#TBT Sports Blog: The Old Boston Garden

MIKE Comic Old Boston GardenToday’s #TBT sports blog remembers the old Boston Garden.

Though the storied arena was demolished in 1998, its lore lives on and remains a beloved part of Boston sports history.

In addition to playing host to Stanley Cup Finals and multiple NBA Championships, the old Boston Garden may best be remembered for the incredible sports atmosphere it evoked.

The old brick building provided a huge home court advantage and incredible championship memories for Boston sports fans.

The venue created an energized and cramped atmosphere that housed raucous spectators rooting from boisterous balconies. Some fans even had to crane their around obstructed views to see what hey paid for.

In addition, the arena’s lack of air conditioning further contributed to the home court edge and legendary mystique of the arena. Melting ice and fog during spring hockey games and exhausted, wilted players during NBA Playoff Games combined for perhaps the most unique and antiquated venue in sports.

Originally Called Boston Madison Square Garden

Initially designed in the late 1920’s by boxing promoter Tex Rickard, the old Boston Garden was originally called the Boston Madison Square Garden. Named after New York’s famed Madison Square Garden, it cost $10 million to construct. The arena was the third in what Rickard hoped would become a chain of seven Madison Square Gardens located in major cities around the US.

Like its New York City namesake, Boston’s Madison Square Garden was developed as a then state-of-the-art, multi-use entertainment complex constructed over the city’s vibrant rail transportation hub.

The Boston Madison Square Garden stood above Boston’s northern bound train terminal, also known as North Station, which serviced the city’s Amtrak and Massachusetts Transportation Authority’s needs for destinations as far away as Maine.

Old Boston Garden: Home to Concerts, Prize Fights & More

Few would have imagined how popular the arena would eventually become. The original Boston Madison Square Garden lived through several name changes and played host to concerts, prize fights, ice shows, professional and collegiate hockey and basketball games and even the circus.

Elvis, the Beatles, the Jackson 5, Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead are just a few of the popular acts which performed in New England’s premier sports and entertainment arena.

The original Boston Garden’s first ever event pitted prize fighters Dick Finnegan and Andre Routis on its November 17, 1928 card. The fight drew a great opening night crowd which raved about their proximity to the actual ring.

Rickard bragged that there would be no bad seats in his house because the Boston Madison Square Garden “was built to see the sweat on boxers’ brows.”

Ironically, the fight’s attendance paled in comparison to the first hockey game ever played in the new arena only a few days later.

An exciting 1 – 0 Montreal Canadiens victory over the Boston Bruins shoe horned more than 17,000 spectators into the old Garden. The game unwittingly set a precedent that the Boston Garden would not only play host to premier boxing bouts. Hockey would also be right at home in this sparkling new showplace.

More than hockey found its way into this historic venue. Following its name change in 1936 to simply The Boston Garden, it became home to both the Boston Bruins and eventually the Boston Celtics.

The Old Boston Garden Famous Parquet Floor

In 1952 the arena unveiled its famed parquet floor. This uniquely identifiable playing surface differentiated the Boston Garden from all other NBA arenas. Plus, while sitting so close to the gorgeous floor, rabid Celtics fans for many years provided a huge home court advantage for the team.

Fortunately today in the gleaming new TD Garden, the same NHL and NBA championship banners hang as proudly as they did for years from the creaking rafters of the antiquated, original Boston Garden.

To read more about the Old Boston Garden and other Boston Sports Icons, click HERE to safely download my new FREE sports comic book.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Basketball footer

#TBT Sports Blog: NBA Icon Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt the Stilt Chamberlain NBAToday’s TBT sports blog remembers Wilt Chamberlain – one of the most iconic athletes of all-time – in any sport.

Few athletes so totally dominate a sport that their professional league must enact rule changes to make the games fair for the other 99.9% of the players.

Wilton Norman Chamberlain, simply known as Wilt, so altered NBA games that the league instituted new rules.

Today’s wider lane in the NBA and goal tending penalties were imposed because my #7 choice in Favorite Single Named Athletes vanquished all opposing basketball players.

Chamberlain overpowered basketball opponents whenever he stepped onto the hardwood. The 7’1″ and 260 lb. player effortlessly prevailed over all smaller, less physically gifted competitors. His towering size, strength, scoring ability and stamina empowered him to become the greatest player the NBA ever witnessed when he entered the league in 1959.

