Saturday, November 23, 2013

Game Changer

Dr. J: The Autobiography – Julius Erving (Harper Books)

So much has been written and said about the NBA era of Magic, Bird and Jordan, often described as the heyday of the league, a marketers dream for promoting the sport to lofty new heights. What is often overlooked is the man who almost singlehandedly changed the game from being one of bump and grind big men and hot shot artists on the perimeter to one of high flying vertical action. Julius Winfield Erving, better known to all a Dr. J was that game changer.

In his new autobiography; Dr. J: The Autobiography Erving looks back with great fondness at not only his career on the hardwood, but his meteoric rise to being a first round draft pick, his time as the face of the upstart American Basketball Association (ABA) where he won multiple championships and was the league’s dominant force and MVP.

What sets this amazing autobiography apart from so many others is the pride Erving takes in his amazing career on the court and his continued success after basketball. He is almost wholly unique based on the fact that he professes that his success is at least in part due to the opportunity that is presented by being born in the United States; a confession of sorts that is sure to chafe many African American race pimps who blame the U.S. for somehow holding them back. Erving is equally unique in that he chooses not to blame others for any problems he’s has been confronted with; taking personal responsibility for his faults and his successes. In short, Dr. J did build that!

Dr. J is clearly a man of honesty, integrity and class, something that is in short supply in this country and in notably in the sports world. It is those attributes that shine through and make this one of the best sports biographies to ever hit the shelves. Truly a winning effort from a man who has made a career of being a winner and who truly has left a lasting impact not only on the sport, but on those he has crossed paths with.

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