Julius Erving

Julius Winfield Erving II (born February 22, 1950), commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, is an American retired basketball player who helped popularize a modern style of play that emphasizes leaping and playing above the rim. Erving helped legitimize the American Basketball Association (ABA)[1] and was the best-known player in that league when it merged with the National Basketball Association (NBA) after the 1975–76 season.

Erving won three championships, four Most Valuable Player Awards, and three scoring titles with the ABA's Virginia Squires and New York Nets (now the NBA's Brooklyn Nets) and the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers. He is the eighth-highest scorer in ABA/NBA history with 30,026 points (NBA and ABA combined). He was well known for slam dunking from the free throw line in slam dunk contests and was the only player voted Most Valuable Player in both the ABA and the NBA.

Erving was inducted in 1993 into the Basketball Hall of Fame and was also named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time team. In 1994, Erving was named by Sports Illustrated as one of the 40 most important athletes of all time. In 2004, he was inducted into the Nassau County Sports Hall of Fame.

Many consider him one of the most talented players in the history of the NBA; he is widely acknowledged as one of the game's best dunkers. While Connie Hawkins, "Jumping" Johnny Green, Elgin Baylor, Jim Pollard and Gus Johnson performed spectacular dunks before Erving's time, Erving brought the practice into the mainstream.[2] His signature dunk was the "slam" dunk, since incorporated into the vernacular and basic skill set of the game in the same manner as the "crossover" dribble and the "no look" pass. Before Erving, dunking was a practice most commonly used by the big men (usually standing close to the hoop) to show their brutal strength which was seen as style over substance, even unsportsmanlike, by many purists of the game.[3] However, the way Erving utilized the dunk more as a high-percentage shot made at the end of maneuvers generally starting well away from the basket and not necessarily a "show of force" helped to make the shot an acceptable strategy, especially in trying to avoid a blocked shot.[4] Although the slam dunk is still widely used as a show of power, a method of intimidation and a way to fire up a team (and spectators), Erving demonstrated that there can be great artistry and almost balletic style to slamming the ball into the hoop, particularly after a launch several feet from that target.[5]

Julius Erving
Erving Lipofsky
Erving with the Philadelphia 76ers
Personal information
BornFebruary 22, 1950 (age 69)
East Meadow, New York
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High schoolRoosevelt (Roosevelt, New York)
CollegeUMass (1969–1971)
NBA draft1972 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12th overall
Selected by the Milwaukee Bucks
Playing career1971–1987
PositionSmall forward
Number32, 6
Career history
19711973Virginia Squires
19731976New York Nets
19761987Philadelphia 76ers
Career highlights and awards
Career ABA and NBA statistics
Points30,026 (24.2 ppg)
Rebounds10,525 (8.5 rpg)
Assists5,176 (4.2 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Early life

Erving was born in East Meadow, New York,[6][7][8][9][10] and raised from the age of 13 in Roosevelt, New York. Prior to that, he lived in nearby Hempstead.

He attended Roosevelt High School and played for its basketball team. He received the nickname "Doctor" or "Dr. J" from a high school friend named Leon Saunders.[11] He explains,

I have a buddy—his name is Leon Saunders—and he lives in Atlanta, and I started calling him "the professor", and he started calling me "the doctor". So it was just between us...we were buddies, we had our nicknames and we would roll with the nicknames. ...And that's where it came from.

Erving recalled, "[L]ater on, in the Rucker Park league in Harlem, when people started calling me 'Black Moses' and 'Houdini', I told them if they wanted to call me anything, call me 'Doctor,'"[12] Over time, the nickname evolved into "Dr. Julius," and finally "Dr. J."[13]


Erving enrolled at the University of Massachusetts in 1968. In two varsity college basketball seasons, he averaged 26.3 points[14] and 20.2 rebounds per game, becoming one of only six players[15] to average more than 20 points and 20 rebounds per game in NCAA Men's Basketball.[16]

Having left college early to pursue a professional career, Erving earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst through the University Without Walls program in creative leadership and administration in 1986, fulfilling a promise he had made to his mother.[17][18] Erving also holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst [17]

Professional athletic career

Virginia Squires (ABA)

Although NBA rules at the time did not allow teams to draft players who were less than four years removed from high school, the ABA instituted a “hardship” rule that would allow players to leave college early.[19] Erving took advantage of the rule change and left Massachusetts after his junior year to sign a four-year contract worth $500,000 spread over seven years with the Virginia Squires.[20][21]

Erving quickly established himself as a force and gained a reputation for hard and ruthless dunking. He scored 27.3 points per game as a rookie, was selected to the All-ABA Second Team, made the ABA All-Rookie Team, led the ABA in offensive rebounds, and finished second to Artis Gilmore for the ABA Rookie of the Year Award. He led the Squires into the Eastern Division Finals, where they lost to the Rick Barry-led New York Nets in seven games. The Nets would eventually go to the finals, losing to the star-studded Indiana Pacers team.[22]