Wilt unanimously earned Rookie of the Year honors in 1960 for posting remarkable numbers of 37 points per game (a league best) and 27 rebounds per game. He continued his scoring assault on the NBA by leading the league in scoring for the six consecutive years.

Wilt the Stilt, The Big Dipper & Goliath

Also known as The Big Dipper, Wilt the Stilt and Goliath, Wilt reigned as an unstoppable force in the pivot – in spite of being regularly double and triple teamed during games.

This Philadelphia native and University of Kansas product now ranks as one of the NBA’s top 50 players ever. A 1978 NBA Hall of Fame inductee, Wilt’s gaudy NBA resume includes 13 All-Star selections, 4 Most Valuable Player awards, 11 rebounding titles and 2 NBA Championships. The first occurred in 1967 with the Philadelphia 76ers and the second in 1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Wilt may best be remembered for becoming the only NBA player to score 100 points in a single game. On the memorable night of March 2, 1962 Wilt reached the century scoring mark against the New York Knicks in front of only 4,124 fans at the old Hershey Sports Arena. Ironically, the game was not televised. No video footage of that historic night was ever taken.

Wilt retired in 1973. His record included staggering NBA career statistics of 30.1 points per game, 22.7 rebounds per game and 4.4 assists per game. Oddly, his career FG% of 54.0 was higher than his FT% of 51.1.

Wilt Chamberlain & His NBA Nemesis Bill Russell

Wilt also battled his career long nemesis Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics. Many sports fans regard this as the greatest individual rivalry in all of team sports. Russell’s Celtics bested Chamberlain’s teams (Warriors, 76ers and Lakers) seven out of eight times they squared off against each other in the NBA Playoffs.

Wilt’s incredible dominance as an NBA player prompted many NBA fans to root against this giant of a man. The fans treatment of him led Chamberlain to famously respond, “No one ever roots for Goliath!” Sadly, Wilt passed away in 1999.

Whether you were a fan of the Big Dipper or not, no one can argue that Wilt Chamberlain was truly a dominating Goliath as a basketball player and we can all celebrate the single named legacy of this NBA superstar. There won’t be another one quite like him – Wilt.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Basketball footer

 

#TBT Sports Blog: 1970 NBA Finals Hero Willis Reed

MIKE sports comic - former New York Knicks Willis Reed

Today’s #TBT sports blog rewinds the game clock to the 1970 NBA Finals.

That’s when Willis Reed provided New York Knicks fans with perhaps the most memorable entrance in Big Apple sports history.

40+ years later, Knicks fans still vividly recall when an injured Willis Reed limped out of the dark tunnel from his locker room and onto Madison Square Garden’s brightly lit center court.

Fans can even recite Knicks radio announcer Marv Albert describing Reed’s entrance “Now here comes Willis… and the crowd is going wild!”

Despite a torn lower leg muscle, Reed’s courage to play on May 8, 1970 energized Knicks fans and inspired his teammates during Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

Willis Reed Helps New York Knicks Capture 1st NBA Crown in Franchise History

The Garden erupted early in the game when the hobbled Knicks lefty center scored the game’s first two baskets. Though he did not play much during the remainder of the game, Willis Reed’s early game heroics helped the New York Knicks defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 113 – 97. That’s when the New York Knicks captured the franchise’s first ever NBA crown.

That NBA Finals victory capped an incredible year for the under-sized Reed. At 6’9” Reed battled against the league’s much taller opponents like 7-footers’ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain.

During the 1969-70 season, Reed guided the Knicks to their best record in team history. In doing so, he became the first NBA player in league history to be named MVP of the NBA regular season, the NBA All-Star Game and the NBA Finals.

During his entire 11-year career, #19 played in the pivot for only the Knicks. Drafted as the #8 pick in the second round out of Grambling State University, Reed compiled a brilliant NBA resume. When he retired in 1975, his career numbers included 18.7 points per game and 12.9 rebounds per game in 650 total games.

The seven-time NBA all-star repeated as NBA champion in 1973. In that year the Knicks upgraded their roster by adding Jerry Lucas to an already formidable frontcourt and signing Earl “The Pearl” Monroe to pair with Walt “Clyde” Frazier as the NBA’s best back court.

Reed Voted One of Top 50 NBA Players Ever

Voted as one of the 50 greatest NBA players ever, Reed continued in the game after he officially stopped playing. He coached in both the college and professional ranks at Creighton University and St. John’s University as well as the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks.

