When Bill Simmons asked Julius Erving to pick his best dunk ever, the Hall of Famer didn’t hesitate for a second.
Clearly on Elvin Hayes.Julius Erving, The BS Report with Bill Simmons
This is a rare occasion the internet failed us since there’s no video of Dr.J.’s dunk available online. But judging by Erving’s description, it’s no wonder the NBA legend labeled it as the best throwdown of his career.
It was Elvin and Wes under there, so I turned the corner on the forward that was guarding me, and there’s Elvin and Wes; they’re waiting. Wes never jumped; Elvin jumped. He used to always jump with two hands, and I kinda put it right in the middle.Julius Erving, The BS Report with Bill Simmons
Upon landing, Erving decided not to boast about the fact he just threw one down on Hayes. He did it as a precaution, in case of the Bullets’ forward seeking revenge. “It was no bragging about it, just kinda ran down the court ’cause I knew Elvin was one of those guys who was gonna try to get you back,” Julius said. “And he never got me back.”
Hayes was mad. In fact, he held a grudge about it for years. Even after both of them retired, the Hall of Famer still couldn’t get over the fact Erving put him on the poster. That’s when the NBA unveiled the list of 50 Greatest Players, including both Erving and Hayes. The ceremony was held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, and Dr.J. saw it as the perfect opportunity for reconciliation.
We go to the 50 Greatest in ’96, and Elvin is still mad. We’re both retired, and I sat with him, Wilt, Moses, and we’re all going to dinner, so we’re all in the same seating area. And I could tell Elvin’s mad about something. I had pretty much forgotten about it. And then it hit me — he was holding on to that. ‘You gotta let it go, man. We’re here with 50 greatest players of all time — we need to be boys.’ He said, ‘yeah, you right.’Julius Erving, The BS Report with Bill Simmons
It seems like Dominique Wilkins wasn’t the only one whose dunk nearly ruined a friendship. The same thing happened to Dr. J. I just wish there’s a video of his jam online. Until someone uploads it, here are some of Erving’s best dunks ever.
Judging by this compilation, we can only assume how brutal his poster on Elvin Hayes really was. Get your VHS tapes out and start looking for it. The NBA world is dying to see it.