Contract dispute

Under NBA rules, he became eligible for the 1972 NBA draft and the Milwaukee Bucks picked him in the first round (12th overall). This move would have brought him together with Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. However prior to the draft, he signed a contract with the Atlanta Hawks worth more than $1 million with a $250,000 bonus.[23] The signing with the Hawks came after a dispute with the Squires where he demanded a renegotiation of the terms.[21] He discovered that his agent at the time, Steve Arnold, was employed by the Squires and convinced him to sign a below-market contract.[24]

This created a dispute between three teams in two leagues. The Bucks asserted their rights to Erving via the draft, while the Squires went to court to force him to honor his contract. He joined Pete Maravich at the Hawks' training camp, as they prepared for the upcoming season. He played two exhibition games with the Hawks until J. Walter Kennedy ruled that the Bucks owned Erving's rights via the draft. Kennedy fined the Hawks $25,000 per game in violation of his ruling. Atlanta appealed Kennedy's decision to the league owners, who also supported the Bucks’ position.[25] While waiting for the owners’ decision, Erving played in one more preseason game, earning the Hawks another fine. Erving enjoyed his brief time with Atlanta, and he would later duplicate with George Gervin his after-practice playing with Maravich.[26]

On October 2, Judge Edward Neaher issued an injunction that prohibited him from playing for any team other than the Squires. The judge then sent the case to arbitrator because of an arbitration clause in his contract with Virginia.[26] He agreed to report to the Squires while his appeal of the injunction made its way through the court.[27]

Back in the ABA, his game flourished, and he achieved a career-best 31.9 points per game in the 1972–1973 season. The following year, the cash-strapped Squires sold his contract to the New York Nets.[28]

New York Nets (ABA)

Julius Erving Nets (3).jpeg
Erving in 1974

The Squires, like most ABA teams, were on rather shaky financial ground. The cash-strapped team sent Erving to the Nets in a complex deal that kept him in the ABA. Erving signed an eight-year deal worth a reported $350,000 per year. The Squires received $750,000, George Carter, and the rights to Kermit Washington for Erving and Willie Sojourner. The Nets also sent $425,000 to the Hawks to reimburse the team for its legal fees, fines and the bonus paid to Erving. Finally, Atlanta would receive draft compensation should a merger of the league result in a common draft.[23]

He went on to lead the Nets to their first ABA title in 1973–74, defeating the Utah Stars.[29] Erving established himself as the most important player in the ABA. His spectacular play established the Nets as one of the better teams in the ABA, and brought fans and credibility to the league.[30] The end of the 1975–76 ABA season finally brought the ABA–NBA merger. The Nets and Nuggets had applied for admission to the NBA before the season, in anticipation of the eventual merger that had first been proposed by the two leagues in 1970 but which was delayed for various reasons, including the Oscar Robertson suit. The Erving-led Nets defeated the Denver Nuggets in the swan-song finals of the ABA. In the postseason, Erving averaged 34.7 points and was named Most Valuable Player of the playoffs. That season, he finished in the top 10 in the ABA in points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game, steals per game, blocks per game, free throw percentage, free throws made, free throws attempted, three-point field goal percentage and three-point field goals made.[31]

Philadelphia 76ers

Julius Erving – 76ers (1).jpeg
Erving with the 76ers in 1976

The Nets, Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, and San Antonio Spurs joined the NBA for the 1976–77 season. With Erving and Nate Archibald (acquired in a trade with Kansas City), the Nets were poised to pick up right where they left off. However, the New York Knicks upset the Nets' plans when they demanded that the Nets pay them $4.8 million for "invading" the Knicks' NBA territory. Coming on the heels of the fees the Nets had to pay for joining the NBA, owner Roy Boe reneged on a promise to raise Erving's salary. Erving refused to play under these conditions and held out in training camp.[32]

After several teams such as the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers lobbied to obtain him, the Nets offered Erving's contract to the New York Knicks in return for waiving the indemnity, but the Knicks turned it down. This was considered one of the worst decisions in franchise history.[33] The Sixers then decided to offer to buy Erving's contract for $3 million—roughly the same amount as the Nets' expansion fee—and Boe had little choice but to accept. This would total $6 million overall, with the other half going to Erving. His new jersey number 6 would derive from the $6 million paid by the Philadelphia 76ers; it also matched the team nickname "Sixers".[34] For all intents and purposes, the Nets traded their franchise player for a berth in the NBA. The Erving deal left the Nets in ruin; they promptly crashed to a 22–60 record, the worst in the league.[35] Years later, Boe regretted having to trade Erving, saying, "The merger agreement killed the Nets as an NBA franchise . . . . The merger agreement got us into the NBA, but it forced me to destroy the team by selling Erving to pay the bill."[36]

Erving quickly became the leader of his new club and led them to an exciting 50-win season. However, playing with bigger stars forced his role to diminish. In the ABA, he would be told to do everything for his team. With the Sixers, he focused more on scoring. Despite a smaller role, Erving stayed unselfish. The Sixers, featuring other stars like ABA co-MVP George McGinnis, ABA All-Star Caldwell Jones, future All-Star World B Free (then Lloyd Free), outside shooting threat Henry Bibby (father of Mike Bibby), and the versatile and aggressive Doug Collins (later Michael Jordan's coach during the late 1980s), won the Atlantic Division and were the top drawing team in the NBA. The Sixers defeated the defending champions, the Boston Celtics, to win the Eastern Conference. Erving took them into the NBA Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers of Bill Walton. After the Sixers took a 2–0 lead, however, the Blazers defeated them with four straight victories after the famous brawl between Maurice Lucas and Darryl Dawkins which ignited the Blazers' chemistry.[37]