Willis Reed enjoyed his greatest sidelines success when he was appointed Senior Vice President and General Manager of the New Jersey Nets. The NBA Hall of Famer’s front office basketball knowledge was instrumental in helping the Nets advance to the NBA Finals in both 2002 and 2003.

Since Reed’s retirement in 1975, the Knicks’ franchise fortunes have never really flourished again at the same level.

However, the muscular lefty remains New York’s most beloved Knick, and the city’s never-to-be-forgotten 1970 NBA Finals hero.

Without a noticeable limp long gone, Willis Reed also makes his expected grand entrance into the #5 spot in New York Sports Icons.

New York Sports Stars and LandmarksClick on the purple cover above to safely download your FREE copy of my sports comic book New York Sports Icons.

Read about legendary New York Knicks Willis Reed and other iconic sports figures in New York City history.

Shop for Authentic Autographed Knicks Collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.comFor NBA fans interested in authentic New York Knicks collectibles, simply click on the Sports Memorabilia logo above.

Please note that we earn a small commission if you buy anything, so thanks.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Basketball footer

#TBT Sports Blog: Olympic Weightlifter Pocket Hercules

Pocket Hercules weightlifter

Olympic weightlifting champ Naim Suleymanoglu

Today’s #TBT sports blog comes straight out of one of my sports comic books. It focuses on a tiny Olympic weightlifter with a memorable nickname who could effortlessly throw weight much heavier than himself around a gym.

Half of his clever nickname came from Hercules, son of the Greek mythological god Zeus, who was known for his feats of strength.

The other half of his nickname came from the tiny size of this amazing Olympic and World Weightlifting Champion.

Pocket Hercules showed uncommon strength for a person of his short stature. In addition, his interesting personal life story makes him one of the sports world’s all-time best personalities.

That’s why he also cleans and jerks his way into the #2 spot in my sports comic book Favorite Undersized Athletes.

Favorite Undersized Athletes

Born to Turkish parents in Bulgaria during the country’s difficult Communist era, the tiny 5’4” and 134 lb. Naim Suleimanov enjoyed a quick rise to weightlifting fame and success as a Bulgarian featherweight. He won a silver medal in Moscow in 1983, a gold medal in Soldertage in 1985 and another gold medal in Sofia in 1986 in the World Weightlifting Championships.

Then, Suleimanov fled his country while competing in the 1986 World Cup in Melbourne, Australia. Soon after, Pocket Hercules journeyed to Turkey and became a legal Turkish citizen under the slightly new name of Naim Suleymanoglu.

 

While in Turkey, the chain smoking Pocket Hercules continued to dominate featherweight weightlifting. He competed for Turkey in three Olympics – 1988 in Seoul, 1992 in Barcelona and 1996 in Atlanta. He won gold medals in each of these Olympics after his new country paid his old country of Bulgaria $1,250,000 for the rights for him to compete as a Turk.

Pocket Hercules then proved his amazing strength by winning five more World Championships, all in the featherweight division, as a Turkish citizen.

Inducted into the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame in 2004, Suleymanoglu is remembered as one of the most decorated weightlifters ever. Holder of an incredible 46 world records, seven world championships and three Olympic gold medals, he is only one of seven lifters ever to clean and jerk three times his body weight.

Turkey’s national weightlifting team never needed a secret weapon or an ace in their pocket to surprise rivals at worldwide weightlifting competitions. They already had their very own, undersized Pocket Hercules to bring home the gold.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

MIKE Sports Comic: Olympics Footer

#TBT Sports Blog: FIFA’s George Best

FIFA footballer George BestToday’s #TBT sports blog remembers the greatest band of all time along with one of FIFA’s most amazing, yet troubled players.

The year 2014 celebrated 50 years since the iconic boy band The Beatles first appeared in America on the Ed Sullivan Show.

2014 also recalled that it was 50 years ago that Northern Ireland’s fabulous footballer George Best became known as the Fifth Beatle.

Not only did the British group become the greatest band in music history. But, its global fame and distinct look engendered one of the best (no pun intended) nicknames in sports history.

Flamboyant FIFA footballer George Best from Belfast, Northern ireland became known as the Fifth Beatle.

At the time, Best’s new moniker was regarded as the best sports and entertainment nickname on the planet.

Here’s a chapter excerpt from my best selling book Favorite Sports Nicknames available for just 99 cents on Amazon.

Favorite Sports Nicknames

..…Music lovers believe that Great Britain’s Pete Best, the drummer who preceded Ringo Starr for the British band The Beatles, holds the revered rock n’ roll title as the Fifth Beatle.

