10 basketball nuggets I learned from "Dr. J: The Autobiography"

Here are 10 "windows" on the life of basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving from gleaned from "Dr. J: The Autobiography," written with Karl Taro. 


1. The nickname

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.”

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