Erving playing against the Atlanta Hawks in 1981

However, Erving enjoyed success off the court, becoming one of the first basketball players to endorse many products and to have a shoe marketed under his name. It was at this time that he appeared in television commercials urging young fans asking for his autograph in an airport to refer to him henceforth as "Dr. Chapstick". He also starred in the 1979 basketball comedy film, The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh. A famous TV commercial for Sixers season tickets during the 1977–78 off-season summed up Erving's desire to win an NBA Title. In the commercial, Erving was in the Sixers locker room and he said to fans, "We owe you one" while he held up his index finger. It took a few years for the Sixers franchise to build around Erving. Eventually coach Billy Cunningham and top-level players like Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney, and Bobby Jones were added to the mix and the franchise was very successful.

In the following years, Erving coped with a team that was not yet playing at his level. The Sixers were eliminated twice in the Eastern Conference Finals. In 1979, Larry Bird entered the league, reviving the Boston Celtics and the storied Celtics–76ers rivalry; these two teams faced each other in the Eastern Conference Finals in 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1985. The Bird vs. Erving matchup became arguably the top personal rivalry in the sport (along with Bird vs. Magic Johnson), inspiring the early Electronic Arts video game One on One: Dr. J vs. Larry Bird.

In 1980, the 76ers prevailed over the Celtics to advance to the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. There, Erving executed the legendary "Baseline Move", a behind-the-board reverse layup. However, the Lakers won 4–2 with superb play from, among others, Magic Johnson.

Erving again was among the league's best players in the 1980–1981 and 1981–1982 seasons, although more disappointment came as the Sixers stumbled twice in the playoffs: in 1981, the Celtics eliminated them in seven games in the 1981 Eastern Finals after Philadelphia had a 3–1 series lead, but lost both Game 5 and Game 6 by 2 points and the deciding Game 7 by 1) and in 1982, the Sixers managed to beat the defending champion Celtics in seven games in the 1982 Eastern Finals but lost the NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. Despite these defeats, Erving was named the NBA MVP in 1981 and was again voted to the 1982 All-NBA First Team.[38]

Finally, for the 1982–83 season, the Sixers obtained the missing element to combat their weakness at their center position, Moses Malone. Armed with one of the most formidable and unstoppable center-forward combinations of all time, the Sixers dominated the whole season, prompting Malone to make the famous playoff prediction of "fo-fo-fo (four-four-four)" in anticipation of the 76ers sweeping the three rounds of the playoffs en route to an NBA title.[39] In fact, the Sixers went four-five-four, losing one game to the Milwaukee Bucks in the conference finals, then sweeping the Lakers to win the NBA title.

Erving maintained his all-star caliber of play into his twilight years, averaging 22.4, 20.0, 18.1, and 16.8 points per game in his final seasons. In 1986, he announced that he would retire after the season, causing every game he played to be sold out with adoring fans. That final season saw opposing teams pay tribute to Erving in the last game Erving would play in their arenas, including in cities such as Boston and Los Angeles, his perennial rivals in the playoffs.

Career summary

Erving retired in 1987 at the age of 37. "A young Julius Erving was like Thomas Edison, he was always inventing something new every night", Johnny Kerr told ABA historian Terry Pluto. He is also one of the few players in modern basketball to have his number retired by two franchises: the Brooklyn Nets (formerly the New York Nets and New Jersey Nets) have retired his No. 32 jersey, and the Philadelphia 76ers his No. 6 jersey. He was an excellent all around player who was also an underrated defender. In his ABA days, he would guard the best forward, whether small forward or power forward, for over 40 minutes a game, and simultaneously be the best passer, ball handler, and clutch scorer every night. Many of Erving's acrobatic highlight feats and clutch moments were unknown because of the ABA's scant television coverage. He is considered by many as the greatest dunker of all time.

In his ABA and NBA careers combined, he scored more than 30,000 points. In 1993, Erving was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. When he retired, Erving ranked in the top 5 in scoring (third), field goals made (third), field goals attempted (fifth) and steals (first). On the combined NBA/ABA scoring list, Erving ranked third with 30,026 points. As of 2019, Erving ranks eighth on the list, behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Dirk Nowitzki, and Wilt Chamberlain.


1976 ABA Slam Dunk Contest

Philadelphia Sports Statues 10
Erving statue in South Philadelphia

Erving in this memorable contest would face George "The Iceman" Gervin, All-Star and former teammate Larry "Special K" Kenon, MVP Artis "The A-Train" Gilmore, and David "The Skywalker" Thompson. Erving would start by dunking two balls in the hoop. Then, he would release a move that brought the slam dunk contest to the national consciousness. He would go all the way to the end of the court and run to release a free throw line dunk. Although dunking from the foul line had been done by other players (Jim Pollard and Wilt Chamberlain in the 1950s, for example), Erving introduced the dunk jumping off the foul line to a wide audience, when he demonstrated the feat in the 1976 ABA All-Star Game Dunking Contest.