However, soccer fans, especially those of British descent, strongly disagree. They recognize Northern Ireland’s George Best as the Fifth Beatle. For his iconic celebrity, he’s idolized as one of the most gifted and entertaining soccer players ever.

This 5’9″ Northern Irishman plied his trade for eleven years with Manchester United in the vaunted English Premier League. During that time, he scored an astounding 179 goals in 470 appearances.

Best’s speed, acceleration, brilliant footwork and hard charging style quickly made him a fan favorite and an elite EPL performer. His ability to regularly put the ball in the back of the net earned him the European Footballer of the Year Award in 1968.

Best’s emergence as a beloved English athlete took place in the British music era of the Beatles. They were exploding as the rock ‘n roll band that would eventually sell one billion records and become a world wide entertainment sensation.

FIFA Great George Best Partied Like Rock Star

Though he excelled as one of FIFA’s most dynamic stars while on the pitch, George Best also partied like a rock star when away from it.

Unfortunately, Best’s undisciplined and extravagant lifestyle contributed to his demise as a player and also as an individual.

One of the many colorful quotes attributed to this Fifth Beatle reads, “I spent 90% of my money on women, drink and fast cars. The rest I wasted.” The words were funny, but sadly, true.

George Best died an alcoholic in 2005 due to complications from a liver transplant.

On a mural in his native Belfast, Northern Ireland, these words are written to memorialize George Best. They illuminate what any soccer fan, plus all of the musical Beatles, would agree with concerning this Fifth Beatle, “Maradona good. Pele better. George Best.”

Shop for Thousands of Authentic Autographed Soccer Collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.comFor soccer enthusiasts looking for authentic international football merchandise, simply click on the ad above. And, if you opt to purchase any product, thank you because we earn a small commission on each sale.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

MIKE Sports Comic: Soccer Footer

(Satire) How a Sports Fan Goes Green to Celebrate Earth Day

going green on Earth Day

(Satire) It’s Earth Day today.

To celebrate, I’m going green.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not a left leaning, hybrid driving, granola crunching, tree hugging environmentalist. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I’m going green the way a true sports fan should go green.

No, I’m not measuring my carbon footprint or recycling my toilet paper.

Instead, as a die hard sports fan and now nationally syndicated sports columnist, I’m creating my own Earth Day tradition.

I’m celebrating in a way that will make not only make Mother Nature proud, but is sure to impress Commissioners Roger Goodell, Adam Silver, Rob Manfred as well as the NCAA.

How am I doing this?

I just purchased an awesome green and yellow Green Bay Packer Titletown hoodie; a kelly green Boston Celtics sweatshirt and a hunter green Michigan State University tee shirt with an official Sparty logo on its sleeve.

Plus, all the officially licensed merchandise is certified hand made on pedal-push sewing machines using organically grown cotton.

I’m told the products will be delivered to NFL, MLB and NBA warehouses by socially sensitive, shorter- shower-taking vegetarians who will transport the merchandise by fervent anti-fossil fuel cyclists.

As far as I’m concerned, this is the way a true sports fan goes green to formally celebrate Earth Day…

…while Mother Nature smiles!

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Football footer

 

#TBT Sports Blog: FREE Sports Comic Book on Favorite Non-Athletes

Rudolf Wanderone Minnesota FatsToday’s #TBT sports blog recalls my FREE sports comic book Favorite Non-Athletes.

The ebook reveals a different side of sports for inquisitive fans.

If you’re as rabid a sports fan as me, you’ll agree that sports comprise the best form of entertainment.

NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and FIFA games showcase some of the greatest athletes on the planet.

But, sports entertainment is more than just watching phenomenal athletes ply their craft on the ice, field, diamond, hardwood or pitch.

What provide the extra sizzle in sports are countless non-athletes that make the games possible and entertaining. They enrich the overall fan experience.

A number of non-athletic performers and icons deliver invaluable appeal and bring the entertainment aspects of sports to greater levels.

I highlight them in my FREE book Favorite Non-Athletes in Sports.

FREE MIKE sports comic bookNone Are Actual Athletes

None are actual athletes. A few aren’t even real at all. But, all of them show up at NFL, MLB, NCAA and NHL games.

You will adore one of the most unlikely sportscasters on television.

You will envy the driver of the baddest maintenance vehicle in sports.

You will wince at the thought of a big mouthed bloviator.

