Julius Erving (AKA Dr. J) had a fine career in the NBA. After making his pro debut in 1971, he strung together a solid 16-year run that included 16 All-Star appearances, 7 All-NBA selections, 4 MVPs, and a championship in '84.
All-in-all, nobody has more authority to talk ball than Dr. J. So when he revealed his favorite current player to be L.A.'s Kawhi Leonard, it naturally piqued people's interest.
"Kawhi is my favorite NBA player," Erving said. "Absolutely."
Dr.J has mentioned in the past that he loved Kawhi Leonard's game, even going all the way back to his San Antonio days. Erving was a big fan of Tim Duncan, so naturally, he loves Kawhi Leonard's work ethic and demeanor. Despite being such a huge fan, Erving hasn't really had an intimate sit-down situation with Kawhi yet.
“I’ll tell you what, it’s kind of like a mutual admiration," Erving said. "I really admire him, I haven’t sat down or had dinner with him or lunch or anything like that. We connected All-Star weekend during the top 75 [celebration]. It’s always just a cordiality there because he’s a favorite guy that I like to watch in the NBA. So I’ve gone on record and saying that, I don’t know if he’s heard about it or not."
At 31 years old, Kawhi has already solidified himself as one of the elite. In two seasons with the Clippers, he averaged 26 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5 assists per game on 48% shooting.
But his talents go beyond just scoring. Amazingly, Kawhi is also among the NBA's best defenders, and it makes him arguably, the most well-rounded superstar there is.
Sadly, Leonard missed the entirety of the 2021-22 campaign after suffering a torn ACL in the 2021 playoffs.
If he's fully healthy and able to re-gain his MVP-like form, it could push the Clippers to a long and impressive playoff run. If not, the franchise will have to keep waiting for that elusive title.