Dunk over Bill Walton

This event transpired during game 6 of the 1977 NBA Finals. After Portland scored a basket, Erving immediately ran the length of the court with the entire Blazers team defending him. He performed a crossover to blow by multiple defenders and seemingly glided to the hoop with ease. With UCLA defensive legend Bill Walton waiting in the post, Erving threw down a vicious slam dunk over Walton's outstretched arms. This dunk is considered by many to be one of the strongest dunks ever attempted considering he ran full court with all five defenders running with him. This move was one of the highlights of his arrival to a more television-exposed NBA.

The Baseline Move

One of his most memorable plays occurred during the 1980 NBA Finals, when he executed a seemingly impossible finger-roll behind the backboard.[40][41] He drove past Lakers forward Mark Landsberger on the right baseline and went in for a layup. Then 7′2″ center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar crossed his way, blocking the route to the basket and forcing him outwards. In mid-air, it was apparent that Erving would land behind the backboard. But somehow he managed to reach over and score on a right-handed layup despite the fact that his whole body, including his left shoulder, was already behind the hoop. This move, along with his free-throw line dunk, has become one of the signature events of his career. It was called by Sports Illustrated, "The, No Way, even for Dr J, Flying Reverse Lay-up". Dr J called it "just another move".

Rock The Baby over Michael Cooper

Another of Erving's most memorable plays came in the final moments of a regular-season game against the Los Angeles Lakers in 1983. After Sixers point guard Maurice Cheeks deflected a pass by Lakers forward James Worthy, Erving picked up the ball and charged down the court's left side, with one defender to beat—the Lakers' top defender Michael Cooper. As he came inside of the 3-point line, he cupped the ball into his wrist and forearm, rocking the ball back and forth before taking off for what Lakers radio broadcaster Chick Hearn best described as a "Rock The Baby" slam dunk: he slung the ball around behind his head and dunked over a ducking Cooper. This dunk is generally regarded as one of the greatest dunks of all time.[42]

Post-basketball career

Basketball Legends
Erving (top left) with other former NBA players visit the New York NBA Store in January 2005

Erving earned his bachelor's degree in 1986 through the University Without Walls at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.[43][44][45] After his basketball career ended, he became a businessman, obtaining ownership of a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Philadelphia and doing work as a television analyst. In 1997, he joined the front office of the Orlando Magic as Vice President of RDV Sports and Executive Vice President.[46]

Erving and former NFL running back Joe Washington fielded a NASCAR Busch Series team from 1998 to 2000,[47] becoming the first ever NASCAR racing team at any level owned completely by minorities. The team had secure sponsorship from Dr Pepper for most of its existence. Erving, a racing fan himself, stated that his foray into NASCAR was an attempt to raise interest in NASCAR among African-Americans.

He has also served on the Board of Directors of Converse (prior to their 2001 bankruptcy), Darden Restaurants, Inc., Saks Incorporated and The Sports Authority. As of 2009, Erving was the owner of The Celebrity Golf Club International outside of Atlanta, but the club was forced to file for bankruptcy soon after.[48] He was ranked by ESPN as one of the greatest athletes of the 20th Century.

ABA and NBA career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes seasons in which Erving's team won an NBA championship
Denotes seasons in which Erving's team won an ABA championship
Led the league

Regular season

1971–72 Virginia (ABA) 84 - 41.8 .498 .188 .745 15.7 4.0 - - 27.3
1972–73 Virginia (ABA) 71 - 42.2 .496 .208 .776 12.2 4.2 2.5 1.8 31.9
1973–74 New York (ABA) 84 - 40.5 .512 .395 .766 10.7 5.2 2.3 2.4 27.4
1974–75 New York (ABA) 84 - 40.5 .506 .333 .799 10.9 5.5 2.2 1.9 27.9
1975–76 New York (ABA) 84 - 38.6 .507 .330 .801 11.0 5.0 2.5 1.9 29.3
1976–77 Philadelphia 82 - 35.9 .499 - .777 8.5 3.7 1.9 1.4 21.6
1977–78 Philadelphia 74 - 32.8 .502 - .845 6.5 3.8 1.8 1.3 20.6
1978–79 Philadelphia 78 - 35.9 .491 - .745 7.2 4.6 1.7 1.3 23.1
1979–80 Philadelphia 78 - 36.1 .519 .200 .787 7.4 4.6 2.2 1.8 26.9
1980–81 Philadelphia 82 - 35.0 .521 .222 .787 8.0 4.4 2.1 1.8 24.6
1981–82 Philadelphia 81 81 34.4 .546 .273 .763 6.9 3.9 2.0 1.7 24.4
1982–83 Philadelphia 72 72 33.6 .517 .286 .759 6.8 3.7 1.6 1.8 21.4
1983–84 Philadelphia 77 77 34.8 .512 .333 .754 6.9 4.0 1.8 1.8 22.4
1984–85 Philadelphia 78 78 32.5 .494 .214 .765 5.3 3.0 1.7 1.4 20.0
1985–86 Philadelphia 74 74 33.4 .480 .281 .785 5.0 3.4 1.5 1.1 18.1
1986–87 Philadelphia 60 60 32.0 .471 .264 .813 4.4 3.2 1.3 1.6 16.8
Career 1243 442 36.4 .506 .298 .777 8.5 4.2 2.0 1.7 24.2


