Source: James Drake / Getty

One of the most talented players in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA) turned 74 today. Hailing from Roosevelt, New York Julius Winfield Erving II became one of the most important and iconic figures in the world of basketball. Over the course of his 16 year professional career, “Dr. J” showcased his remarkable skills and charismatic personality, fascinating fans and revolutionizing the game. From the early time he spent in the American Basketball Association (ABA) to his years in the NBA, Erving left an inerasable mark on the sport. Whether it was with his scoring ability or his impact on the game’s popularity, Erving was a model of excellence. Since it’s his birthday and also Black History Month, we thought it would be a good time to give him his flowers. Below, check out a gallery of facts that you may or may not have known about the sports megastar. HAPPY 74TH BIRTHDAY TO DR. J!!!

1. He Popularized The Slam Dunk

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers


With his incredible athleticism, Dr. J changed the game of basketball with his gravity-defying slam dunks. In doing so, he inspired a new generation of basketball players. 


New York Nets Julius Erving


Erving played 5 seasons in the ABA (Virginia Squires, New York Nets) and helped legitimize the league before it merged into the NBA. He played his next 11 seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers. He is the only player that has won MVP in both leagues. 

3. The Nickname

Philadelphia 76ers Vs. Boston Celtics at Boston Garden (1985 Eastern Conference Finals)


Erving’s high school friend Leon Saunders gave him the nickname Dr. J. He started out by just being called “The Doctor” then it went to “Dr. Julius” then shortened to “Dr. J.”

4. Highly Decorated

Indiana Pacers v Philadelphia 76ers


Ervings Career Accolades Include:

5. HOF


In 1993, Dr. J’s impact on the game of basketball was recognized with his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

6. Collegiate Goat

Julius Erving...


While attending the University of Massachusetts, Erving proved to be one of the best college basketball players ever. In two varsity college basketball seasons, he averaged 26.3 points and 20.2 rebounds per game. His #32 jersey is retired by the Minutemen. He eventually got his #32 jersey retired by the Brooklyn Nets and his #6 jersey retired by the Philadelphia 76ers. 

7. Paying Homage

BIG3 - Championship


The Julius Erving Award was created in 2015 and is given to the best small forward in college basketball each year. The BIG3 Championship Trophy is also named after the all-time great. 

8. Swag Champ

BIG3 - Week Six


Dr. J was known for his unique style and fashion sense. He was considered a trendsetter throughout his career. 

9. Multi-Talented

Converse All-Star Event with Julius Erving and Pete Rose


Dr. J showcased his acting skills in projects such as “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh” and made guest appearances on popular TV shows. His knowledge and insights into the game led him to have a successful career as a basketball analysis after he retired. 

10. Still Active

2023 NBA All Star - AT&T Slam Dunk Contest


Julius Erving was, is and will always be  a role model and ambassador for the sport. He has used his influence to promote charitable causes and inspire the next generation of athletes. His impact extends even to this day as he’s solidified his status as a legend in the basketball world. 

Even years after his retirement, his name still commands respect and admiration from fans and fellow players alike. His legacy will forever be etched in the annals of basketball history, reminding us of the incredible talent and remarkable contributions he made to the game.