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Documentary on Dr. J a slam dunk

Julius Erving of the New York Nets drives

Julius Erving of the New York Nets drives to the basket against Billy Paultz of the San Antonio Spurs in an American Basketball Association game on Jan. 18, 1976, at Nassau Coliseum. "Dr. J" scored 51 points that night. Photo Credit: Newsday / David L. Pokress

In a sense my sportswriting career began April 24, 1976, when 15-year-old me attended Game 7 of the Spurs-Nets ABA semifinal and promised myself I would tell future generations how great Julius Erving was in his low-exposure ABA days.

Now I don't have to, thanks to "The Doctor,'' a documentary that premieres at 9 p.m. Monday on NBA TV and features extensive footage of Roosevelt's own Dr. J, plus revealing interviews with him and his contemporaries.

Erving said Thursday he was "quite pleased'' with the finished product but said sharing personal details such as the deaths of his father, brother and son left him "somewhat emotionally drenched for the roller coaster ride.''

Buckle up and tune in.

(Newsday's app users can watch the embedded video at


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