1972 Virginia (ABA) 11 - 45.8 .518 .250 .835 20.4 6.5 - - 33.3
1973 Virginia (ABA) 5 - 43.8 .527 .000 .750 9.0 3.2 - - 29.6
1974 New York (ABA) 14 - 41.4 .528 .455 .741 9.6 4.8 1.6 1.4 27.9
1975 New York (ABA) 5 - 42.2 .455 .000 .844 9.8 5.6 1.0 1.8 27.4
1976 New York (ABA) 13 - 42.4 .533 .286 .804 12.6 4.9 1.9 2.0 34.7
1977 Philadelphia 19 - 39.9 .523 - .821 6.4 4.5 2.2 1.2 27.3
1978 Philadelphia 10 - 35.8 .489 - .750 9.7 4.0 1.5 1.8 21.8
1979 Philadelphia 9 - 41.3 .517 - .761 7.8 5.9 2.0 1.9 25.4
1980 Philadelphia 18 - 38.6 .488 .222 .794 7.6 4.4 2.0 2.1 24.4
1981 Philadelphia 16 - 37.0 .475 .000 .757 7.1 3.4 1.4 2.6 22.9
1982 Philadelphia 21 - 37.1 .519 .167 .752 7.4 4.7 1.8 1.8 22.0
1983 Philadelphia 13 - 37.9 .450 .000 .721 7.6 3.4 1.2 2.1 18.4
1984 Philadelphia 5 - 38.8 .474 .000 .864 6.4 5.0 1.6 1.2 18.2
1985 Philadelphia 13 13 33.4 .449 .000 .857 5.6 3.7 1.9 0.8 17.1
1986 Philadelphia 12 12 36.1 .450 .182 .738 5.8 4.2 0.9 1.3 17.7
1987 Philadelphia 5 5 36.0 .415 .333 .840 5.0 3.4 1.4 1.2 18.2
Career 189 30 38.9 .496 .224 .784 8.5 4.4 1.7 1.7 24.2

Personal life

Erving is a Christian. Erving has spoken about his faith, saying, "After searching for the meaning of life for over ten years, I found the meaning in Jesus Christ."[49]

Erving was first called "Dr. J" by his friend and teammate on the Nets and Squires, Willie Sojourner.[50]

Erving was married to Turquoise Erving from 1972 until 2003. Together they had four children. In 2000, their 19-year-old son Cory went missing for weeks, until he was found drowned after driving his vehicle into a pond. Erving has called this the worst day of his life.[51]

In 1979, Erving began an adulterous affair with sportswriter Samantha Stevenson, resulting in the 1980 birth of American tennis player Alexandra Stevenson. Although Erving's fatherhood of Alexandra Stevenson was known privately to the families involved, it did not become public knowledge until Stevenson reached the semifinals at Wimbledon in 1999, the first year she qualified to play in the tournament. Erving had provided financial support for Stevenson over the years, but had not otherwise been part of her life. The public disclosure of their relationship did not initially lead to contact between father and daughter. However, Stevenson contacted Erving in 2008 and they finally initiated a further relationship.[52] In 2009 Erving attended the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament to see Stevenson play, marking the first time he had attended one of her matches.[53]

In 2003, he fathered a second child outside of his marriage, Justin Kangas, this time with a woman named Dorýs Madden. Julius and Turquoise Erving were subsequently divorced. Erving continued his relationship with Madden, with whom he had Jules Erving and two others;[52] they married in 2008. Erving has fathered nine children in total.[54]

