David confirmed months ago what elders have been preaching my entire life. Julius Erving is one of the coolest people to ever walk the face of the Earth. So cool, in fact, even Sesame Street’s resident asshole, The Grouch, once opened his doors (lids) to the Good Doctor.
In a league currently trademarked by freaks of nature who live above the rim, one of the great regrets of my basketball life stands never seeing the prototype, Dr. J, live and in person. Thank God for YouTube.
Bonus: Erving is also apart of some truly fascinating “what ifs” in league history. Like, for instance, what if Doc convinced the powers that be in the mid-’70s he wanted to join the Bucks (who held his NBA draft rights) and played with Kareem and an aging Oscar Robertson? Or if he would’ve been able to stay with the 1973 Atlanta Hawks (whom he played two exhibition games with) and ran fast breaks with some guy named Pistol Pete? Or – and here’s the last one – following the merger, if the Knicks had waived the Nets territorial fee ($480,000/year for 10 years) Erving would’ve been theirs.