Skip to main content

Julius ‘The Doctor’ Erving meets rookie Dominique Wilkins for the first time in 1982

drjwil

The one was at the peak of his power, and the other one has just stepped into the League.

On November 30th, 1982 contending Philadelphia 76ers led by Julius ‘The Doctor’ Erving visited young and dynamic Atlanta Hawks led by a star in the making, rookie forward Dominique Wilkins.

Before the game, 76ers strategist Billy Cunningham made clear to his players that 22-year old Hawks rookie could score – ‘Nique’ scored 20+ points in as many as 8 of his 13 inaugural NBA games.

At the same time, in the Hawks locker room ‘Nique’ was getting ready to unleash everything he has in this ‘battle of worlds’ at the forward spot. He was more than eager to face the 76ers superstar Julius ‘Dr.J’ Erving, who was, at that time, considered the game’s premium dunker ever!

‘Nique’ felt he had something to prove – and he did! That night, the crowd of 12,044 lucky fans in Atlanta’s Omni Arena witnessed a 14-point Hawks win (111-97) and a memorable duel between NBA elite forwards, who will both put their unique stamp on the phenomenon of 1980s NBA basketball.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Wilkins was particularly impressive initiating the standing ovations with the spectacular display of his power dunks in the contest in which he poured in 26 points, to go along with 11 boards and three dimes.

Erving had to use tricks to get around younger Wilkins, scoring 21 points of his own, to go along with seven boards. Philly was led by eventual 1983 MVP Moses Malone who scored 25 points and collected 24 boards!

That season (1982-83) the Hawks finished the regular season as the 2nd placed squad in the Central Division standings. On the other hand, Philadelphia 76ers enjoyed the ‘Dream season’ – Atlantic Division champions (with 65-17 record) went on to win the 1983 NBA Championship title!

For the season Wilkins averaged 17.5 points, 5.8 boards, and 1.6 dimes and thus made the All-NBA Rookie team along with fellow rookies Quintin Dailey, James Worthy, Terry Cummings, and Clark Kellogg.

Murray A. a.k.a. Marjan Crnogaj is a BN contributor and the co-author of the books ‘Drazen – The Years of the Dragon’ ('Drazen - Godine Zmaja') and 'Bridging the Generations' ('Most Generacija'). He resides in Zagreb, Croatia, currently working on his third book which tells the untold story of the 1989 Green Card Five.

Ryan Blackburn on the Los Angeles Lakers - “Somehow, they’re going to get out of the Russell Westbrook contract for an All-Star talent”

NBA analyst Ryan Blackburn blasts the Los Angeles Lakers - “Somehow, they’re going to get out of the Russell Westbrook contract"

Blackburn says that despite the Lakers throwing away tons of draft picks and cap space, they are about to land one of the top guards in the game for in return for one of the worst contracts in the league

Milwaukee Bucks guard Oscar Robertson and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

Oscar Robertson claims he could beat Kobe Bryant 1-on-1 — “I taught him basketball!”

Oscar Robertson thinks he could beat Kobe Bryant one-on-one. Here's why I think he's wrong.

Too Short believes Jay Z's remake of 'Blow The Whistle' was more than just a diss song: 'I think he was thinking about signing LeBron'

Too Short believes Jay-Z's remake of 'Blow The Whistle' was more than just a diss song: 'I think he was thinking about signing LeBron'

In 2008, Jay Z did a remake of Too Short's "Blow the Whistle" as a response to DeShawn Stevenson's "overrated" dig at LeBron James. The message was on point but Too Short thinks it was more than just a diss song

Dwyane Wade on Kobe Bryant's rap skills: 'Sounded like Stephen A. Smith would rap'

Dwyane Wade on Kobe Bryant's rap skills: 'Sounded like Stephen A. Smith would rap'

Whenever Dwyane Wade hears Kobe Bryant rap, he also think about Stephen A. Smith.

Bill Simmons on the Rudy Gobert trade - “Gonna spend the next 48 hours…wondering if Minnesota just made the most inexplicable NBA overpay trade of all time”

Bill Simmons blasts the Rudy Gobert trade: "Minnesota just made the most inexplicable NBA overpay trade of all time"

Bill Simmons said he believes this may be one of the most inexplicable overpays in NBA history, and chances are, he is right

Instagram model Yasmine Lopez confirms she dated Carmelo Anthony: 'I was literally sitting next to him in the bed'

Instagram model Yasmine Lopez confirms she dated Carmelo Anthony: 'I was literally sitting next to him in the bed'

Carmelo Anthony's marriage with LaLa fell apart primarily due to his alleged unfaithfulness. Years after their divorce, one of Melo's rumored side chicks opened up.