Before he turned into a worldwide icon as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, most NBA fans understand that Julius Erving plied his trade in the American Basketball Association. For what team? A good chunk of ardent fans won't sit for more than two seconds before quickly answering "the New York Nets." Some of them might say "New Jersey." None of them will say "Newark." Tony Kornheiser will remind you that the Nets really played on Long Island.
Junkier hoopheads will also be able to tell you that Erving worked before that as a member of the Virginia Squires, where he busted out as a rookie after general manager Johnny "Red" Kerr signed Erving following a truncated college career at Massachusetts. Kerr also signed George Gervin during Erving's tenure, which is kind of ridiculous if you think about it for too long.
What some massive hoop fans might not remember is that the Atlanta Hawks also made what appeared to be a square deal to sign Erving not long after he agreed to terms with the Squires, hopefully to pair Dr. J with Pete Maravich and Lou Hudson on a Hawks team that, we believe, would average around 297 points per game. And NBA.com, unable to write about its locked-out players, has put together a fantastic retrospective on the fight between the Squires and Hawks, the NBA and ABA, with a little Milwaukee Buck frustration thrown in there for good measure. All manner of cool pictures, box scores, interviews, columns, headlines and funky hair is involved.
It's in slideshow form, and well worth your time. Enjoy.