Backstage With: Dr. J

UNDATED: Julius Erving #6 of the Philadelphia 76ers dunks circa the 1970's during a game. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

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He changed the game.  He brought style, grace and class to his time in the sport.  Dr. J was a true original, one of the game’s forefathers who every star to follow him, looked up to.

Here, Dr. J speaks, very openly on his perspective of playing the game, not as a sport, but as art.  Or as witnessed in his play, a masterpiece, which is exactly what he set out to do.  Dr. J takes us back to his simple beginnings on the playground and even admits that he didn’t want to, as he put it, "eat, sleep and drink basketball."  Which is equal parts remarkable and telling to the man he is. 

The Doctor was as fluid and graceful an athlete we have ever seen on the court, but he knew there were other aspects of life that interested him and tells of outside factors, such as the Civil Rights movement and other events at the time, that he dealt with. 

He also goes into how the influence of the playground game has faded and given way to players developing through structure and a system.  His style was born on the playground and his on-court originality broke the rules, to the point that Doc tells a great story on how Adolph Rupp told him so. 

When Dr. J speaks, it is worth a listen.  He’s tells great stories and has refreshing insight on players past and present, while sharing his profound philosophy on the game as only the Doctor can.

His book, a biography on his life and times, will be coming out in November.  Before LeBron’s athletic ability led to his current domination of the game, or before Jordan became the greatest player ever, or even before Nique was the Human Highlight, it was Dr. J who was all of those three combined.