Julius Erving was a huge inspiration to some of the best players we saw in the NBA in the 80s and 90s. Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan were great admirers of the Philadelphia 76ers, the Brooklyn Nets legend, and the latter bore many similarities to the icon.
Dr. J. made a big impression on everyone who watched him play, but he was also pleased that young players showed their qualities as soon as they landed in the league. That was the case with Michael Jordan, who had a few duels with the doctor early in his career.
Recently, Erving joined Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles The “Knuckleheads” of the Players’ Tribune discuss different topics. Miles asked him if he was Jordan’s favorite player (1:08:19) and Julius remembered the duels he had with His Airness.
At the time, Jordan was showing lightning bolts of his quality, but Erving saw he could become the face of the league before many socialmediagossips did.
“MJ and I played against each other – there were three years when we overlapped. I caught him before he really got going. He got a lot of points, but he tried to find himself. Find the right mix of teammates. There was a lot going on during that time. “
They even had a fun exchange on the pitch. Julius recalled Jordan once trying to have an in-game slam dunk competition, but Erving’s body wasn’t the same and couldn’t keep up with the legend of the Chicago Bulls.
“It was fun because I remember once he came down and our whole team dipped in …” I can do it again, you know? ” And I said, ‘Okay, well, I only have one chance and I did it!’ But it was fun. In the years that we clashed, I always liked him and felt that he had a lot of respect and admiration. He would carry the torch and he definitely wanted it. “
Dr. J was a huge inspiration to everyone, and Jordan saw him as more than just a basketball player. In 1984, during his rookie season, No. 23 revealed that he wanted to get close to Erving, but in a different aspect of life.
Above The New York Times:
Jordan’s gentler side reveals itself when asked if he sees himself in Erving’s form as a man with grace and serenity. “Sometimes I wonder,” he said softly. “I would like to be who he is. Those are the same goals that I have – I never want to forget where I come from – and I think in that sense I have the same personality. “
Julius Erving is one of the best players who ever made it. He inspired many superstars, including the greatest of all time. Fortunately, he had the chance to face Jordan and see firsthand how special this player was and how great he would be in the future.