See also


  1. ^ "Julius Erving Biography and Interview". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement.
  2. ^ For Some N.B.A. Players, There’s No Such Thing as a Slam Dunk, The New York Times
  3. ^ J. Ted Carter. (September 1, 1971). "Patterned fast-break basketball". Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  4. ^ Golliver, Ben. (June 11, 2013). "Video: Julius 'Dr. J' Erving can still dunk a basketball at age 63". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  5. ^ Carson, Dan. (June 11, 2013). "This Video of Julius Erving Dunking at the Age of 63 Is Life-Changing". Bleacher Report. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  6. ^ Harris, Robert L., Jr.; Terborg-Penn, Rosalyn (September 5, 2008). The Columbia Guide to African American History Since 1939. ISBN 9780231138116. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  7. ^ Olson, James Stuart (1999). Historical dictionary of the 1970s. ISBN 9780313305436. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  8. ^ Salzman, Jack (September 17, 2008). Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. ISBN 9780028973647. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  9. ^ "Dr. J operated above the rest". ESPN. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  10. ^ "Julius Erving Summary". NBA.com. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  11. ^ "Dr. J' Julius Erving explains his nickname exclusively to Class Act Sports". Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  12. ^ Vincent Mallozzi. Doc: The Rise and Rise of Julius Erving. 60-61.
  13. ^ Bill Rhoden. "The Incredible Dr. J". Ebony. March 1975. 47.
  14. ^ "Julius Erving". umasshoops.com.
  15. ^ "Spencer Haywood College Stats — College Basketball". Sports-Reference.com.
  16. ^ "NCAA Basketball Records" (PDF). Archived from the original on July 3, 2007. Retrieved October 11, 2006.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  17. ^ a b Patricia Sullivan, UMass Magazine, http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/c8aaed6f#/c8aaed6f/22
  18. ^ Phil Jasner, Philadelphia Daily News, The Graduate On Sunday, Julius Erving Gets His College Degree, May 23, 1986. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  19. ^ "The Evolution of Younger Athletes in Professional Sports". Washington Post, archived at LATimes.com. September 22, 1990.
  20. ^ Julius Erving Biography, ESPN.com Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  21. ^ a b "Erving of Squires May Switch to the N.B.A." The New York Times. February 27, 1972.
  22. ^ "1971-72 New York Nets Roster and Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  23. ^ a b "Nets' Erving Deal Costs $4‐Million". New York Times. August 2, 1973.
  24. ^ "NBA.com: Julius Erving Bio". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. Retrieved December 16, 2008.
  25. ^ "Erving Awarded to Bucks By N.B.A." New York Times. September 21, 1972.
  26. ^ a b "The Doctor is Out". NBA.com. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  27. ^ "Erving Rejoins Squires Tonight". New York Times. October 20, 1972.
  28. ^ Frederick J. Day. (2004). "Clubhouse Lawyer: Law in the World of Sports". Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  29. ^ basketball-reference.com "1973-74 New York Nets Roster and Stats" – Accessed September 16, 2013
  30. ^ NBA TV – Greatest NBA Rivalries. (Available on Video on YouTube), Accessed September 16, 2013.
  31. ^ Julius Erving. basketball-reference.com
  32. ^ Pluto, Terry, Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association (Simon & Schuster, 1990), ISBN 978-1-4165-4061-8, pp. 433–434
  33. ^ Simmons, Bill (2009). The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy. ESPN Books. ISBN 978-0-345-51176-8
  34. ^ Watanabe, Ben. (August 7, 2012). "Julius Erving Wore No. 6 With Sixers to Be Like Bill Russell, ‘One of My Heroes’ (Video)". Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  35. ^ "1976-77 NBA Season Summary". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  36. ^ Pluto, Terry, Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association (Simon & Schuster, 1990), ISBN 978-1-4165-4061-8, pp.433–434
  37. ^ "Walton, Lucas Ignite 'Blazermania'". Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  38. ^ 1982 NBA Awards
  39. ^ Original Old School: First and Foremost SLAM 72: From high school to the pros, Moses Malone was on another level, by Alan Paul published in SLAM, June 2003
  40. ^ 1980: Dr.J Baseline Scoop on YouTube
  41. ^ "Doctor's Shot Stuns Lakers". NBA.com. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  42. ^ Dr J's famous "Rock The Baby Dunk" Against Lakers on YouTube
  43. ^ UMASS Alumni Association, http://www.umassalumni.com/membership/notable.html
  44. ^ NBA, Legends in Business Q&A, http://www.nba.com/careers/legends__erving.html
  45. ^ Business West, Breaking Down the Barriers, December 1, 2004, http://www.allbusiness.com/specialty-businesses/1074099-1.html
  46. ^ "http://www.nba.com/history/legends/julius-erving/index.html"
  47. ^ Pockrass, Bob (January 31, 2014). "NFL and NASCAR: Former NFL stars who dabbled in stock-car racing". Sporting News. Archived from the original on May 22, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  48. ^ "http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/dr-js-golf-course-in-foreclosure/nQdpQ/"
  49. ^ Persaud, C.H.K. (2004). Famous People Speak about Jesus: A Compendium of Expressions of Praise and Reverence. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 1465325751.
  50. ^ "SOJOURNER DEAD AT 58". nypost.com. October 23, 2005.
  51. ^ CBC Sports (August 2, 2000). "Son of Julius Erving died of accidental drowning". CBC Sports. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  52. ^ a b Friend, Tom (December 15, 1980). "Reaching Out". ESPN. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  53. ^ "Stevenson loses in first round". Associated Press. April 14, 2009.
  54. ^ Jackson, Patty. (January 2, 2009). "what's the 411?", Philadelphia Tribune, Page 11-E

External links

1970–71 ABA season

The 1970–71 ABA season was the fourth season of the American Basketball Association.

The Utah Stars, led by Zelmo Beaty and Willie Wise, won the championship.

The Virginia Squires won the Eastern Division and were led by rookie Julius Erving from the University of Massachusetts.

1973–74 New York Nets season

The 1973–74 New York Nets season was the seventh season in the ABA basketball New York Nets franchise. The Nets won their first ABA Championship against the Utah Stars.

1974–75 ABA season

The 1974–75 ABA season was the eighth season of the American Basketball Association. The Kentucky Colonels won the 1975 ABA Championship after winning the Eastern Division; the Denver Nuggets won the Western Division. Julius Erving and George McGinnis shared the league's MVP award.

1975–76 ABA season

The 1975–76 American Basketball Association season was its ninth and final season. The shot clock was changed from 30 to 24 seconds to match the NBA. Dave DeBusschere was the league's new commissioner, its seventh and last.

