When Julius Erving was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2008, Charles Barkley had a hard time. He tried to pay homage by saying he “felt sick” before quickly correcting himself and claiming it was because he had no clue how to address Dr. J properly.
Charles Barkley’s wife was not happy with his decision to call Julius Erving “Dr. J.” She said that he should have addressed him as “Mr. Erving,” which is what she called him when they were dating. Read more in detail here: charles barkley wife.
During his NBA career, Charles Barkley had very few fears. He worried about making a positive first impression with Julius Erving as a rookie with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Dr. J became a legendary figure in basketball, first as a star in the ABA and then as one of the most influential players in NBA history. Chuck admired Erving as a kid and despised not knowing how to approach the Hall of Famer ahead of his first training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles, whom he had attempted to deceive into not picking him.
Sir Charles was fortunate in that Erving was able to allay Barkley’s fears with a single, revealing exchange.
Before his first Philadelphia 76ers training camp, Charles Barkley experienced “night sweats” of meeting Julius Erving.
Before the 1984-85 season, Charles Barkley was ready to start his career. He, on the other hand, hated the prospect of offending 76ers great Julius Erving.
Chuck remarked (h/t YouTube) on NBA TV’s Open Court’s “My Generation” segment that he spent a restless night before rookie camp due of his adoration for The Doctor.
“I stayed up all night the night before training camp.” I was apprehensive. ‘How am I going to approach Dr. J?’ was the most important idea I had all night. Should I address him as Dr. J, Julius, or Mr. Erving? I was breaking out in cold sweats just thinking about it.”
–Charles Barkley, “My Generation,” Open Court
Sir Charles attributed Moses Malone, another NBA star, for preserving his career, while Barkley pondered Erving’s role as the head of a senior locker room that included Maurice Cheeks and Moses Malone. He wanted to establish a level of respect before demonstrating his ability to contribute to a competitive Sixers team.
Chuck’s anxiety, however, proved to be in vain. Erving took the initiative in instructing a novice Sir Charles on how to approach him in the future.
Erving went out of his way to meet and greet Barkley.
In a sense, Julius Erving stole the ball away from Charles Barkley.
Dr. J stepped up and introduced himself to the 76ers rookie before Chuck felt too overwhelmed by his approach to a simple “Hello.”
“I’m in the locker room, and I’m at a loss on what to do.” ‘Hey young guy, I’m Doc,’ says Doc as he walks up.
–Charles Barkley, “My Generation,” Open Court
That day, Erving, who Barkley referred to as “that man,” assisted the Round Mound of Rebound in overcoming a challenge. The occasion also served as a reminder of Dr. J’s significance in the sport.
According to Chuck, Erving was one of the few athletes that young people idolized and mimicked as they grew older. Barkley, on the other hand, had to rapidly move on from childlike infatuation to accepting his position among Dr. J’s colleagues and teammates.
With that one exchange, Erving managed to remind Barkley of his legendary status while simultaneously welcome him into the locker room’s inner circle. Sir Charles still had to pay his dues as a rookie, but a trusted Dr. J saw that he could mentor Barkley and teach him how to be a pro.
Barkley and Erving have distinct methods of expressing themselves.
On September 11, 2017, in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, Julius Erving presents Charles Barkley with his second-place trophy at the Julius Erving Golf Classic | Mitchell Leff/Getty Images for PGD Global
Despite the fact that Erving advised Barkley on how to comport himself on and off the court, the two legends utilized their voices in quite different ways.
The finest example is former 76ers governor Harold Katz’s 1985 attack on the franchise. Erving adopted a cautious tone, claiming that Katz, as the owner, had the right to share his views. Barkley, on the other hand, posed a rhetorical question to Katz, asking why he wasn’t coaching if he felt so passionately about it.
That incident elucidates the distinctions between Dr. J and Chuck. Though Erving has been known to offer profound remarks on occasion, he has been a more restrained quote than Barkley.
Despite their temperamental differences, the Sixers’ stars never had any serious clashes. In contrast, Barkley and Erving’s initial encounter set the tone for a crucial mentoring that continues to reverberate with Sir Charles all these years later.
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Charles Barkley is a retired professional basketball player who is also known for his height and weight. He has a career average of 23.3 points per game, with 11.8 rebounds per game, and 6.0 assists per game. Reference: charles barkley height weight.
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