In 1980, Julius Erving made one of the most memorable plays in basketball history. The Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers were facing off in Game 4 of the Finals when Erving faced off with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Lakers. After evading Mark Landsberger, Erving jumped for the basket and changed course mid-air. He floated behind the backboard to the other side of the basket then wrapped his right arm behind Kareem and laid in a reverse layup. Erving is the only player voted MVP in both the ABA and the NBA and is known for his modern style of pay which emphasize leaping. Erving ranks eight in career points with an ABA-NBA combined total of 30,026 – he is credited with popularizing the slam dunk. In 1994, Erving was named one of the 40 most important athletes of all time by Sports Illustrated.
Today in Sports History: May 11