Dr. J: The Autobiograhy With Karl Taro Greenfeld, Harper, 431 pages
Julius Erving got his “Dr. J” nickname while playing in Harlem’s Rucker Park after he left college. Many greats, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate Archibald, and Earl Monroe, have competed there in a summer tournament, which finds fans climbing trees and perching on rooftops to get a view.
Tournament PA announcer Plucky Morris made up an assortment of nicknames for Erving – “Black Moses,” “Houdini,” etc. – but Erving finally told him, “Yo, man, just call me the Doctor.” Morris immediately picked up the suggestion and bellowed, “The Doctor is in. He’s gonna be operatin’. He’s gonna be dissecting brothas.”