With flights of improvisation around the basket, and his towering afro, Julius Erving became one of the most charismatic (and revolutionary) players basketball has ever kwn. A cool, acrobatic showman, his flamboyant dunks sent him to the Hall of Fame and turned the act of jamming a basketball through a hoop into an art form, winning the admirations of fans, sportscasters, and opponents, including Bill Walton, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. But while the public has long revered this cultural and sports icon, few have ever kwn of the double life of Julius Erving. There is Julius, the bright, inquisitive son of a Long Island domestic worker who wanted to be respected for more than just his athletic ability. And there is Dr. J, the balletic baller who transformed the game and inspired a generation of superstars, including Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James. Despite the pristine image put forward in his endorsement deals, he was far from perfect. In Dr. J., Erving goes on the record about the personal problems he faced and sometimes created. He speaks frankly about his career and the game; the adulterous affair that produced a daughter, professional tennis player Alexandra Stephenson; his 20-year-old son's tragic death; and the heartbreaking dissolution of his longtime marriage and its aftermath. Poignant and surprising Erving's story traces the inner-lives of the nearly perfect player and the imperfect man - and how he has come to terms with both.
Julius Erving is one of the greatest professional basketball players of all time and an American icon. He lives in Atlanta with his family. This is his first book. Karl Taro Greenfeld is the author of seven previous books, including the novel Triburbia and the acclaimed memoir Boy Alone. His award-winning writing has appeared in Harper's Magazine, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Best American Short Stories 2009 and 2013, and The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012. Born in Kobe, Japan, he has lived in Paris, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, and currently lives in Pacific Palisades, California, with his wife, Silka, and their daughters, Esmee and Lola.