I used to truly dislike Julius Erving. I think my dislike was generated out of fear. When Julius Erving came to town, I feared for my beloved team, the Lakers. Julius would always find a way to beat my team. In fact, the now-famous around-the-backboard layup was performed against my team. Each time I see the highlight films, I see him making my team look silly. Yes, it could be said that the Doctor was one of the few players in the league who could make my faith in the Lakers waver.
Now he is going to retire. Tell me it isn't so.
It is truly difficult for me to imagine the NBA without Julius Erving. Sure I know he has had a great career. Still, how can he leave us? How can he justify taking away that feeling the fans receive when he touches the ball in the open court?
Julius Erving is a champion in every sense. He has always given back. He has always extended his hand to those outside basketball. He has given the game of basketball respect. He has given the fans pleasure, and his teammates an admirable role model. Thank you, Dr. J, Julius Erving, for all the memories. I, we, the NBA, will truly miss the man as much as the legend.