Julius Erving has been an inspiration for Michael Jordan (especially his jumping ability). No one else dared to dream that big. No one else dared to jump from the free throw line and try to dunk.
Back than, that was unbelievable. Now, so many players do that, thanks to him. He was the artist of dunking. True hard-working, disciplined superstar who earned the nickname Dr. J.
He could probably palm the ball and cup it, as no one else back then. Even today, it’s not very common to see NBA players holding the ball as if they were holding a tennis ball. Plus his long hands and leaping ability made him a real one man show.
But it wasn’t just a show and fancy moves he gave the crowd. Julius was a scoring machine. He is the 5th highest scorer in the NBA (30026 points).
On top of that he nailed 3 championship rings and 4 MVP awards (that includes when he was playing for the American Basketball Association – ABA)
Erving first joined the ABA league in 1971. It didn’t take him long to demonstrate his flashy moves, his persistent rebounding and scoring ability. After playing in the ABA for a year he bacame eligible to enter the NBA league. The Milwaukee Bucks chose him as the 12th pick. He would’ve played along with Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. But that didn’t happen (that’d be nice though).
He signed a contract with the Atlanta Hawks but not for long. Because of legal injuction he had to come back to the ABA league. Julius continued to dazzle the crowd and perform better and better each night.
The team for which Erving was playing (Virginia Squires) had financial problems and they had to trade him for New York Nets. It was then when he became the most important player in the ABA. In 1976 he became the leader of the now called Philadelphia 76ers.
Julius Erving was the first basketball player to have shoes on his name. He also started appearing on commericals and fans were to desperate to get an autograph.
He retired in 1987 (the year when I was born) and he still remains today, one of the few players to have his number retired by two teams. The New Jersey Nets (formerly New York Nets) and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Erving signature move is the tomahawk dunk. The one that Michael Jordan did a few times when he wascompetiting in the slam dunk contest dunking from the free throw line.
He has been a role model for many famous people including professional skateboarder Bam Margera, the rapper and actor Will Smith, Doc Rivers, the coach who got his name because he was wearing a Dr. J t-shirt very often during practice and Dr. Dre, the famous rapper used the alias Dr. J for some time.