Chat Transcript: Dr. J
, the great and wondrous "Dr. J," was the dominant player of his era in both the NBA and ABA, an innovator who changed the way the game was played. He was a wizard with the ball, performing feats never before seen: midair spins and whirls punctuated by powerful slam dunks.
Erving was one of the first players to make extemporaneous individual expression an integral part of the game, setting the style of play that would prevail in the decades to follow.
Dr. J chatted live on NBA.com during Game 1 of NBA Finals 2003. Here's what he had to say:
John (San Diego): What was your most memorable slam dunk?
Dr.J: For me it was a dunk vs. the Washington Bullets in 1979. The Bullets were defending champs. It was over Elvin Hayes.
Boris (Rehovot, Israel): Who do you think will win tonight?
Dr.J: I think the Spurs have the early advantage with Kenyon having two fouls.
Luis (Sonora, Mexico): Hey, Dr., who is your favorite player?
Dr.J: Tracy McGrady is my favorite player to watch. I work with the Orlando Magic, so I get to see him quite often.
James: How old were you when you started dunking and what was your vertical leap?
Dr.J: Ninth grade was the first time I remember dunking. My vertical leap was pretty tall. It was in the high 30 inches.
Moses (Puerto Rico): I appreciate what you have done as a player on and off the court. Do you think it is a mistake to jump from high school to the nba or should the nba not alow this transition to happen? Whish you the best of luck. From a fan in Puerto Rico.
Dr.J: It is not a mistake. Most sports are getting younger and younger on all levels -- soccer, tennis, golf. Basketball is no different.
David (Chicago): Dr. J, who was the toughest defender or opponent you played against in your mind?
Dr.J: I would say there were three. All had different styles -- Joe Caldwell, Bobby Jones and Michael Cooper. Dan Roundfield was also a tough defender.
Andrew: Hey, are you and George Gervin good friends?
Dr.J: We are really good friends. We don't see each other a lot, but when we do, each visit is a quality visit. We both have a lot of respect for each other.
Joe (Port Jeff): How does it feel to be one of the greats that started it all?
Dr.J: It's a good feeling that I share with a lot of athletes that were pioneers Bill Russell, Elgin Baylor and Connie Hawkins.
Brad (Philadelphia): Hey Dr. Who do you think will be the next coach of the Sixers? I think Mo Cheeks will be.
Dr.J: That is a tough question. I think Portland likes Cheeks too much.
Bob (Memphis, TN): Hey, Dr., you influenced the NBA greatly. How do you think LeBron James will impact the NBA?
Dr.J: I think he will be an immediate sensation, but there are a lot of things he will have to get used to, such as losing games. He will lose more games before the All-Star break then he did in high school. It will be interesting to see how he deals with it. But he has so many skills, I think he will be a success.
Patrick (Charlotte): Who do you think is going to win the championship and why?
Dr.J: I think the Nets will win it. It is there on the mantle for the taking. I think they have all the tools. It's won on the court, not in the press. I think they might win it in six games.
Dr.J: Thanks to everyone for all of your questions and enjoy the game!
Moderator: Thank you, Dr. J!