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George Gervin explains how playing one on one with Julis Erving made him "The Iceman"

The battles after practice with Dr.J. made Gervin one of the best scorers in NBA history.
Julius Erving and George Gervin

Julius Erving and George Gervin

George Gervin is widely regarded as one of the most skilled and smoothest scorers in NBA history, but he himself admits he wouldn't have become that guy if he didn't have the chance to go up against Julius Erving 1 on 1 every day in practice to start his career.

The Iceman

Gervin is primarily known for his day with the San Antonio Spurs, playing there for 12 seasons and having some amazing seasons scoring the ball, notching numerous All-Star appearances, All-NBA selections, and scoring titles.

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But the "Iceman" started his career in the ABA with the Virginia Squires in 1972, which presented him the opportunity to play with the great Julius Erving for one season. Although Dr.J. was just one year more experienced in the league, Gervin took the opportunity to learn from Erving and compete to get better.

Both being 6'7'', long wings with a great skill set, it made for some great battles, and Gervin explained how that helped him become the scoring machine:

"We all knew who the Doctor was. Having that opportunity to play with him as a rookie gave me the confidence that I needed to excel in my own career...After practice Doc used to get me and say:'Hey, we going 1 on 1.' So after most practices, me and Doc played one on one... Doc operated. He gave me the confidence. After a week or so, the ice in me came out.

George Gervin, Bill Simmons

Neither of them still weren't Hall-of-Famers or the well-known stars they became shortly after, as those 1 on 1 battles definitely benefited both Gervin and Erving. They would each go their separate way after that season, with Gervin becoming a scoring beast in San Antonio and Erving having some fantastic days in New Jersey and Philly.

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