Julius Erving: When the crowd appreciates you, it encourages you to be a little more daring, I think. That’s probably what the home court advantage is all about. With the crowds on your side, it’s easier for you to get ready to play and to get to the point where you’re playing up to your potential. Generally, you’ll have more players on the home team playing up to their potential than on the road team. Because in all professions, talented people sometimes react adversely to being booed, or jeered, or going into a foreign arena. It takes them a little longer to get focused and to reach their full potential, and to get into stride, get into sync. You’ll find some teams that are good home teams that are lousy road teams because of that. The perception is that the home team will always have an advantage. When you find a team that’s a great team on the road, they’re generally listed as a championship caliber team, because they’ve been able to overcome this. This is simply one of the psychological aspects of the game. There’s physical, there’s mental, and then there’s a psychic side to sports, which a lot of people write about, and very few people study. I don’t think I began to study it until I was in my late 20s. The last eight or nine years of my career I spent more time in learning about the psychic side of sports, because that’s where there was a greater learning curve available for me, versus trying to physically jump higher, or shoot straighter, or run faster, because that wasn’t really going to happen. But the psychic side opened doors for me, opened passages for me, physically and mentally, and allowed me to become a better player at an older age. At age 31, in 1981, I was voted the best player in basketball, and the most valuable player in the league. That’s considered old. You have a lot of guys who start out at 20 now, and this was after playing for ten years. I thought that was something that I needed to credit — understanding better the psychic side of the sport, versus physically going out and doing anything any differently.