named Michael Jordan watched and learned. He would later rekindle the whole experiment. Even to loftier heights!
As opposing teams gnashed their teeth and wondered how to contain this raging phenomenon, attendance to Dr.J's games soared. He gleamed; while the spectators beamed. Those who were not born when Elgin Baylor introduced sky-walk thanked the Lord. They can now watch it live: every night.
The fact that Dr. J has huge hands further added to the fun. He could grab the ball as though it was an apple: flushing it down the rim (with an air of alacrity). He was a phantom of delight. This imposing Forward often left opposing coaches yelling only one instruction: "Prevent his teammates from getting the ball to him." Those wise coaches knew better. Ain't no need trying to cage the sunlight! The best bet was to stop those who feed him.
Watching Dr. J also reminds fans of the great Oscar Robertson. Yes, Doctor Jay emulated the ball-handling prowess of ‘'The Big O". Even Oscar's amazing court sense! I would always forgive those who called him an ‘Apparition'. They truly believed that there was a ghost on court. That's Erving for you!
Meanwhile, his career stats are great. Yet, they did no justice to his skills and brilliant style of play. We all know that there are no stats for finesse—only for figures. But, I will still render them to you. Here we go:
1. NBA Champion (1983)
2. ABA Champion (1974, and '76)
3. NBA MVP (1981)
4. ABA MVP (1974, '75, and '76)
5. 11-time NBA All-Star (1977 to 1987 consecutively)
6. 5-time ABA All-Star (1972, '73, '74, '75, and '76 consecutively)
7. 5-time All-NBA First Team (1978, ‘80 to ‘83)
8. 4-time All-ABA First Team (1973 to '76 consecutively)
9. 2-time NBA All-Star MVP (1977 and 1983)
10. 3-time ABA Scoring Leader
11. All-ABA Defensive Team
12. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1983)
From the tallest Centers to the shortest Guards, every player who squared-off against ‘Dr. J' admitted that he was as slippery as an eel. During the 1980 Finals, Magic Johnson complained about how he (Magic) was trying to win his maiden trophy, only to have a merciless ‘Dr. J' taking them to the cleaners. A flabbergasted Mike Gminski, (who also was a former Sixer) added: "He looked like an apparition with an Afro." The great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (who confronted Dr. J in alliance with Magic) simply refused to comment. Seeing is believing!
Meanwhile, Dr. retired from professional games in 1987. He has since received uncountable awards and honors: including induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
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