Julius Erving Rumors

Not because LeBron James has stayed out of it or because every dunk has seemingly been done, but because of furry creatures. “The mascots messed it up,” Erving said, referring to the stunts pulled during regular-season games as part of crowd entertainment. “It was great seeing regular human beings, even though they were 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, running and dunking a basketball. When mascots started doing it with all the trampolines and all the crazy stuff and falling on the floor, then it became more like the X Games. The players can’t live up to that.”
Julius Erving doesn’t think the slam dunk contest is going away any time soon, but admits the competition has lost a step. Not because LeBron James has stayed out of it or because every dunk has seemingly been done, but because of furry creatures. “The mascots messed it up,” Erving said, referring to the stunts pulled during regular-season games as part of crowd entertainment. “It was great seeing regular human beings, even though they were 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, running and dunking a basketball. When mascots started doing it with all the trampolines and all the crazy stuff and falling on the floor, then it became more like the X Games. The players can’t live up to that.”
Former ABA players Julius Erving, David Thompson and Gervin won All-Star MVP awards in three of the first four years after the NBA-ABA merger in 1976. “I think I was kind of an unknown,” Gervin, a four-time ABA All-Star, said Tuesday of his first NBA All-Star Game. “We played against a lot of the NBA guys in the summertime, so they knew that we could play. We always had something to prove because you are coming into a new league, you want to show everyone that you can play. Guys like myself, Doc, David Thompson, we kind of took charge. “I guess after three or four years they were convinced that we belonged.”
Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and David Stern are all names synonymous with the NBA’s rise in popularity during the 1980s. But there were, of course, key personnel in the league office building the foundation for success in the decades to come. Terry Lyons was one of those individuals. In fact, he filled some of the most important roles behind the scenes. ““Terry Lyons’ enormous contributions to our media relations efforts for almost three decades have been a key driver to our growth, domestically and internationally,” Stern was quoted as saying in a statement posted on Lyons’ website. ” He has grown up with the NBA and the NBA has grown up with him. Terry has traveled the world on behalf of the NBA and Team USA, spreading the basketball gospel. He has worked arduously to enhance international media coverage of our teams and our games and he has made the NBA office a welcoming center for the global basketball community and international media. We will miss him greatly, and wish him continued professional success and much personal happiness.”
Finishing with a 19-63 record, the Sixers secured the second-best odds to get the top draft pick behind the Milwaukee Bucks. The only thing left to do for the Sixers is get a little luck on their side. That’s part of the reason that former Sixer and Hall of Famer Julius Erving will be the team’s onstage representative at the lottery. “It is fitting that he represents us at the podium on this exciting night,” Sixers CEO Scott O’Neill said. “As we build for the future, we are thrilled to have a key part of our past with us to bring the team good luck.”
Both Tanenbaum and Peddie, the president of MLSE at the time, assured their star he’d be kept in the loop on the hiring of the new GM, but all Carter heard were crickets, and it stung. Then, when Julius Erving reached out to Carter about joining the Raptors in some capacity, Carter made the introductions. But Peddie gave the NBA legend only a cursory interview at the airport, and published reports indicated Erving wasn’t really in the running. Peddie admitted he screwed that up: “I give myself low marks for keeping [Carter] informed, even by my own expectations,” he said at the time.
Erving hasn’t returned to a television studio since, save for some promotional trips (like this one, with Stephen Colbert) centered on the release of his new memoir, “Dr J.: An Autobiography.” And while he isn’t exactly burning television network bridges with one recently released excerpt, you can probably understand why Mr. Erving doesn’t exactly seem keen on re-joining the broadcast booth any time soon. From his book: I worry that I am not up to the task of explaining the essence of basketball as it is played at the highest levels. I feel that it is like trying to explain music through words or to describe a painting through text. You can give a feeling of the work, or compare it to something else, but you can’t re-create the actual feeling of being on the court, or making that move, of imposing your will, of the precise moment that you realize you can reach the front of the rim.
Doctor J took the playground game indoors. Took it to a higher level. Above the rim. Flew like a condor, stung like a scorpion. Found wealth and fame in that thin air. It was different at ground level, both feet on the shifting terrain. All that gloom. All those people he loved, dying young. He has written his autobiography, with considerable help from Karl Taro Greenfeld. Calls it “Dr. J” when it could have easily been called “Julius Erving.” Slice it and balance the parts, sadness outweighs joy 60-40.
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Last week, the likes of Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, Billy Cunningham, Doug Collins, Bobby Jones, Pat Croce, Wali Jones and others converged in a back room of the Wells Fargo Center to pay tribute to Jeff Millman, a 50-year employee of the organization whose jobs varied from ballboy to equipment manager, but whose undeniable fingerprints on the club couldn’t be given a title. The locker room was dedicated to him before the season opener against the Miami Heat, and he was introduced to the near sellout crowd in the first quarter, surrounded by the basketball royalty mentioned above. Millman was battling cancer, and all of those famous athletes whose lives he touched wanted to honor him. And, really, say goodbye.
Jeff Millman touched many people’s lives during a half-century of service to the 76ers. Many of the greatest names in franchise history returned to honor him Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center against the Miami Heat. Among the former Sixers on hand were Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, Moses Malone, Billy Cunningham, Bobby Jones, Darryl Dawkins, and Doug Collins. In a pregame ceremony, the Sixers dedicated their locker room to Millman, a longtime equipment manager who had several jobs with the team over the years. They also honored him with a video tribute.
But after the Nets have wrapped up a successful first season in New York since the team moved to New Jersey in 1977 when the franchise entered the NBA, Erving is glad to see the team on sound footing. “Well, the fact that it was four years in the making took away the element of surprise,” Erving said with a laugh during a phone interview with The Post last week ahead of the airing of the NBA TV documentary about him, “The Doctor,” Monday night on NBA TV. “We knew they were gonna end up in Brooklyn, but with the process, it was like when? It is surreal, but now that it’s done there’s no looking back, and its clearly the right move, in terms of developing their own market, and just the walk-in traffic alone in the building, the building is just a huge success story as far as things go.
And while he’s working as a special advisor to the Sixers and did some cameos on television in recent weeks to promote the documentary, including working with the “Inside the NBA” team on TNT for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, he said he has no interest in either working on a daily basis for a team or getting back into television full-time. “I’ll do cameos and appearances and things in the right situation, but it’s not a job I desire to have, and I don’t want to be on lockdown at this stage of my life,” he said.
But Erving also appreciates that so many of the modern stars — Bryant, James, Kevin Durant — recognize and speak freely about the path that Erving and others paved for them. “I don’t think LeBron is generous with praise of others,” Erving said. “Certainly, those first five or six years he wasn’t, and now he is in the later years. That’s all part of his growth and development where he could appreciate what transpired before. “I’m certainly appreciative of anything he has to say that compliments me or other people who have made great contributions to the game of basketball,” he said. “And that is a significant part of his evolution.”
“LeBron is such a gifted athlete, and he’s way beyond the man-child aspect, the first impression,” Erving said. “It’s Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson and LeBron, OK? I mean these are guys when they were freshmen in high school, they probably could’ve been pros. I can only think of those three, and then George McGinnis was probably like that. Some get to the mountaintop and others don’t. There’s no guarantee. “Even though you’re gifted with that type of body and you’re a man-child, you still have to work at it — work harder than anyone else, still have to develop your skills, still have to increase your IQ in terms of your sport. He’s doing all that. … He’s on such a path right now that he could surpass Michael and he could surpass Kareem. Those are the guys I think are the NBA’s best of all time. He’s in that conversation, and he’ll stay in that conversation.”