Julius Erving (born February 22, 1950) is commonly and better known by the nickname Dr. J….Doc…, is an American retired basketball player….who helped popularize a modern style of play that emphasizes leaping and playing above the rim…..while helping legitimize the American Basketball Association (ABA)….as the unquestioned best-known player in that league when it merged with the National Basketball Association (NBA) after the 1975–76 season.
Julius 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….who was inducted in 1993 into the Basketball Hall of Fame….while being 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….who is widely acknowledged as one of the game’s best dunkers…..and while Connie Hawkins, “Jumping” Johnny Green, Elgin Baylor, Jim Pollard and Gus Johnson performed spectacular dunks before Erving’s time….it was Dr J that brought the practice into the mainstream.
His signature dunk was the “slam” dunk…..which has since been incorporated into the vernacular and basic skill set of the game in the same manner as the “crossover” dribble and the “no look” pass.