NBA legend Julius Erving popularly known as Dr.J., made a guest appearance on J.J. Redick‘s podcast, where he talked about numerous things from his illustrious career. As a true scholar of the game, Erving is not one of those old-school players that don’t appreciate the league and the players today. He is still a big fan of the sport and watches games regularly, understanding every era is different from the other.
Erving talked about his favorite player in the NBA today, which, surprisingly or not, is none other than Kawhi Leonard. Interestingly when you compare the two, they were very similar players in terms of physical attributes, except Julius was more of a finesse player and a smooth highflyer; only a few matched ever matched in NBA history. Maybe Erving saw a bit of himself in Kawhi, which is why he admires him more than some other superstars in the league.
According to Erving, he started watching Kawhi more closely after the 2014 finals series, in which he was named the MVP. On top of that, Erving was always a big fan of the Spurs and Tim Duncan. Naturally, Kawhi, as an up-and-coming star at that point, immediately caught his eye, and it’s been ever since Erving became his fan.
I love watching Kawhi. Going back to his days with San Antonio, I was a big Tim Duncan fan and San Antonio having their roots in the ABA created a bias for me. When Kawhi came on the scene, and he was the MVP of the playoffs, I started watching him more closely, and I like what he brings to the table. I love his demeanor. He has to say something when he has something to say and when he has nothing to say, then go talk to someone else.Julius Erving, via JJ Redick Podcast
After a disappointing playoff last season, Kawhi and the Clippers are looking to make a comeback and are a team with a chip on their shoulders. Kawhi, as their leader, is playing excellent, averaging 26 points per game while being extremely efficient. On top of that, he is still a beast on defense, able to lock down any guard or forward on the perimeter. That aspect of Kawhi’s game and the versatility on both ends of the floor is the reason why many fans appreciate Kawhi, and the legendary Julius Erving is one of them.