Prior to the start of the season, the Memphis Sounds relocated to Baltimore, Maryland, and briefly became the Baltimore Hustlers, then the Baltimore Claws. The Claws folded during the preseason in October after playing three exhibition games. The San Diego Conquistadors were replaced for the 1975-76 season by the San Diego Sails, but folded in November, followed by the Utah Stars in early December. The Virginia Squires folded in May following the end of the season, unable to make a $75,000 league assessment.

The 1976 ABA All-Star Game saw the first place Denver Nuggets come from behind to defeat the ABA All Stars 144-138 in Denver. The game saw the first ever Slam Dunk Contest, won by Julius Erving.

With the conclusion of the season, the June 1976 ABA-NBA merger saw the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, New York Nets, and San Antonio Spurs join the NBA, while the Kentucky Colonels and Spirits of St. Louis accepted deals to fold. The deal accepted by the Spirits' owners, Ozzie and Daniel Silna, would turn out to be quite lucrative, as they agreed to receive a seventh of the television revenue generated by each of the four newly-added franchises in perpetuity.

1977 NBA All-Star Game

The 27th National Basketball Association All-Star Game was played on February 13, 1977, at MECCA Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference, 125–124. The Most Valuable Player was Julius Erving. Gene Shue coached the Eastern Conference team. Larry Brown coached the Western Conference team.

1977 NBA Finals

The 1977 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 1976–77 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs. The Western Conference champion Portland Trail Blazers played against the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers, with the 76ers holding home-court advantage. Their four regular season meetings had been split evenly, 2–2, with neither side winning away from home. The series was played under a best-of-seven format.

The 1976–77 NBA season started with the ABA–NBA merger. Portland had benefited from the resulting ABA dispersal draft as they acquired Spirits of St. Louis power forward Maurice Lucas to partner with Bill Walton, and Philadelphia had signed ABA All-Star and 3-time ABA MVP Julius "Dr. J" Erving, who had taken the New York Nets to the ABA title the previous year. In the 1977 NBA Finals, five of the ten starting players were former ABA players (Julius Erving, Caldwell Jones, George McGinnis, Dave Twardzik, and Maurice Lucas.).While it was no surprise that Philadelphia had made it to the championship series, having posted the best record in the east (50-32, #1), Portland's appearance in the finals was a mild surprise. Portland, a team that was founded only seven years earlier, was making its playoff debut with its first winning season (49-33, #3). It was also making its finals debut after sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers in four close games in the Western Conference Finals.

The series started 2-0 in favor of Philadelphia, but over the next four games, Portland mounted a comeback that has rarely been seen in professional sports.

1983 NBA All-Star Game

The 33rd National Basketball Association All-Star Game was played on February 13, 1983, at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The Eastern Conference defeated the Western Conference, 132–123. The Most Valuable Player was Julius Erving. Billy Cunningham coached the Eastern Conference team. Pat Riley coached the Western Conference team. Both would be the coaches at the following summer's NBA Finals.

The game was most notable for Marvin Gaye singing a soulful, drum machine-accompanied version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the game. This rendition gained newfound fame in 2008 when Nike used it in a video promoting the United States men's national basketball team. The colors were by the Edwards Air Force Base color guard, carrying the American, California, and Air Force flags.

1987 NBA All-Star Game

The 37th National Basketball Association All-Star Game was played on February 8, 1987, at Seattle's Kingdome. Seattle SuperSonics power forward Tom Chambers was the game's MVP.

The Eastern Conference team consisted of the Washington Bullets' Moses Malone and Jeff Malone, the Philadelphia 76ers' Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks and Charles Barkley, the Boston Celtics' Larry Bird, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale, the Detroit Pistons' Isiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer, the Atlanta Hawks' Dominique Wilkins and the Chicago Bulls' Michael Jordan.

In addition to game MVP Tom Chambers, the Western Conference team featured the Los Angeles Lakers' Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Golden State Warriors' Sleepy Floyd and Joe Barry Carroll, the Dallas Mavericks' Rolando Blackman and Mark Aguirre, the San Antonio Spurs' Alvin Robertson, the Phoenix Suns' Walter Davis, the Denver Nuggets' Alex English and the Houston Rockets' Akeem Olajuwon. Houston's Ralph Sampson was selected but unable to play due to injury.

The coach of the Eastern team was Boston's K.C. Jones. The coach of the Western team was the Lakers' Pat Riley.

ABA Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award

The ABA Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award was an annual American Basketball Association (ABA) given in the ABA Playoffs. The award was first awarded in the 1968 ABA Playoffs, and was retired as part of the ABA–NBA merger. In sports, the player judged to be the most important to the team is the most valuable player (MVP).

The inaugural award winner was Pittsburgh Pipers' player Connie Hawkins. On all occasions, the player who wins the Playoffs MVP award is from the team that won the ABA championship. Julius Erving, who led the New York Nets to two ABA championships in 1974 and 1976, is the only player to win the award twice.

American Basketball Association

The original American Basketball Association (ABA) was a men's professional basketball league, from 1967 to 1976. The ABA ceased to exist with the American Basketball Association–National Basketball Association merger in 1976, leading to several teams joining the National Basketball Association and to the introduction of the 3-point shot in the NBA in 1979.


