Julius Erving Rumors
Instead, the league’s founders chose to focus on what Iverson did do Sunday, meeting fans, signing autographs and creating a memorable moment for 76ers fans when he met with Erving on court before the game. “It was a night where the legend Dr J coached against another legend, Allen Iverson, with Dr. J winning that battle and going out on top,” Ice Cube said. “It was great to see those two legends embrace each other on the court. I think the fans really felt that moment between two guys who really had Philadelphia on their shoulders for so long. Of course we were disappointed that Allen couldn’t play. But this is professional sports, and it happens. Sometimes the guys we really want to go can’t go.”
“This is better than the NBA,” offered Drexler, a coach of the team called Power. “This is more fun because we’re older and we can enjoy it more. When you’re young, it’s life or death. Now, you have a better balance, a better focus. You get to have fun. And you’re around guys you’ve known 30, in my case, 40 years. So, it doesn’t get any better. When I see The Glove (Payton) or Ice (George Gervin) or Julius (Erving), that’s our fraternity.”
Wayne Embry remembers like it happened yesterday. Now 80 years old and a consultant for the Toronto Raptors, Embry recalled how, when he was the general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks in the early ’70s, he lobbied the team’s hierarchy to draft an insanely athletic player from the East Coast.That was Julius Erving, aka Dr. J. If not for some legal issues and some behind-the-scenes shenanigans, Erving would have joined the Bucks and, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson, formed perhaps the greatest triumvirate of players ever assembled.
“Now fast forward, in 1972, I’m the general manager of the Bucks and we had two draft picks that year. So I told ownership that I was going to draft – I forget the player we drafted (Russell Lee of Marshall with the sixth overall selection) — but, with the second pick in the first round, I said I would like to draft Julius Erving. I told them he’s playing in the ABA (with the Virginia Squires) and he’s going to be a great player. “They didn’t know who he was. They had never heard of him. They said, ‘Are you sure want to waste a draft pick on him?’ And, again, I told him he is playing in the ABA; that’s when the ABA just started out, and that I think we just ought to take a chance and draft him because we don’t know if the ABA is going to last.
“Well, I sat there and sat there and sat there and eventually I saw a person come out of his office and head down the hallway the other way. Well, it was Pat Williams of Philadelphia 76ers. And so I go in to talk with Irwin and he said, ‘Wayne, we just signed with Philadelphia.’ So Doc never came to Milwaukee but we did get a second round pick from Atlanta and with that pick we signed Alex English, yet another hall of famer. “From what I understand, the reason why he didn’t want to come to Milwaukee was because he didn’t want to be the third wheel behind Oscar (Robertson) and Abdul-Jabbar. That’s what he said later on. He wanted to be his own man and have his own team. We also had (Bob) Dandridge on our team and he was a very good player, too. (a five-time All-Star).