Julius Erving: In high school I had a buddy who I called the Professor, and he called me the Doctor. His name is Leon Saunders. We went to high school together, and then we went to college together, and we’re still great friends today. I used to call him the Professor because, when we would do anything, whether it was playing basketball, or cards, or just sitting around and shooting the breeze, he always had to have the upper hand. He could outtalk anybody, to the point where he would lecture whoever else was around, if we were willing to listen. I just kind of dubbed him the Professor one day. And he said, “Well, if I’m the Professor, then you’re the Doctor.” We kind of had professional-sounding nicknames, and we just shared that amongst ourselves. Then we ended up graduating high school together, going to college, and other people picked up on our nicknames. Mine eventually got changed to Dr. J, instead of just the Doctor, once I started playing professional basketball. The team physician was called Doc, and the trainer was called Chop. But the physician became Dr. M, and I become Dr. J, compliments of a guy I was rooming with in my first year, a guy named Willie Soldier. Dr. J was kind of catchy, and I liked that. I said, if I’m going to go through a name change, that’s not a bad move. It just sort of stuck since then, and it’s still here.