Big3 (stylized BIG3) is a 3-on-3 basketball league founded by hip hop musician and actor Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz. The league consists of twelve teams whose rosters include both former NBA players and international players. The rules enforced in Big3 games contain major deviations from the official rules of 3-on-3 basketball as administered by FIBA.

Jerry West Award

The Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award is an annual basketball award given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the top men's collegiate shooting guard. Following the success of the Bob Cousy Award which had been awarded since 2004, the award was one of four new awards (along with the Julius Erving Award, Karl Malone Award and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award) created as part of the inaugural College Basketball Awards show in 2015. It is named after NBA Finals Champion and NBA Finals MVP player Jerry West. The inaugural winner was D'Angelo Russell.

Julius Erving Award

The Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award is an annual basketball award given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the top men's collegiate small forward. Following the success of the Bob Cousy Award which had been awarded since 2004, the award was one of four new awards (along with the Jerry West Award, Karl Malone Award and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award) created as part of the inaugural College Basketball Awards show in 2015. It is named after NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team player Julius Erving. The inaugural winner was Stanley Johnson.

Karl Malone Award

The Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award is an annual basketball award given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the top men's collegiate power forward. Following the success of the Bob Cousy Award which had been awarded since 2004, the award was one of four new awards (along with the Jerry West Award, Julius Erving Award and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award) created as part of the inaugural College Basketball Awards show in 2015. It is named after 14-time NBA All-Star, 11-time All-NBA First Team player Karl Malone. The inaugural winner was Montrezl Harrell.

List of American Basketball Association awards and honors

The American Basketball Association (ABA) was a professional basketball league that operated from the 1967–68 season until it ceased to exist with the ABA–NBA merger in 1976. The ABA presented a variety of annual awards and honors to recognize its players and executives.

There were six awards presented by the ABA. Three Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards were presented annually in the All-Star Game, the regular season, and the playoffs. In sports, the player judged to be the most important to the team is the Most Valuable Player (MVP). Other annual awards include the Executive of the Year, the Coach of the Year, and the Rookie of the Year. Honors were also presented to players who excelled in the respective categories of: best players, best defensive players, and best rookies. The Executive of the Year Award and the All-Defensive Team started in the 1972–73 season, while the rest started in the first season. Julius Erving has won the most ABA awards with five MVP awards—three in the regular season and two in the playoffs. Artis Gilmore has won the most ABA honors with nine. A total of 80 ABA players and executives have received at least one award or honor.

List of Brooklyn Nets seasons

This is a list of seasons completed by the Brooklyn Nets professional basketball team. The Nets were founded as the New Jersey Americans in 1967, a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association (ABA). A year later, the team moved to Long Island, New York, and were renamed as the New York Nets. There, behind the play of Hall of Famer Julius Erving, the team won its only two ABA championships: in 1974 and 1976. After the 1975–76 season, the ABA merged with the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the Nets were one of four franchises that joined the NBA. After a season of being the second team to represent the state of New York (the other being the New York Knicks), the team moved back to New Jersey as the New Jersey Nets.

In the NBA, the Nets have experienced only one period of sustained success, from the 2001–02 season to the 2006–07 season, when led by Jason Kidd they played in the postseason every year and twice reached the NBA Finals, but lost to Shaquille O'Neal-led Los Angeles Lakers in 2002 and then to Tim Duncan-led San Antonio Spurs in 2003. After 35 seasons in New Jersey, owner Mikhail Prokhorov moved the team to the New York City borough of Brooklyn to become the Brooklyn Nets.


Posterized is North American slang derived from an action in the game of basketball, in which the offensive player "dunks" over a defending player in a play that is spectacular and athletic enough to warrant reproduction in a printed poster. The term was originated from Julius Erving, whose high-flying style of play inspired the term.

One of the most famous examples of a player being 'posterized' occurred during the 2000 Summer Olympics. 6-foot-6 Vince Carter, playing for Team USA, dunked over 7-foot-2 Frédéric Weis of France.Posterized is also used infrequently to describe similar events in other sports and has made its way into business writing.

Small forward

The small forward (SF), also known as the three, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. Small forwards are typically shorter, quicker, and leaner than power forwards and centers, but typically taller and larger than either of the guard positions.

The small forward is considered to be perhaps the most versatile of the five main basketball positions. In the NBA, small forwards usually range from 6' 6" (1.98 m) to 6' 10" (2.08 m) while in the WNBA, small forwards are usually between 5' 11" (1.80 m) to 6' 2" (1.88 m).

Small forwards are responsible for scoring points, defending and often as secondary or tertiary rebounders behind the power forward and center, although a few have considerable passing responsibilities. Many small forwards in professional basketball are prolific scorers.The styles with which small forwards amass their points vary widely. Some players at the position are very accurate shooters, others prefer to initiate physical contact with opposing players, and still others are primarily slashers who also possess jump shots. In some cases, small forwards position on the baseline or as off-the-ball specialists. Small forwards who are defensive specialists are very versatile as they can often guard multiple positions using their size, speed, and strength.

Small forwards that are inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame include Julius Erving, Cheryl Miller, Larry Bird, Sheryl Swoopes, James Worthy, Elgin Baylor, Scottie Pippen, Dominique Wilkins and Rick Barry.


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