We look at how Julius Erving’s game and persona evolved during the late 1970s and early 1980s years with the Philadelphia 76ers, where they reached the NBA Finals three times before finally winning a championship in 1983 with Moses Malone. We are joined by frequent guest and pro-basketball historian Curtis Harris @ProHoopsHistory of ProHoopsHistory.com.
We discuss how Erving personified ‘70s cool from his personal style to his flare on the court, how he saw himself as an artist on the court and how he tried to blend the playground game with team basketball, how the Nets were unable to afford his contract after the NBA-ABA merger and ended up trading him to the Sixers just before the 1977 season, how the Sixers were “the team that won't shut up” and how they were seen as a group of playground players, how Erving tried to fit himself into a star-laden Sixers team (with George McGinnis, World B. Free, Doug Collins, Darryl Dawkins Joe Bryant, Henry Bibby and Caldwell Jones), how Erving had to prove himself all over again in a skeptical NBA, how his stardom and flare influenced the NBA, how the NBA began to incorporate aspects of Erving and the ABA into its marketing through the early 1980s, whether Erving changed the NBA or whether the NBA changed Erving, how the Sixers were able to acquire MVP Moses Malone and how Erving found out while traveling in China, how Erving and Malone blended their talents for a magical 1983 season, and how the Sixers’ championship with the last gasp for the ABA generation before the NBA would fully become Magic & Bird’s league and much more!
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