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Doc: The Rise and Rise of Julius Erving [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Vincent M. Mallozzi , Dave Anderson
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2. November 2009
The definitive biography of basketball genius Julius Erving--the icon who transcended his sport and defined an era

Julius Erving, aka Dr. J, was a wizard with the basketball, performing feats the world had never seen before: midair spins and whirls punctuated by powerful slam dunks, which he was the first to glamorize. In a career that lasted from the 1970s well into the 1980s, he was one of the first players to make extemporaneous individual expression an integral part of the game, setting the style of play that has prevailed ever since. He's also long been respected as a gracious, dignified, and disciplined man. As there are great men of history, there are great men of sports, and Dr. J is just such a man.

This book tells Dr. J's amazing story, following his basketball journey from his Long Island childhood to the street games of New York City to a college career as his skills, reputation, and character grew. It follows his entrance into the ABA, where he revolutionized the game by glamorizing the dunk, and his conquering of the NBA, where he was Michael Jordan before there was a Jordan. It relates the family struggles he's had since leaving the game and charts the transformation of the man into myth.

  • The first complete biography of one of the greatest and most popular basketball players of all time
  • Draws on interviews with Dr. J's childhood friends and his family to teammates and coaches at all levels
  • Written by a New York Times sports journalist and author of Asphalt Gods: An Oral History of the Rucker Tournament
  • Includes Erving's years as a player with the Virginia Squires, New York Nets, and Philadelphia 76ers

Read Doc and follow the incredible journey of the basketball genius who elevated the game off the hardwood and helped make it America's passion.


  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 286 Seiten
  • Verlag: John Wiley & Sons; Auflage: 1 (2. November 2009)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0470170182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470170182
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 24,3 x 16,4 x 2,6 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 427.762 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Before young basketball players wanted to Be Like Mike, they aspired to fly like Julius Erving. Noted basketball writer Mallozzi was one of those kids who modeled his game after the man they called Dr. J, and his biography does justice to one of the greatest basketball players ever. While Erving declined to be interviewed for the book, there's enough insight from those close to him for a complete portrayal. Erving goes from a talented but not heavily recruited high schooler to a rising collegiate standout at the University of Massachusetts, and eventual superstar in the ABA (New York Nets) and NBA (Philadelphia 76ers). Of course, Erving is most known for his aerial assaults, looking like an "angel flying across the heavens." Beyond that, Mallozzi shows us how Erving not only developed an all-around game to complement his acrobatics but also became a consummate teammate, a mentor to younger players and a friend to both former coaches and players. There's also the darker side of Erving's life, mostly after his retirement, including the tragic death of his teenage son and lengthy saga about his once-estranged daughter. But in the end, Mallozzi concludes that Erving is as good a person as he was a basketball player, and based on the near-unanimous consensus on that premise by those interviewed, it's hard to argue. It's a well-researched yet fun look into the man to whom current NBA dunkers owe a debt of gratitude. (Dec.) (Publishers Weekly, October 26, 2009)


When Julius Erving announced that he would retire from the NBA after the 1986–87 season, every away game on the Philadelphia 76ers' schedule became a stop on the Dr. J farewell tour. Fans across the nation rose to their feet to honor the man who had both transformed and transcended basketball with his astounding physical abilities, impeccable showmanship, and truly admirable character.

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.

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
3.0 von 5 Sternen No comparison to the autobiography 25. März 2014
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Doc's autobiography is just a lot more detailed and has more insight. Without the autobiography this book would be ok, but with it is not worth to buy.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.7 von 5 Sternen  46 Rezensionen
13 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von Rick Shaq Goldstein - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
This is a biography of one of the greatest players and crowd pleasers in professional basketball history... Julius *DR. J* Erving. It needs to be noted early on in this review that "IT IS A SHAME THAT ERVING DID NOT WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS PROJECT (A NUMBER OF CALLS WENT OUT TO ERVING'S REPRESENTATIVES AND TO HIS EX-WIFE, TURQUOISE, AND THEIR CHILDREN, BUT MOST WERE NOT RETURNED), BECAUSE THIS ENTIRE BOOK IS BASICALLY A GIANT VALENTINE FROM ONE OF HIS BIGGEST FANS." (The author.)

