The Clash of the Legends

The Clash of the Legends

When you picture two middle-aged men playing a bit of 1-on-1 basketball, it doesn’t really scream a pay-per-view event. But if the two guys playing are Julius Erving and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then it makes sense. That’s precisely what happened back in 1992 when the two legends squared off in the so-called “Clash of the Legends.”

The pay-per-view event was set for February 28th, 1992, in Atlantic City to raise money for charity, pricing the event at 19.95 $ from which 6$ went to charity. Apparently, the headline was supposed to be Kareem versus Wilt, but Wilt pulled out late, causing Dr.J. to jump in and save the day. The event also had two great undercards, with Nate Archibald facing George Gervin and Connie Hawkins battling Rick Barry.

But Kareem and Dr.J. stole the show. The two legends have a great friendship behind them, but they were fierce opponents for that night. At the time, Kareem was 45 years old, while Julius was a bit younger at 42. Even though they were retired for some time, both of them were still in solid shape, and they displayed an admirable performance.

Kareem used his height advantage to dominate the game, jumping to an 11-0 lead. But Erving didn’t give up as he put up a fight, winning over the crowd. The play of the day was Erving getting a loose ball and throwing down a vicious one-hander over Kareem. At 42 years old!!! But Dr. J wasn’t the young version of himself, having to rely on his jump shot, while Kareem was backing him down and dropping jump hooks like it’s nothing.

Kareem came out as the winner, getting the 43-21 win. But Erving was the people’s champ, as he jumped in the last minute to save the event and put up an admirable fight in a game he had no chance of winning. The event was a complete success, as it makes you wonder why the NBA hasn’t done something similar since then. It would be a fresh addition to the All-Star weekend. NBA, make it happen!