You will probably scowl at the refs I feature. But, you’ll immediately recognize that games don’t get played without them.

You’ll recite familiar lines from a series of iconic movies starring a fictional fighting sports character.

You might proudly don the ridiculous foam hats worn by the loyal fans of this historic NFL franchise.

You will certainly agree that this guy’s no athlete, but he was an incredible showman in a non-sport sport now seen regularly on ESPN.

You will smile at the awe inspiring godlike figure in an imposing mural, perhaps the most recognized image in NCAA college football.

You’ll cheer madly over packaged meat products racing awkwardly around a baseball field.

Finally, you’ll sing along with a likeable large lady who needs to belt out a few bars, so fans in the stands can finally go home.

Enjoy my FREE book Favorite Non-Athletes in Sports!

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

MIKE Sports Comic: All Sports Footer

40 Years Ago Today: 1980 USA Olympic Hockey’s Miracle on Ice

1980 Winter Olympic USA Hockey victory

On this day 40 years ago – February 22, 1980 – hockey’s Miracle on Ice happened.

It marked a national day of pride in America.

The 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team birthed a miracle in the highly competitive arena of international sports.

Known as the Miracle on Ice, an unlikely victory took place at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY and lifted America out of its funk.

 

During that precarious era in our nation’s history, the 1970s was a decade comprised of war protests, a Presidential scandal, and a troubling economy.

In the midst of those uncertain and depressing times, Americans were nervous and ripe for a miracle to lift their spirits.

And, then came along an unexpected special moment in sports history. The event produced one of the most amazing upsets the sports world has ever witnessed.

1980 USA Men’s Hockey Team’s Stunning Win

The 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team’s stunning win over the heavily favored Soviet Union National Hockey Team still stands as one of the greatest victories in the history of team sports.

This USA win remains an unforgettable highlight of the 1980 Winter Olympic Games.

The semi-final match-up between the USA and the USSR not only paired two world super powers facing off against each other.

The game also featured a team of much younger American collegiate stars skating against older, better skilled and highly experienced Russians. These Russian players had been playing hockey professionally in Europe for many years.

The Soviets Dominated International Hockey

The legendary Soviets dominated international hockey. They captured gold medals at the four previous Winter Olympics and held claim to 14 of the past 17 World Hockey Championships.

The Soviets were major favorites. The scrappy Americans’ success in the semi-final would require a divine act to win.

Surprisingly, the Americans stayed close during the first two periods. Then, midway through the third period, the youthful Americans shocked the favored Russians. Captain Mike Eruzione found the back of the net past the Russian goalie and gave the USA a 4 – 3 lead.

The Russians found themselves trailing in the third period of this hockey game. They were unable to make up the American lead against a little known USA goalie named Jim Craig. Craig successfully turned back 30 shots that day against the otherwise superior Russians.

NBC Sportscaster Al Michaels, “Do You Believe in Miracles?”

With the Americans clinging to a one goal lead, the game clock slowly wound down. As the final buzzer sounded, legendary NBC sportscaster Al Michaels shouted, “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”

In the case of the 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team, the unbelievable happened in Lake Placid, NY.

It became known as one of the greatest upsets in the history of sports.

This uplifting sports event that happened 37 years ago today will be forever remembered as the Miracle on Ice.

Shop for Thousands of 100% Authentic Autographed Sports Collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.comFor Olympic Hockey fans interested in authentic Miracle on Ice memorabilia, just click on the Sports Memorabilia logo above.

Note that we earn a small commission on any Sports Memorabilia purchase. So, thank you.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

MIKE Sports Comic: Hockey Footer

#TBT Sports Blog: Jamaican Bobsled Team

MIKE Comic 135 Jamaican BobsledToday’s #TBT sports blog recalls a Winter Olympic Games fan favorite.

It may not have been a podium favorite in Sochi, Russia six years ago, but the Jamaican Bobsled Team was always a crowd pleaser.

Led by pilot Winston Watts, the Jamaican Team returned to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia after failing to qualify in 2006 in Torino, Italy and in 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.

In spite of losing their luggage in route to Sochi, the Jamaicans maintained their generally upbeat attitudes.  They eventually received their runners (blades for sleds), helmets, sliding suits and shoes and immediately took to the Sanki Sliding Center for practice runs.

It was the sixth Olympics for the unlikely Winter Olympians from a Caribbean Island. The Watts’ led two-man team is excited about competing. And, an adoring public is thrilled to have the improbable bobsledders back at the games. The team raised more than $170,000 via crowd sourcing in order to come to Sochi to compete.

The Jamaicans’ story ranks as one of the most memorable in sports history, leaving no doubt why they are once again fan favorites.

Having Winter Olympic dreams when you hail from a tropical island takes plenty of guts. Known for its sandy beaches, reggae music, mountain grown coffee and bottled rum, Jamaica became the first tropical nation to field a team in an Olympic winter sport.

The Jamaican Bobsled Team Debuted in 1992 in Calgary

The Jamaican Bobsled Team debuted at the Calgary Games in Canada in 1988. They comprised a four person team with little practice, no international experience and some borrowed sleds.

Obvious underdogs, Devon Harris, Michael White, Dudley Stokes and Nelson Stokes of the Jamaican squad struggled in Calgary. They finished last among all competitors in the event, but captured the hearts of fans and the keen interest of the international media.

This unlikely bobsled team is the brainchild of American businessmen George Fitch and Michael Fennel. The two were inspired when watching Jamaica’s annual push cart derby in Kingston and quickly determined that push carting and bobsledding required similar skills.

Originally thought to be a joke, then explained as a brilliant marketing ploy, the Jamaican Bobsled Team continued to hone their craft and surprised many of those who doubted them.

Jamiacan Bobsled Team Inspired the Movie “Cool Runnings”

The Jamaicans qualified again, but performed poorly during the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France. Unexpectedly, their heroic efforts and unlikely story caught the attention of Hollywood. Disney Studios told their incredible story in a popular 1993 movie called Cool Runnings, with the late actor John Candy starring as coach.

In 1994, an undaunted Jamaican Bobsled Team returned to the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. Here, they enjoyed their greatest international success. The team, also known as the Hottest Thing on Ice, finished 14th and bested other more heavily favored teams from the United States, Russia, France and Italy.

The Jamaican Bobsled Team has since expanded. It now features two- and four-man teams as well as a two person squad comprised of women from the Jamaican Defense Force.

Although the Jamaican Bobsled Team did not medal in Sochi, their inspiring story makes them special. They are champions at heart and reflect the true spirit of the Olympic Games.

Ya Man! These Jamaicans be jammin’.

Shop for Thousands of 100% Authentic Autographed Sports Collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.com

Also, for fans interested in authentic sports merchandise or collectibles, simply click on the Sports Memorabilia logo above.

Note that if you opt to purchase a Sports Memorabilia product, we earn a small commission from each sale. So, thank you.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Footer Olympics

#TBT Sports Blog: NBA Icon “Dr. J” Julius Erving

NBA great Julius Erving

Today’s #TBT sports blog features one of my NBA hardwood heroes.

Mention the name Dr. J and sports fans will immediately recognize this basketball legend.

“Dr. J,” or Julius Erving, revolutionized the game of basketball. He elevated it to a much higher level. Erving’s amazing athleticism changed the NBA style of play from a below the rim pick and roll game to an entertaining aerial act above the basket.

Erving’s brilliantly flashy play created a new basketball vocabulary. It featured innovative terms that included “slam dunk,” “no look pass” and “cross over dribble.”

Julius Erving probably never sought a medical degree. He probably can’t read a hospital chart, hold a scalpel correctly or perform surgery. But, this self-styled basketball doctor knew exactly how to operate on the basketball court.

A high school friend originally named him “Doctor” when Erving referred to his friend as “Professor.” The “Doctor” nickname turned into Dr. J and eventually stuck for the rest of his career.

Dr. J’s game on the hardwood brought a new level of excellence to the NBA. Julius’ style of play brought new life to basketball in the same way great laboratory discoveries bring new life into the medical profession.

Erving dissected opponents on the basketball court as easily as an experienced medical professional handles a scalpel.

“Dr. J” Julius Erving Named One of 50 Greatest Players Ever

In addition to being named one of the fifty greatest basketball players of all time, the 6’7” and 210 lb. Dr. J was admired for his individual expression of talent on the court. Off the court, he became known as an unofficial ambassador and spokesman for the game of basketball.

Dr. J won both an ABA title as well as an NBA title. He also received three MVP Awards in the ABA and another in the NBA.

An 11-time NBA All Star during his Hall of Fame career, this Doctor may have never been a medical expert.

But as a basketball player and a representative of the game, Dr. J knew how to operate as the consummate professional while on or away from the hardwood.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Basketball footer