First to Fly

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Dr. J was art, rhythm, grace and force all packed into one. In all actuality he was moving poetry. When thinking of his game, feelings rise before statists – Julius Erving’s presence truly was a present on the basketball court. If anything the Doctor was a superhero in short shorts, high socks and converse. Many forget how dominant he was to the tune of 24 PPG over his ABA and NBA careers.

When the ABA dissolved Erving found himself playing for the Philadelphia 76ers (starting in 1976) and within four seasons lead them to the 1980 NBA Finals. The Sixers played the role of underdog to the Showtime Lakers featuring a Rookie Magic Johnson. Los Angeles took Game 1 but Julius fittingly bounced back putting up a 23 points double-double (with rebounds) in Game 2. Two points in particular stand out in NBA History, take look for yourself:

Just another move

Magic’s recalling of the play… priceless. Dr. J’s quote at the end, “it was just another move”… legendary.

via NBA

A picture is worth a thousand words. This picture speaks volumes, look at the ball placement, unbelievable. Dr. J was known for making the impossible appear easy.

via NBA

Here’s the Doctor laying it up against Kareem in the Leather Pro. The Lakers would go on to win the series 6-2 but Erving’s play proved that his skills were as sharp as ever (he was originally drafted in the ABA by the Virginia Squires in 1971, doubters speculated that Erving couldn’t dominate in the more talented NBA). Three years after his historic ‘scoop shot’ Dr. J would get his revenge against the Lakers and win his first championship (1983; in a sweep).

via Nike

Man, heritage is a beautiful thing. Converse’s approach to Dr. J’s Art Of A Champion¬†Pro Leather maintains every element great about the OG. Supple white leather makes up 90% of the shoe with red accents on the branding, heel and ankle liner. Far from an adequate hoop shoe by today’s standards, the Pro Leather is better suited for the streets. Cop your own pair on April 19th!

via Nike
  • Early Atari style graphics on the screen dating the time period
  • Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell for the city
  • An ice cream scoop with a perfect pink basketball for the lay-up
  • Afro pick keeping the Doctor’s signature¬†‘fro shaped and even
  • He was out of this world, obviously arriving via UFO
  • Stethoscope because… you know