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Sixers bring Dr. J. back in house as consultant, ambassador

Julius Erving, Bobby Jones

Hall of Famer and former Philadelphia 76ers player Julius Erving, right, and Bobby Jones meet before an NBA basketball game between the 76ers and the Detroit Pistons, Friday, Jan. 6, 2012, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 96-73. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

AP

It’s about history and connection in a city that really gets those things.

Philadelphia 76ers fans are starved for a championship, but that is not happening this year. But new owner Josh Harris and CEO Adam Aron know that it’s going to take more than just winning to really win over the fans in Philly — it’s going to take passion, commitment and an embracing of the team’s legacy.

So it was a smart move to bring Dr. J back in the house.

The team announced that Hall of Famer Julius Erving is back in the fold as a “strategic advisor” for the franchise. He will consult with ownership on basketball matters and be a goodwill ambassador for the franchise (that means shaking sponsors hands a couple times a year).

It’s a good move for both sides. For the team, it’s a connection with history and the glory days. Fans will like it. For Erving, a guy who has had to sell a lot of his memorabilia following some rough investments, it’s a steady paycheck. Everybody wins.

Eventually it will take wins, too, to keep the fans in Philly happy. But a first round series win over the Bulls would be a good step in that direction, too.