By Wayne Bokat
For a brief moment it seemed, just after the Knicks early 1970s mini-dynasty and before their 39-years of futility, there was a spectacular show that took place on Long Island.
Led by Julius Erving, the New York Nets – who were playing at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale after having moved from, first Commack Arena and then a place called Island Garden in Hempstead – won two ABA championships in a three-season period from 1974 through 1976.
The Nets were good, but it was Erving, known as Dr. J, or simply The Doctor, who put on a show every time he played.
Yes, he did it in the NBA later on, as can be called up on YouTube where one can see his incredible move in the 1980 finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. He drives from the right side of the basket, is forced by a defender to go baseline, ends up underneath the rim, almost out of bounds it seems, and then somehow from the other side of the basket, spins the ball off the glass with his right hand.
Magic Johnson, then is his first year with the Lakers, said to his teammate, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar after witnessing what seemed even to him a miraculous move: “Should we give him the ball back and ask him to do it again?”
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