Doc: The Rise and Rise of Julius Erving

Doc: The Rise and Rise of Julius Erving

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The definitive biography of basketball genius Julius Erving—the icon who transcended his sport and defined an era

Julius Erving, aka Dr. J, was a wizard with the basketball, performing feats the world had never seen before: midair spins and whirls punctuated by powerful slam dunks, which he was the first to glamorize. In a career that lasted from the 1970s well into the 1980s, he was one of the first players to make extemporaneous individual expression an integral part of the game, setting the style of play that has prevailed ever since. He's also long been respected as a gracious, dignified, and disciplined man. As there are great men of history, there are great men of sports, and Dr. J is just such a man.

This book tells Dr. J's amazing story, following his basketball journey from his Long Island childhood to the street games of New York City to a college career as his skills, reputation, and character grew. It follows his entrance into the ABA, where he revolutionized the game by glamorizing the dunk, and his conquering of the NBA, where he was Michael Jordan before there was a Jordan. It relates the family struggles he's had since leaving the game and charts the transformation of the man into myth.

  • The first complete biography of one of the greatest and most popular basketball players of all time
  • Draws on interviews with Dr. J's childhood friends and his family to teammates and coaches at all levels
  • Written by a New York Times sports journalist and author of Asphalt Gods: An Oral History of the Rucker Tournament
  • Includes Erving's years as a player with the Virginia Squires, New York Nets, and Philadelphia 76ers

Read Doc and follow the incredible journey of the basketball genius who elevated the game off the hardwood and helped make it America's passion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470170182
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 11/02/2009
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 286
Sales rank: 981,171
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Vincent M. Mallozzi is a New York Times reporter who covers sports, metropolitan, and society news. He has written three books on basketball, including Asphalt Gods: An Oral History of the Rucker Tournament. He was a producer of the ESPN basketball documentary Big in the Mind, the story of the New York streetball legend Joe Hammond, and is a member of the Pro Rucker Basketball Hall of Fame.
Mallozzi's professional basketball career, with the Brooklyn Wonders of the ABA in December 2006, lasted 91 seconds. (The playing time came in exchange for a Sunday column in the New York Times.) Born and raised in East Harlem, Mallozzi is a graduate of St. John's University, where he was later a professor of journalism, and of the Technical University of Budapest in Hungary. He now lives in Aberdeen, New Jersey, with his wife, Cathy, and their three sons, Christopher, Michael, and Mark.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Dave Anderson.



1 A Leap of Faith.

2 Decisions, Decisions.

3 Doc Signs with the Squires.

4 Julius and Dave Down by the Schoolyard.

5 Asking for Another Raise.

6 Coming Home.

7 In a League of His Own.

8 Another Contract Dispute.

9 A Philadelphia Phenomenon.

10 Waiting to Hit Pay Dirt.

11 Swan Song.

12 The Ghost of Samantha Stevenson.

13 Cory Disappears.

14 Up Close and Very Personal.

15 Just Like Old Times.



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Doc: The Rise and Rise of Julius Erving 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
n2funstuff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Balanced expose of the life of Dr. J on & off the court.
clark.hallman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a teenager, I loved watching Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell match up when the 76ers and Celtics were on TV, which was usually on Sunday afternoons or during the playoffs. My interest in professional basketball grew even stronger during my college years in Pittsburgh (where the ABA Pittsburgh Pipers played) and after college when I worked in Philadelphia and attended occasional 76ers games. Unfortunately, Julius Erving did not join the 76ers until the year after I had left Philadelphia. Of course I remained a big 76ers fan and became an even bigger Julius Erving fan. Although I never got to see him in person, I certainly enjoyed watching him take the ball to the hoop on TV whenever I could. DOC: The Rise and Rise of Julius Erving is a tribute to Dr. J¿s basketball skills. It focuses on what he did on the basketball court when he played on the playgrounds of Long Island, when he played in high school, when he played at the University of Massachusetts and during his great years in the ABA and the NBA. It includes detailed information about all those stages of his basketball career, covering each season and many of his greatest individual games. The book quotes and paraphrases many of Dr. J¿s teammates, opposing team players, coaches, friends, and broadcasters. Players such as George Gervin, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, Darryl Dawkins, Dominique Wilkins, and many others share their admiration for Erving. Broadcasters such as Bob Costas and Marv Albert also weigh in on his talents. Almost all of them express what an incredibly talented, skilled, and smart basketball player Julius Erving was. Of course, most of them discuss his amazing ability to dunk the basketball over almost any defender or defenders. Many cite specific dunks during specific games, which they maintain to be the greatest dunks ever. Many even attribute superhuman abilities to Julius. The book also presents much information regarding Dr. J¿s contract issues with the ABA (Virginia Squires and New York Nets) and NBA (Philadelphia 76ers) and his relationships with other players and coaches. The book would have been enhanced by more information about Erving¿s personal life and by contributions from Dr. J himself. Unfortunately, the author states that Dr. J refused all of his requests for interviews. The book also provides information about Erving¿s post-player activities, including working as a broadcaster for NBC and several business ventures. Unfortunately, it also presents brief unflattering information about the breakup of Erving¿s marriage and his relationships with his children. Overall, this book a very interesting read for anyone interested in professional basketball, and especially for anyone who admired Dr. J¿s work on the basketball court. The bottom line is, Dr. J was one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and he was recognized as such in 1993 when he was selected for the Hall of Fame and in 1996 when he was selected as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History by a panel of journalists, former players, former coaches, and former team officials.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the Elder's Den.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you ever saw Dr J play basketball the you saw the privlege that many of today's youth never saw: simply the best basketball player ever, bar none. His signature dunks were and still are works of art. Erving had a nature and skill of opening up a game that could literally bring down the house. His ABA days were possibly his best. Even when he came to the NBA he still had plenty of game left. The book simply takes the reader through his life and his humble family beginings. The author also very subjectivly takes you through his very successful playing days and some of his not so successful personal travels. Just simply if you like basketball and like reading about great players than this is the book for you. Great reading!!!!!!!!!!
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