“I’m still waiting”— Dr.J on the first person to bust his ass in the NBA
GREATNESS SUMMED UP

“I’m still waiting”— Dr.J on the first person to bust his ass in the NBA

Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson made a habit of starting their Knuckleheads podcast with the “Who’s the first person to bust yo’ ass” question. They did the same thing with Julius Erving, but instead of a specific anecdote, they got a three-word sum-up of Dr. J’s greatness.

The all-time great then went down memory lane, trying to single out a moment he felt someone got the best of him on NBA hardwoods. The one sequence he remembered happened sometime during his farewell season in the league.

Ron Harper did sneak a dunk in on me because I thought I was a shot-blocker. That was my last year and his first year in the league. So it took a long time!

Julius Erving, Knuckleheads

Other than that Ron Harper dunk, Erving had nothing else. Except when the conversation shifted to the physicality of the game during his era. That’s when Julius shared an anecdote about how he wound up on the wrong side of one of the NBA’s powerhouses from the 80s.

I do remember Buck Williams hitting me with an elbow in my chest and I lost my breath. And I never was able to get back. He was kind of big anyway, pretty strong, 6’10”.

Julius Erving, Knuckleheads

Going back to his ABA days, Erving was able to remember two guys who gave him problems. But even then, it seems like said it just for the sake of saying it. What he followed it up with gave him away.

There were two guys. Warren Jabali and Jumping Joe Caldwell – Pogo Joe, they called him Pogo Joe. So I think I averaged like 28 against the rest of the league. But those two guys, I think I averaged like 24. So they weren’t really busting me, but a 4-point difference in scoring is worthy of note.

Julius Erving, Knuckleheads

When you are one of the greatest in the history of the game, a 4-point difference in scoring might be worthy of note. But the fact is, no one ever got the best of Julius Erving, not to the extent that it’s worth mentioning. And that’s not arrogant for him to say. He was simply that great.