Originally posted on Awful Announcing  |  Last updated 6/12/13

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 14: Former NBA player Julius Erving arrives at the 2010 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 14, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Before there was LeBron, before there was Kobe, before there was Michael, before there was Magic, and before there was Larrry. there was Julius Erving, a.k.a "Doctor J." A new NBA TV documentary aired this week introduces "Dr. J" to a whole new generation. Younger NBA fans may have seen footage of Erving through NBA TV or on YouTube, but for old school fans, Erving was the man who brought a new type play to what was perceived as a boring prim and proper NBA. The documentary narrated by Chuck D, shows how Erving became from being known as Julius to Jewel to finally, "The Doctor." We learn Erving's upbringing in Long Island to how his legend grew from the playgrounds of New York to the only school that offered him a scholarship, the University of Massachusetts. Viewers are taken to where Erving grew up in Roosevelt on Long Island and we learn the basketball education of the Doctor. His legend exploded on the Rucker Playgrounds in Harlem in 1971 as Erving played against NBA players and it's where the famous "Dr. J" nickname was born.  It was only natural that Dr. J would take his talents to the upstart American Basketball Association which embraced the playground style. We hear from those who experienced the ABA first-hand, Bob Costas, Billy Crystal, George Gervin, Dan Issel and others. This was the league that had a red, white and blue basketball,plenty of improvision, great players, but no major television contract. It introduced the 3 point shot and the Slam Dunk Contest, two staples part of the current NBA. in 1976, the ABA merged with the NBA and Erving was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers and his game was exposed to a whole new audience. It led him to the Finals in 1977, 1980, 1982 and 1983, huge endorsement deals as well as being an Ambassador for the league. The documentary chronicled the struggles of Erving to get his NBA championship ring which finally came in 1983. "The Doctor" looked at how the NBA at first struggled to accept Erving and the ABA-style of play, but later came to embrace it. Even with the film being produced by NBA Entertainment, it did not shy away from the death his younger brother, the passing of his son Cory in 2000 and the divorce from his wife, Turquoise three years later. With interviews from peers Magic Johnson and Bill Walton plus LeBron James, we see how much respect they have for Dr. J. It's too bad that Michael Jordan isn't seen until late in the documentary and that is through a 1987 archival interview.  We see plenty of reflection from a very well-thought man. This is a documentary that ranks as one of the better NBA TV films, however, not quite at the level with HBO or ESPN's 30 for 30. One wonders how either of those documentary units would have handled this subject.. "The Doctor" clocks under 90 minutes with commercial breaks. This film could have easily expanded to two hours, there's so much matter that was not touched upon.  The Awful Announcing grade for "The Doctor" is a solid B. 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Top 10 takeaways from Super Bowl 50

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Was Peyton Manning paid for Budweiser mentions?

Cam Newton walks out of postgame press conference

Eli did not look thrilled after Peyton locked up Super Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Reilly sends awkward tweet during Super Bowl 50

Peyton Manning gives Papa John a kiss after game

Panthers' Josh Norman crying after losing Super Bowl

Peyton Manning ‘going to drink a lot of Budweiser’ after win

Where Peyton Manning ranks among Super Bowl era QBs

Peyton Manning declines to comment on possible retirement

Winners and losers from Super Bowl 50

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Aqib Talib wipes out on NFL Network

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Five biggest boneheaded plays of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cam Newton gives questionable effort to recover fumble

Lions say Calvin Johnson's future still not determined

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

Steph Curry beats Panthers' "Keep Pounding" drum

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker