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In "Doc," celebrated sports writer and lifelong Dr. J fan Vincent Mallozzi traces Erving's epic basketball journey from the asphalt courts of his Hempstead, Long Island, childhood through his final season with the Sixers and beyond. He follows Doc through his days at Harlem's legendary Rucker Park, where so many basketball greats were nurtured, and his three seasons at the University of Massachusetts, where "the best kept secret in sports" wowed teammates and coaches with his explosive leaping ability even though dunking was forbidden by the NCAA at the time.
Drawing on scores of interviews with friends and family, coaches, teammates, and opponents, sportswriters and broadcasters, and team owners and managers, this definitive biography reveals new and compelling information about the founding father of modern basketball. You'll meet Dr. J's first coach and his first crush, tour his first court and his first job, and even take a look at his high school scouting report.
Coach Lou Carnesecca reveals why the Nets refused to hire Erving in 1971, forcing him to spend his first two professional seasons with the Virginia Squires. Nets owner Roy Boe defends his 1976 decision to sell his best and most loyal player to the Philadelphia 76ers, and Charles Barkley remembers how he was guided through his rookie season by the soon-to-retire superstar who was always willing to go out of his way to help a teammate.
A University of Massachusetts teammate recounts the awful night when he drove a distraught Erving home after the death of his brother Marvin. And childhood friend and teammate Archie Rogers marvels at the loyalty and generosity of the man who stood by him, even after Rogers became a drug addict and thief, and was arrested and sent to prison.
Complete with dazzling photos from Dr. J's early years and his pro career, "Doc" is a fitting tribute to a basketball genius who turned his passion for the sport into America's passion. Whether you're a Dr. J fan from way back or someone who has never experienced the thrill of seeing him play, this powerful portrait will give you new insight into one of the greatest players who ever graced the court.