NBA TV presented a rivoting documentary on the life and legend of Julius Erving. The man who transformed basketball as we know it, influenced the likes of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson who also elevated the game to audacious athleticism.
There was a statement within the piece that was striking. The statement was: “Erving was sold to NBA from ABA…” . Even today with all of our progressive thinking, the ‘selling’ of players is resoundingly similar to the selling of slaves. Despite the astounding achievements of this stellar athlete, the formulation of this sentence within the modern biographical segment temporarily minimized his greatness into the capsule of a buyable/sellable object who was marveled for his outstanding exceptionalism but not for his status as a black male living in America.
“Julius Erving did more to popularize basketball than anybody else who’s ever played the game. I remember going to the schoolyard as a kid the day after one of his games would be on TV. Everybody there would be saying, ‘Did you see The Doctor?’ And we’d all start trying to do those moves.”
– Magic Johnson