Erving, Julius [key], 1950–, American basketball player, b. Roosevelt, N.J., known as “Dr. J.” An excellent shooter, rebounder, and ball-handler, he played for the American Basketball Association's Virginia Squires (1971–73) and New York Nets (1973–76) and for the National Basketball Association's Philadelphia 76ers (1976–87). He led the ABA in scoring three times (1973–74, 1976) and was named most valuable player four times (ABA, 1974–76; NBA, 1981). With 30,026 career points in both leagues, he ranks third on the all-time scoring list. A spectacular leaper, Erving was the first leading practitioner of the “air” game later exemplified by Michael Jordan. Since leaving the court Erving has been a successful business executive, a television sports analyst, and an executive with the Orlando Magic.
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