Posted Apr 17, 2013 8:31 AM - Updated May 16, 2013 2:32 AM
NEW YORK -- As NBA fans prepare to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Philadelphia 76ers' 1983 title, the team's leader, Julius "Dr. J" Erving, will be the next subject in the award-winning NBA TV Originals franchise when the network presents The Doctor, a 90-minute documentary airing between Games 2 and 3 of The Finals on Monday, June 10, at 9 p.m. ET.
Many basketball fans were introduced to Erving when he joined the NBA at age 26, and what they saw was some of the most amazing aerial artistry in the game. What most didn't see, however, was the young Doctor, reinventing the sport during his five spectatular seasons in the ABA. Through rare archival footage, all aspects of Dr. J's career will come to life again in this film.
Along with his storied playing career, the film reveals the challenges Erving has faced off the court as he opens up for the first time about three tragedies and the impact on his life: the death of his father when he was only nine-years-old, his younger brother Marvin when he was 19-years-old, and his youngest son Cory after an automobile accident.
The Doctor includes testaments to Erving's greatness from:
Hall of Famer Magic Johnson
"Back in high school and junior high, Dr. J was the man, he was the guy we all tried to emulate. We all first started with the big 'fro and then we wanted to try to soar through the air like the Doctor."
Three-Time NBA MVP LeBron James
"If you ever hear Michael Jordan talk, he always says he looked up to and aspired to be like Dr. J. So if there was no Dr. J, then Mike would have never had someone to look up to, and if there was no Mike, then there's no guys like myself who looked up to Mike."
Hall of Famer and President of the Miami Heat Pat Riley
"Unless you played against him or unless you watched him in his prime, you didn't realize how great he was."
Erving also reflects on the memorable stops along his basketball journey -- from Roosevelt High School on Long Island, N.Y., to the courts at New York City's famous Rucker Park, the University of Massachusetts, the Nassau Coliseum, and The Spectrum in Philadelphia, as contemporaries at each of these stops add perspective to the story of his legendary career.
The Doctor is the latest in the long line of NBA TV Originals critically-acclaimed documentaries and specials, which include the Emmy-nominated "The Dream Team", Mr. Russell's House, Sir Charles at 50, One-on-One with Ahmad Rashad: Michael Jordan, Searching for Redemption: The Kermit Washington Story, and Wilt 100, as well as the popular series Open Court and The Association.
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