The Doctor.Dr. J, Julius Erving. For me, and many others out there, we didn't get a chance to see Dr. J perform at the peak of his powers, or, at any point in his career. But as any NBA fan of the past couple decades (and more) can attest, the mark he's left on the game is still seen today, and his career: one of legendary status.
But it's still one thing to have experienced Dr. J at a time when he wasn't even televised as the face of the ABA. The documentary by NBA TV that aired last night told generations who knew the encylopedia facts and a story or two... Dr. J's entire story. It emphasized that experience of seeing Dr. J — a jaw-dropping one if you saw him in person and one you otherwise heard about through word of mouth until he started winning MVPs in the NBA (since news consumption is nowhere near what it is now in the digital age).
Amidst some frank and stoic words from Dr. J himself, we also heard stories from Hall-of-Famers and those who grew up watching or covering Julius Erving. The documentary chronicled Dr. J's entire life: the personal triumph of being the best player that ever was at the famous Rucker Park and the ABA to the elusive NBA Championship he finally attained in 1983, and the personal tragedies of losing his brother at age 19, and his son, also at age 19. We got to see the human side of Dr. J as he emotionally expressed what it was like to go through that pain. Needless to say, this was an amazing hour and a half trip through Dr. J's personal life and professional career that many of us didn't have a seat for. Hooked from the very first scene with Magic and Isiah. And now it's hard to find one scene or section that I felt more intriguing than another. It all was, and now you can watch the whole documentary ICYMI above! (shouts toYardie)
Dr. J was all class, the coolest superstar, and the consummate teammate. Not only does the documentary illustrate that, but also this piece by the one and only Scoop Jackson that's a must-read before or after you watch The Doctor.
Spoiler alert! Dr. J dunks at age 63 to end the documentary. Whoa!