Julius Erving helped the New York Nets win the ABA championship in 1974 and 1976, before switching to the NBA and joining the Philadelphia 76ers. In 1983 he helped lead the club to a world championship. Upon retiring in 1987, he had played in more than 800 games, scoring an average of 22 points per game.
Admiration came not just for his scoring, but also for how he played the game. Quick and athletic, Erving took to the court with a game that featured graceful spins, dramatic jump shots and powerful slam-dunks. In 1976, his last year in the ABA, and the league's last year of existence, Erving won the ABA Slam Dunk contest, the first dunk contest any professional league had ever hosted.