Julius Erving, “Dr. J.”
Julius Erving brought the concept of playing "above the rim" to basketball. Uploaded by basketballwallpapers.com.
My first instinct was to say, ‘Without the talents of Dr. J, the NBA wouldn’t be what it is today.” But it’s not fair to blame him for that fetid rotting corpse of a sport. Dr. J helped to popularize the “above the rim” athletic style of play, but he did it with grace and artistry.
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I got to see Dr. J play a time or two when he was with the Virginia Squires, his first pro team. That was in the old ABA, in which Erving played for the first five seasons before its merger with the NBA. Most people believed that his entry into the older league was the best thing it got out of the merger.
Dr. J played with the Philadelphia 76ers his entire NBA career, during which he won an NBA title, an MVP award, and was an 11-time all-star. The NBA named him a member of its 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. He’s been a true ambassador for the league, as you can tell by quotes like this: “Respect is a lot more important, and a lot greater, than popularity.”
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