Julius Erving
Julius Winfield Erving II (born February 22, 1950), commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, is a retired American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 player who helped launch a modern style of play that emphasizes leaping and play above the rim.

Erving helped legitimize the American Basketball Association
American Basketball Association
The American Basketball Association was a professional basketball league founded in 1967. The ABA ceased to exist with the ABA–NBA merger in 1976.-League history:...

 (ABA). He was the best known player in the ABA when the ABA-NBA merger
ABA-NBA merger
The ABA–NBA merger was the merger of the American Basketball Association with the National Basketball Association, which after multiple attempts over several years finally occurred in 1976.- Origins of ABA-NBA competition :...

 joined it with the National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 (NBA) after the 1976 season.

Erving won three championships, four Most Valuable Player
Most Valuable Player
In sports, a Most Valuable Player award is an honor typically bestowed upon the best performing player or players on a specific team, in an entire league, or for a particular contest or series of contests...

 Awards, and three scoring titles while playing with the ABA's Virginia Squires
Virginia Squires
The Virginia Squires were a basketball franchise in the former American Basketball Association from 1970 until just before the ABA-NBA merger in 1976.-In Oakland :...

 and New York Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

 and the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers are a professional basketball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . Originally known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA...