It’s been about 7 weeks since my last post. Once upon a time, prior to a complete home remodel which included a new kitchen, a new bathroom, floors, paint and new interior doors with trim, I had the free time to write. But enough of that let’s talk cards. Also, once upon a time, prior to the athleticism and dominance of Michael “Air” Jordan there was a man who revolutionized the game of basketball, he was a man ahead of his time, his name is Julius Erving!
Growing up in the Chicagoland Region during the 80’s & 90’s I witnessed the era of Michael Jordan first hand. We watched every game for almost a decade and I was convinced that Michael Jordan was the best there ever was. But then I watched an interview with Michael speaking of Julius Erving and he admittedly claimed that he “tried to emulate Dr. J’s game.” So I started looking at highlight reels and I noticed the scary similarities between The Doctor and his Airness.
My point. Before Michael there was Julius. He was the complete player, the most athletic, the most dominating force on the court both offensively and defensively. His leaping ability allowed him to dance in the air on his way to the rim. He packed out arenas as people would come to see his aerial assaults.
He played in the ABA between 1971-1976 and really made a name for himself as he won just about every award possible in that league. His street-cred was birthed in the Rucker League in Harlem N.Y. where organized tournaments are offered along with plenty of slam dunks, crossovers and basketball swag. Legend has it that people would fill the roof tops, over passes, and climb trees just to get a glimpse of Dr. J on the court.
The ABA sold Julius to the Philidelphia 76er’s and thats where he played for the next 11 seasons. Combined he was a 16x All-Star, 2x All-Star MVP, 4x League MVP, 7x All NBA and 1982-83 NBA Champion just to name some of his awards.
Many people have testified that Julius Erving changed the game of basketball. His style was entertaining, he made people feel good, maybe that’s why they called him The Doctor. But overall he was an ambassador of the game, he carried himself with proper etiquette, he was well spoken and presented himself with class and dignity. Today, he is spoken of with reverence and his legacy still inspires.
ROOKIE CARD OF HALL OF FAMER JULIUS ERVING
1972-73 Topps, Card No. 195 (shop ebay)
This beauty screams, “Pure Vintage Basketball!” Big bold red letters, bright yellow background outlined by a thick black line. Love it! Man this card is sweet! Check out the nostalgic ABA League basketball, that early 70’s fro with the arm pit hair (that I can do without personally.) One thing to keep in mind with this particular card, it is notorious for having a printing defect near his left elbow and shouldn’t be taken into consideration when determining value. The hobby and the industry have decided that it will not be held against you.
The card back is a beauty as well. Colors and lay out are well-balanced and gives us everything a good card back should have from this era: name, player bio, commentary, stats and my personal favorite the cartoon. Not really surprised that his shoe size would be a 15 but that’s okay.
As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for $50.00-$80.00; low end graded copies (1-3’s) sell between $85.00-$130.00, mid grade copies (4-6’s) sell between $145.00-$250.00 and high-end grades (7-8’s) sell in the $318.00-$735.00 range. And on October 7, 2018 a Mint PSA 9 sold for $3,350.00 respectively.