Originally posted on Around the Arc  |  Last updated 6/14/13
Late last week I was fortunate enough to participate in a conference call with Julius Erving and various members of the media. The call was set up to discuss NBA TV's new documentary, "The Doctor" which chronicles the extremely exciting, and turbulent career of Erving. Getting the chance to talk to, and ask questions of one of the game's true living legends was an opportunity I was extremely appreciative of. While the bulk of questions were directly related to the development of the documentary, and the film itself, Dr. J still provided a lot of overall insight into his life, his impact on the game that he loves, and the state of it today. Check out the Good Doctor's responses to some media questions on a variety of topics after the jump:In response to if he was happy with how “The Doctor” documentary came out:“I was quite pleased. Quite pleased and emotionally drenched from the roller coaster ride. [The film] brings out the emotions, the joy and the ecstasy. The film enabled me to revisit some great people places and times in my life, and I hope after watching it people will get a better understanding of the journey I’ve been on.”In response to what he hopes viewers will take away from the film: “My hope is that people can relate to it, and identify with the human aspect portrayed in the film; the human aspect of the journey of a young African-American who was very patriotic and believed in the American dream.”When asked what the difference was athletically in the League when he first entered (in 1976) and when he retired (1987): “The style of play changed greatly. The free-willing style of play became more acceptable when I arrived on the scene. The high-flying style of play became more acceptable to the public. This was carried on by Earvin ‘Magic” Johnson and the “show time” Lakers, and this projected the League to new heights popularity-wise that it had not been at before. Then, when [NBA Commissioner David] Stern was brought in [in the 1980’s] something different was built; promotion-wise and marketing-wise.”On athletes being role models: “You never know who is watching. So, you could assume that everyone is watching, or you could take the attitude that you don’t really care who is and who is not. I’ve always liked to assume that there are a lot of eyes, especially young eyes, on professional athletes once they get to the big stage. I’ve been far from perfect; perfection isn’t an option, but you can try to be consistent, have goals, and have humility. So knowing that there were people out there watching was always important to me. There are some people who clearly don’t want the role, but it is out there.”When asked if he could still dunk a basketball: “I have dunked a basketball at least once a year since I retired basketball. Yes, I have already dunked in 2013.”When asked who he would want to take a last second shot in today’s NBA: “Stephen Curry.”
PLAYERS: Julius Erving
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