Basketball Great Julius Erving Enjoys Cigars
Few can claim not to know the name Julius Erving, who also goes by “Dr. J.” He is one of the greatest to ever hit the hardwood on the basketball court. What you may not know, is that Erving is a big fan of cigars and smoking around good company.
Erving loves a good conversation with friends while enjoying a smoke, especially if he’s talking about the NBA today. So, you’ll often find him around one of Atlanta’s many cigar lounges.
Julius Erving’s Early Days
Erving received his nickname from a high school friend. He grew up in Roosevelt, New York where he attended Roosevelt High School. It is here where he would get his start playing on the high school basketball team.
Erving went on to play college basketball at the University of Massachusetts where he quickly became a standout athlete. He enrolled in 1968 and played two seasons with the school. Yet, during those two seasons, he averaged 26.3 points per game and 20.2 rebounds per game. It was a record that only five other players in the NCAA basketball history have managed.
In 1971, Erving left college early to play for the former American Basketball Association. At the time, teams weren’t allowed to draft athletes until they were four years removed from college basketball. Thanks to a hardship rule, Erving gained eligibility.
The Virginia Squires was the first team Erving played for. During that time, he gained a reputation as a ferocious player for his dunking and rebounding skills. Yet, he led the league in offensive rebounds. He also made the All-Star team during his rookie year and placed second for rookie of the year. He later led his team to the Eastern Division Finals before losing in seven games.
Erving later played one more season for the Squires. Thanks to a contract dispute that kept him from being drafted, he went on to score a career-high of 31.9 points per game.
The ABA/NBA Merger
Erving later played for one more team in the ABA – that team was the New York Nets. His performance was impressive. He ranked in the top ten of the ABA in multiple categories and he led the team to the final ABA championship.
Erving’s performance was legendary. It painted the Nets as one of the standout teams in the ABA. It also was one of the reasons the Nets were brought in during the ABA/NBA merger in 1976.
Julius Erving 76ers Trade
Julius Erving is widely known for his career with the Philadelphia 76ers. Yet, one of the reasons for his popularity isn’t because of his phenomenal skills. After the merger, the Nets were set to dominate the new NBA with Erving as their star player. Unfortunately, a pay dispute, followed by legal disputes with the New York Knicks and several bad trade deals landed Erving on the 76ers. This resulted in the Nets ranking last in the entire NBA.
Erving quickly grew as an integral part of his new team. While playing alongside current and future basketball greats, he gained star status. He later played for the 76ers where he accomplished many feats. That included his famous Baseline Move. It was a behind-the-backboard, finger-roll layup. His impressive moves combined with leading the league with game points, two ABA championships, and an NBA championship are why many consider him as one of the best.
Julius Erving Post-Career Cigar Lifestyle
After retiring in 1986, Erving became something of a businessman. He held many interests, including joining the board of directors of Converse Shoes. He also sponsored a NASCAR team and joined a golf club among other ventures.
When he’s not busy with business or analyzing sports, Julius Erving enjoys smoking cigars with other cigar enthusiasts. His preferences vary, but he is known to smoke some of the finest cigars available. In fact, Erving is a fan of a particular shop near his home in suburban Atlanta. Rumor holds that he even has his own cigar locker at a high-end shop.
Erving’s business ventures keep him traveling all over the place. Yet, he still finds time to relax and smoke cigars wherever he’s at. When smoking, he prefers to pair a good stick with a nice drink while talking with fellow smokers. Conversations usually revolve around the state of basketball today and who the key players are.
Erving himself exemplifies the cigar lifestyle, good smokes, and good company in a relaxing atmosphere. Not one to smoke for the sake of it, he also likes to take things slow and enjoy the flavor. We can’t say what the right way to enjoy a cigar is, but we recommend this prescription from Dr. J.
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