The fact that the author is an admitted lifetime adoring Dr. J fan is what gives it its caring detail... and also what creates its minimal drawbacks. Julius Erving is now a generation removed from today's current fans... and any of these younger fans that have not been schooled on the otherworldly acrobatic gravity defying presence that Dr. J was... have been given a disservice by their parents or older friends. People who are in awe of Michael Jordan's high flying gymnastic repertoire... need to know that Dr. J. paved the way. The author goes to great pains (and I agree) to point out that though Jordan was a better outside shooter and all around player... nobody went as high... hung as long... or had his final windmill dunking crescendo... so emphatically demoralize entire teams as Dr. J. The author also points out... (but I feel this point could have been hammered home harder) that Dr. J was taking the baton from Elgin Baylor and Connie Hawkins... the original "air-hanging-sky-walkers".

The author lovingly and with exquisite detail takes you through Julius's early life with a loving Mother... no Father figure... and loving siblings. The hard work and dedication that young Julius always invested in his growing love of basketball is important for would be youngsters who dream of basketball fame. It is clear as day that Julius became the eventual crowned *DOCTOR* by hard work as well as G-d given gifts. As an old school basketball fan and former player... and being the same age as Dr. J... as well as coming from the same part of New York as Erving... I knew of his storied short college career at UMass and of his signing with the ABA after his junior year. The fact that he basically saved the ABA and gave it the intrinsic value that helped lead to the merger between the ABA and NBA... and his success with the Philadelphia 76ers... has been pretty well documented in the past. But the two most deliciously enticing and captivating parts of the author's tale are... 1) the detailed stories of the famed New York playground games in Long Island and New York in addition to the famed Rucker Tournament. All the famous names of New York playground lore from days gone by including: Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar), Connie Hawkins, Charlie Scott, Nate Archibald, Dean Meminger... Cal Ramsey... and of course the playground legends that were eaten by the city and never made national fame... "THE DESTROYER"... "THE ELEVATOR MAN"... "PEE WEE"... and many more. It feels like you're right on the sidelines watching the "throw-downs". Throughout the entire story... player after player... marvel at the size of Dr. J's hands. Even the seven-foot-plus hall of famer Lew Alcindor (Pre-Kareem) said when he shook hands with Julius (Who was a mere six-feet-two inches tall in high school but would later grow to six-feet-seven inches tall.) had a bigger hands than he did. Some players called Erving "The Claw". Throughout his career he was described as handling the ball with one hand like he was holding a "GRAPEFRUIT"... other times an "ORANGE"... or a "BASEBALL".

And 2) What an absolute wonderful human being Julius Erving was... on the court and off. He didn't trash talk and he didn't showboat. He never walked away from an autograph seeker... and always donated his time to worthy causes. His teammates loved him and the fans loved him. And even more amazingly his opponents loved him. Here is a quote from one of the most aggressive defensive wizards of his era in the NBA Michael Cooper: "TODAY THERE ARE GUYS OUT THERE POPPING STEROIDS AND ENLISTING THE HELP OF TRAINERS TO TRY AND BE SUPERMAN OUT ON THE COURT. WELL, DOC WAS SUPERMAN WITHOUT ALL THOSE THINGS. HE WAS JUST BORN WITH BASKETBALL GREATNESS. YEAH, HE WORKED AT IT, BUT HIS GIFTS CAME FROM G-D, NOT FROM SOME TRAINER OR OUT OF SOME BOTTLE, AND DOC DIDN'T NEED AN ENTOURAGE AROUND HIM TO PROVE TO EVERYONE HOW POPULAR HE IS AND THAT HE'S A BASKETBALL CELEBRITY. DOC WENT TO THE GYM BY HIMSELF, AND HE WENT HOME HIMSELF, AND IN BOTH PLACES, HE WAS ONE OF THE ALL-TIME GREATS. FROM A FAN'S PERSPECTIVE, WHAT WAS GREAT ABOUT ROOTING FOR DOC WAS THAT HE WAS SOMEONE YOU COULD WALK UP TO AND TALK TO, SOMEONE, WHO WOULD SHAKE YOUR HAND AND GIVE YOU THE TIME OF DAY. A GUY LIKE KOBE BRYANT, HE'S A GREAT PLAYER, BUT UNLESS YOU'RE PLAYING AGAINST HIM OUT THERE ON THE FLOOR, YOU REALLY CAN'T TOUCH HIM. HE'S REALLY OUT OF REACH." Unfortunately as the story ends in the present we find that Julius has had many affairs... illegitimate children... is divorced... and suffers parental problems with children abusing drugs.

