Smooth. Graceful. Creative. Unstoppable. That’s George Gervin in a nutshell – one of the most underrated players in NBA history and the guy who, throughout his 15-year NBA career, was a teammate of both Julius Erving and Michael Jordan.
Iceman played with Dr.J in his rookie season with the ABA’s Virginia Squires. Julius was a sophomore in the league but was already its leading scorer with 31.9 points per game. The two were teammates for only a season before Dr.J got traded to the New York Nets. However, Gervin fondly remembers playing alongside Erving.
He was my man. He played hard all the time. He was Mr. ABA Basketball back in those days.George Gervin, ThePostGame
Fast forward to ’85, 33-year-old Gervin is with the Bulls, sharing a locker room with a 22-year-old Michael Jordan. George didn’t get to see a lot of MJ’s magic since that was the year Michael broke his foot, playing in only 18 regular-season games. However, he did get to see Jordan drop 63 on the Celtics the same year he got back from the injury. Iceman had only seen 5 minutes of action in that game but had the courtside view of MJ’s historical postseason performance.
I don’t know how I was staying on the bench that long. I mean, you know he’s going to get 63, but let me pass the ball a couple of times.George Gervin, BS Report
Iceman didn’t compare two of his former teammates in terms of their basketball abilities, but he talked about how both of them treated him during their runs together.
I started with Dr. J, and I finished with Michael. Doc probably appreciated me a lot more than Michael ’cause I was old, on my way out, and Michael’s coming in really trying to show his presence, so he looked at me a little different. He used to call me the old man; I said, ‘well, you going to get there, hopefully.’George Gervin, BS Report
I’m not surprised – are you? Now I don’t see it as a lack of respect. It was Gervin’s final year in the NBA, and he had already established himself as one of the all-time greats. MJ disrespecting basketball legends – that doesn’t strike me as His Airness. The way I see it, it was just a competitive thing, as was everything with No.23.
After his one-season campaign with the Bulls, Gervin played several years in Europe. However, his NBA career was officially over. A career that started with Dr. J and finished with MJ, as Iceman got to see greatness on both ends. And let me tell you, he wasn’t that bad himself.