Julius Erving

Julius Erving on Sixers: 'We should make a good run at the playoffs'

Julius Erving on Sixers: 'We should make a good run at the playoffs'

CAMDEN, N.J. -- Julius Erving stood underneath the Sixers' championship banners hanging above the practice court. The Hall of Famer has experienced winning in Philadelphia and is eager for his former team to bring it back to the city. 

“I think we should make a good run at the playoffs,” Erving said. “There’s enough young talent on the team and the system is good enough, it’s proven itself, that, if we can keep a healthy team out there, then we should be able to make a run at the playoffs.” 

Erving is in town for the Julius Erving Golf Classic, a three-day event supporting the Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia. On Saturday he hosted the Erving Youth Basketball Experience at the Sixers training complex. 

Markelle Fultz made a special appearance and Erving got to spend some time with the No. 1 pick. 

“I think he’ll have an understated type of leadership because I don’t know whether he’s a verbal leader or whether he’s a lead-by-example type guy,” Erving said of Fultz. “Either way, he’s a significant piece to the puzzle.”

Another key piece is Joel Embiid, whose name drew an enthusiastic response from the crowd of children while Erving held a Q&A. Erving referred to watching Embiid play last season as “a welcome sight.” 

“Having had conversations with Coach (Brett) Brown, he had such high expectations of Joel,” Erving said. “From a skill standpoint, he knew he was as as skilled as any big man in the league. Now it’s just a matter of maturity and confidence, and Joel seems to be very confident.” 

Erving pulls for the Sixers from afar. He tries to catch their games when they are in Atlanta, where he resides, and if his travel schedule overlaps with their road games in other cities. 

“I’m ready,” Erving said of a turnaround. “We want to have a team that’s a contender for the title.”

Dr. J and Iverson look pretty great in NBA 2K18

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Dr. J and Iverson look pretty great in NBA 2K18

Not a lot to work with here, but Julius Erving and Allen Iverson are apparently in the latest version of NBA 2K and look pretty sharp.

Both Sixers legends are seen wearing the Sixers' new Nike uniforms. Julius is rocking his signature afro while Iverson has some gnarly facial hair going.

The only real complaint, as blogging impresario meechone points out, is that A.I. is seen doing the Steph Curry turn-and-run-away-from-the-shot move. Can't recall Bubba Chuck using that one during his heyday.

And while young Sixers fans who wanted to see Iverson play in the BIG3 last month came up empty, maybe a digital A.I. will give them a little glimpse of what they were missing back in the day.

Iverson and Erving look to be a part of NBA 2K18's new All-Time Teams feature, which will pit some of the greatest to ever take the court against each other. I think I saw this in a Rocky movie once. You can check out a trailer for that below.

Here's what the Sixers' All-Time squad will look like and Marc Zumoff isn't happy with one glaring omision. 

Fo-Fi-Fo or 2017 Warriors? Dr. J's sticking with Philly

Fo-Fi-Fo or 2017 Warriors? Dr. J's sticking with Philly

By the end of Friday night, the Warriors could make history. They are just two wins away from a perfect 16-0 playoff run that would make them the first NBA team to ever go "fo-fo-fo-fo." (Or at least, that's how I think Moses Malone would describe it.)

But Julius Erving doesn't necessarily think that this Golden State team is the best ever, and he explained on ESPN LA 710's morning show Wednesday why he thinks that the 1983 Sixers — who swept away the Lakers in four games for the NBA title — could not only hang with the Warriors but ultimately take them out.

"When you have a team with the makeup of our team back then, we could play slow, we could play fast," Erving said. "Moses was such a dominant force. I have visions of him grabbing the rebound a few times and taking it coast to coast."

"And Billy Cunningham being the task master that he was, we would have figured it out. We would have figured out how to play against this team and how to beat this team."

That Sixers team was built entirely differently than this Warriors side — but remember, that was a couple of years after the NBA first introduced the three-point line and most still thought it was little more than a gimmick.

Still, the Sixers were loaded. Andrew Toney and Mo Cheeks did their work in the backcourt while Dr. J and Malone shouldered a heavy load down low. On top of that, the team had Bobby Jones come off the bench. Twelve guys on that team played more than 13 minutes a night and nearly everyone shot better than 41 percent from the field. 

And although it's hard to compare teams across eras, it's easy to see why such a balanced group might be the perfect foil to a Golden State team that offers little in terms of a true low-post presence other than Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee.

Unsurprisingly, current Lakers GM Magic Johnson — who played on that 1982-83 Los Angeles team — said that his Lakers team would have swept the Warriors and that team's coach, Pat Riley, added, "Try to put somebody on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar."

All of this comes in the wake of a group of Vegas bookmakers that told ESPN they would have the Dubs as -360 favorites if they were to match up Golden State with the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who went 72-10 that year. The '82-83 Sixers finished 65-17 in the regular season before going on a 12-1 playoff run.