The author/fan Vincent Mallozzi does a tremendous job other than the fact that I believe he gets tangled up in his love affair and repeats a number of things a number of times. Such as the telling on three separate occasions how Julius got the nickname "Doctor"... and tells the exact same story twice regarding Jim McDermott, the head coach of Iona College telling how "I saw the best basketball player I've ever seen-Julius Erving"... and at least three times described Erving's leaping capabilities... "like one of those jets leaving Kennedy Airport." But putting that all aside... this is a can't miss read for any old-school basketball fan... or any young basketball fan that really wants to know what he's talking about when he makes loud proclamations about today's game.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen I love the Doctor and this book!!!! 9. Dezember 2009
Von Dr. Who, What, Where? - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Ok, ok, ok. I am in my mid-30s, and I do remember the Dr. I remember how he shaped the game before the his "airness" took over. The high-flying moments and great class he showed was well known. What I did not know is how he got there. This book does all that, and details the memorable events, but does not bore you to death in the process. It is a quick read, but not overly simplistic. Very well written and informative and deals with best ball player ever. Just get it and enjoy.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Doctor J and His Place in Basketball History 19. April 2010
Von C. Baker - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
This is a "biography" of Julius Erving, better known to sports fans as Dr. J, that relies almost exclusively on news and video accounts and an over decade old interview of the man himself. It also includes interview material with his former teammates and coaches, and they do add flavor to the biography, but not a lot of real substance.

It is shocking that for such a glowing biography of Julius Erving that he and his family apparently refused to be interviewed or contribute to it. This is not a true biography but an encomium to the athletic prowess, excitement, and unbelievable dunks and moves that Dr. J displayed in his youth, playground, college, ABA and NBA days. It essentially chronicles his athletic exploits and what the Doc did to create a vibrant and exciting style of basketball that kept the ABA alive for a while, and the he eventually brought over the NBA. His unbelievable dunks, hang time, and drives to the hoop are what this biography is all about.

There is really very little about Julius Erving's private life and boyhood in this biography. It does paint him as a paragon of virtue as far as being fan friendly, great with teammates and coaches, and dedicated to his craft. The last section of the book does go into some detail, although again relying on mostly news accounts, of his lack of virtue in his family life leading to his eventual divorce from his first wife, Turquoise.

But, as the author himself says, the book is a "valentine" to his sports hero. And if that is how this biography is judged, it is definitely a very readable and informative account of the Doc's career and place in basketball history.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen About a 24 inch vertical leap - good, but not great 12. Dezember 2009
Von Sean Stormes - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
If only this bio was as awesome as that cover picture of Doc soaring through the Denver night at old McNichols Arena! Sadly, it is not. But there is some to like here, just as there was at that first ABA Slam Dunk contest.

My expectations were high considering the last books I read on Doc were from the mid-70s. My expectations were to learn more about those unbelievable days spent in the ABA where Julius's legend was fortified, and more about his struggles to experience similar success once he moved on to the NBA's 76ers. With virtually no video from the ABA era, we rely on biographers to paint that vivid picture for us. I would recommend Bill Simmons' "The Book of Basketball," or Terry Pluto's "Loose Balls" to get that old-school, detailed glimpse into Dr. J's most exciting early days. Mr. Mallozzi races through this important time fairly quickly, although that may be a byproduct of publishers these days cutting page counts down to almost nothing to keep printing costs low. I don't know, of course.

