Julius Erving and George Gervin were two greats of basketball who spent their early careers on the same team, honing each other’s skills.
Dr. J is known as the torchbearer of the 70s game – the first big wing superstar in basketball history. Erving was a different kind of combo forward to the likes of Elgin Baylor, John Havlicek and Rick Barry.
Erving could handle the ball and be the playmaker, but he played in an era with stricter role definitions. As a result, his playmaking was somewhat stifled in the small forward role. But he is still the archetype for the modern explosive swingman.
Every great swingman from Larry Bird to Kevin Durant has drawn lessons from the layup package displayed by Dr. J. Another great from the 1970s whom every great scorer has emulated is George Gervin.
It is somewhat fascinating to note that Dr. J and the Iceman were teammates at one point. Gervin attributes a ton of his personal growth as a player to the influence of Julius Erving.
Julius Erving describes how he bust George Gervin up in a 1v1 game
Gervin was a guest on the Knuckleheads Podcast with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles recently. The 4-time scoring champion described his first encounter with Julius Erving as the only time he had his a** bust.
Julius Erving, meanwhile was a guest on this podcast this past week. D-Miles found the opportunity to probe the Doc about the famous 1v1 game between him and Ice. Erving described the situation quite enthusiastically:
“It was practice, man. He was trying to go home, and I said ‘Well you can’t leave, man! We gotta go in the gym, we still got work to do.’ Cuz he came mid-season, after we replaced Charlie Scott on our team.”
“He was going to go home, and I said nah, let’s go to the gym. So I wasn’t holding back, you know, I wanted to see what he really had. And then Ice would go in and do this move where he always kept his eyes on the little white square.”
“He started coming in, I was like ‘What you looking at, man?’ And he said ‘I’m looking at the big square’. And he’s placing the ball on different spots on that big white square.”
Also Read – Played with Kobe Bryant and Shaq, but Vince Carter has to be my most gifted teammate ever! Matt Barnes describes the absurd stuff that VC would pull off in Orlando Magic practices as Barnes’ teammate.