The Julius Erving Award
Julius Erving could jump, run, shoot, score, dunk, play defense, rebound, and fill arena seats everywhere he played. He attended the University of Massachusetts and averaged 26.3 points and 20.2 rebounds per game, making him one of only six NCAA men’s basketball players to average more than 20 points and 20 rebounds per game. After two seasons, Erving made the jump to the American Basketball Association and was the league’s most recognizable player when it merged with the National Basketball Association in 1976.
"Dr. J's" game of in-your-face hoops appealed to everyone and he made the game cool to play and to watch. During his sixteen scintillating seasons in both the ABA and NBA, Erving redefined the forward position. Flamboyant and artistic -- opponents knew where Dr. J was zooming, but few could stop his offensive assault. Playing above the rim, Erving popularized being airborne. His style and grace both on and off the court led many to call him an American treasure. A two-time ABA MVP, Erving led the New York Nets to two ABA championships. In 1976, Erving moved to the NBA and became a Philadelphia 76er. In 1983, he led the 76ers to the NBA championship. His unique athleticism coupled with his star power made Dr. J a household name worldwide.