Here are some of my problems with the writing: When you purchase something like this, based on one of the key performers who pioneered what we see from the over-saturated and over-hyped NBA of today, we expect expert views, analysis, and writing. Why then, does Mr. Mallozzi refer to "one-on-one" - a very common hoops term - as "one-TO-one," and he does it more than once?

The same goes for referring to the Baltimore/Capitol/Washington Bullets of the 1970s as the "Washington Wizards." Doc never played against the team since they changed their name to the Wizards. And Ron Buse? How about DON Buse. Buse is even mentioned in the back of the book chronologically as RON Buse (as are the Wizards). Anybody who knows basketball well would not have made those mistakes. At that point, I fully expected to read about "Ralph" (George) McGinnis and "Charlton" (Moses) Malone.

Another glaring factual error is stating on Page 167 that when Philly won their championship with Moses and Doc in 1983, that it was the city's first ever title - of any kind. Didn't the Phillies win the World Series in 1980, and the Flyers the Stanley Cup - twice - in 73-74' and 74'-75'? Some things I can overlook, but the combination of these errors detracted from the book for me. I didn't feel like I was reading an expert account, but rather a "love letter" as one earlier reviewer stated.

But ... I enjoyed the coverage of the Rucker days very much - it was easily the one section "that took me back" to an exciting time in New York City" hoops - and I may even pick up Mr. Mallozzi's other book on that subject (though I am a bit wary now). Yes, I realize he KNOWS that landscape well. But to WRITE it well is what brought it to life for me.

Yes, I'm biased. I co-authored ABA and NBA legend David Thompson's book, "David Thompson: Skywalker," and was a key contributor to Marshall Terrill's "Maravich," who was my idol growing up. I'm an old-school hoops expert and fan, having lived through those days as a wide-eyed youngster. Therefore, when I pick up a book on Dr. J - not Fly Williams or Marvin Barnes, mind you - *** Dr. freakin' J *** - I expect it to blow me away ... and leave me breathless. Why? Because that's the type of player the Doctor was.

This book did not do the trick. Yes, Vincent fills us in comprehensively on Erving's transgressions, and gets us up to date on the good Doctor today. That had to be covered, and I'm glad it was - though it did tarnish Doc's image for me.

I prefer to think of the one and only Doctor J flying, like on that fabulous cover, slamming and jamming over anybody and everybody, bringing people out of their seats saying, "Did you SEE that???"

p.s. While Bill Simmons also covers this tidbit as does Mallozzi, can you imagine if Doc gets to stay with the Hawks in 72'-73', with Pistol feeding him on all of those fast breaks during the "slowdown" 70s? In "Maravich," Terrill also details the two exhibition games that Julius got to play with Pete, Sweet Lou, and Bells. That, my friends, could have been a mini-dynasty. At a minimum it would have given us a lifetime of highlights that would have dominated You Tube.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A very good Biography 8. Dezember 2009
Von Ace - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
First of all, you can tell the author is one of Dr J's most avid fans. And in this book, he wants to share everything he knows about the Doctor -- everything from Julius Erving's childhood onward -- I think this is a great tribute to a phenomenal star. Most of today's generation knows little or nothing about Doctor J -- but those really were special, formative and legendary days in the history of basketball - I could say they were "Magical" but then you'd think of someone else.

We follow Julius Erving thru grade school, high school special basketball teams, the playground basketball courts of NY City, to the hard-hitting action on the professional baketball courts -- with photos that chronicle this progression. And all through this narrative, Mallozzi keeps the reader transfixed, peppers the page with facts about Dr. J that bring the legend to the fore, and.... also touches upon Erving's personal life, with its many ups and downs and disappointments.

But it is the PLAYER, Doctor J, Julius Erving, who gets top billing in this book, which is the way it should be. It is obvous that even the opposing teams knew this guy was a genius, a gravity-defier and a sports-legend in his own time, or as Charles Barkley, another NBA Hall of Famer, said: "everyone held him in such high regard".

And with this book, Vincent Mallozzi keeps The Legend alive, as he writes, not only for those fans of Dr J's, who remember those special days, but also for the newer generation, so that they too may get to know and never forget this very special star, this VERY airborne and VERY special player who is truly a basketball hero for all time.
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