Julius Erving, the legendary NBA Hall of Fame basketball player known as Dr. J, has been hospitalized following a medical scare. Erving, 67, became ill while attending a Philadelphia 76ers game against the Detroit Pistons on Friday night and was rushed to the hospital, according to ESPN. There is no update on Dr. J’s condition, but a statement was released by the basketball icon’s management team.
“Mr. Erving fell ill at tonight’s game and was taken to a local hospital, where he is currently being evaluated. He is expected to be released after the evaluation.”
Julius Erving seemed to be fine earlier in the evening. Julius even rang the ceremonial Liberty Bell before tipoff at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, where the Sixers beat the Pistons 114-78. According to a report by Philadelphia’s NBC 10, Julius Erving was taken out of a suite at the Wells Fargo Center in a wheelchair during the game.
Julius Erving spent 11 years with the Philadelphia 76ers and was the NBA’s MVP in 1981 before leading the team them to a 1982-83 NBA title. In all, Dr. J. won four MVP awards and three championships in the American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association while playing for the Virginia Squires, the New York Nets, and the Philadelphia 76ers. Julius Erving was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 1993.
Julius Erving’s attendance and ceremonial bell ring on Friday came as the 76ers honored him to mark 35 years since he threw his iconic “rock the baby” cradle dunk against the Los Angeles Lakers’ Michael Cooper. The Sixers even wore their Statement Edition uniforms tonight in honor of the anniversary of Erving’s cradle dunk on Jan. 5, 1983. You can see the famous dunk below.
After Julius Erving’s undisclosed illness was announced, many fans took to social media to offer prayers and well wishes for the basketball legend.
While Julius Erving has been a basketball icon for four decades, he also became a household name due to endorsement deals and even a brief acting career. In a 1976 deal with Converse, Dr. J was one of the first pro basketball stars to have a sneaker marketed under his name. At the height of his fame, Julius Erving also starred in a series of ChapStick commercials where he was known as Dr. ChapStick, and in 1979 he starred in the comedy film The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh.