Erving helped legitimize the American Basketball Association (ABA). He was the best known player in the ABA when the ABA-NBA merger joined it with the National Basketball Association (NBA) after the 1976 season.
Erving won three championships, four Most Valuable Player Awards, and three scoring titles while playing with the ABA’s Virginia Squires and New York Nets and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. He was well-known for slam dunking from the free throw line in Slam Dunk Contests and was the only player to have been voted Most Valuable Player in both the ABA and the NBA.
Erving was named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time team and in 1993 was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Many consider him among the most spectacular basketballers ever, and one of the best dunkers of all time. While players such as Connie Hawkins, “Jumping” Johnny Green, Elgin Baylor, and Gus Johnson were performing spectacular dunks before Erving came along, “Dr. J” is usually the one most people credit with bringing it into the mainstream. His signature dunk was the “slam” dunk, since incorporated into the vernacular and basic skill set of the game, in the same manner as the “cross-over” dribble and the “no look” pass.