Even though Erving admits to making several mistakes in his life the one that seems most regrettable (not necessarily to him) is when he decided to leave college a year early to turn pro.
He was wise enough to choose a college, UMass, based on its academics and environment rather than its basketball reputation. But he gave up getting his degree (he did complete it many years later), a stable and promising relationship, and the maturity that another year in college would have provided. He eventually became a millionaire and NBA superstar but the pratfalls he experienced along the way might have been less bumpy if he had graduated.
The jet set life of a professional athlete is something that can grow old after a while, especially for a family-oriented man such as Dr. J. The constant time away from home strains a marriage and puts guilt trips on a father who wants to be with his kids. The superstar also faces the same issues that we all do with our children and having money doesn’t make it easier.
Julius Erving is a man who wanted to live a dignified life and didn’t always succeed. But it doesn’t really diminish who he is. Dr. J is still a classy person and his classy autobiography allows us to appreciate both him and our own standing in life.