Hall of Famer Julius Erving describes how George Gervin incorporated the finger roll move from himself and made it iconic.
Erving and Gervin were teammates with the Virginia Squires in the ABA at the start of Ice’s pro basketball career. At the time, Gervin was a wiry 6’7″ guy still to grow into a true man’s frame.
Naturally, Erving put Gervin to many tests as his teammate, including playing 1-on-1 after practices. These sessions would rub off amazingly well on the Iceman, who took in information about the game like a sponge.
One of the moves that Gervin patented and is world-famous for is his iconic finger-roll. He, however, attributes its development to Connie Hawkins and Dr. J himself.
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Julius Erving explains how George Gervin evolved his version of the finger roll
Dr. J was the final guest on this season of the Knuckleheads Podcast – the 15th in an illustrious line of guests for another ravishing, engaging season. He gave some great insights into his experiences as a basketball player, aided by some excellent interview questions.
Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson have previously also interviewed the Iceman George Gervin on Knuckleheads. They gleaned there that the finger roll was a move that George copied off of Dr. J.
The Doctor himself confirmed this story while adding some comments regarding Gervin’s scoring:
“He just got a different version of it, from farther out, and using the big square (on the backboard). And we’ve had that conversation man, and I’m like ‘I ain’t messing with that big square, man! I’m gonna stick with my stuff.'”
“The good news about it was, you know, he did it with a certain modesty. And it was like, Ice (George Gervin) wasn’t talking a whole lot of trash. He would just let his game do the talking. And that was my style.”
“You know, it’s funny because when San Antonio used to come in and play Philly, we’d try to put Maurice Cheeks on him. And he’d be like ‘When I come in there, I have my cannon raised. And I’m gonna spray it on Cheeks! Cuz you know, once I get the ball up above my head, I’m good.'”