Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Julius Winfield Erving (born February 22, 1950 in Roosevelt, New York), commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, is an American basketball player who helped launch the modern style of play that emphasizes leaping ability and play above the rim.
Erving was also instrumental in bringing legitimacy to the now-defunct American Basketball Association. While some players are considered to be "the team", Dr. J. was considered "the league." He was the main asset of the ABA when it merged with the NBA after the 1976 season. He was named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time team.
He signed with the fledgling ABA in 1971, and played with the Virginia Squires from 1971-73 (2 years) and the New York Nets from 1973-76 (3 years). He then moved to the NBA, where he played with the Philadelphia 76ers until his retirement in 1987. He was named the NBA MVP in 1981, and led the 76ers to the NBA Championship in 1983.
When he retired, Erving ranked in the top 10 in scoring (third), most field goals made (third), most field goals attempted (fifth) and most steals (first). On the combined NBA/ABA scoring list, Erving ranked third with 30,026 points.
In 1979/80, Erving executed the "Baseline Move", one of the arguably most spectacular baskets ever. He drove past a defender on the right baseline and went up for a layup. Then hulking center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar crossed his way, blocking the route to the basket. 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!
Erving also introduced the dunk jumping off the foul line. He executed this move in the 1976 All-Star Dunking Contest..
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