Julius “Dr. J” Erving became very popular on lottery night. Not as popular as Mallory Edens, but she was popular for all the right reasons. When it was announced that the Sixers landed the No. 10 overall pick from the New Orleans Pelicans, the cameras turned to the great Dr. J and he responded with a “What the HELL is going on” face. It was quite historic.
Also, a picture surfaced of Dr. J and Andrew Wiggins exchanging words before the lottery started on Twitter. CSN Philly caught up with Dr. J and asked him about the contents of his discussion with one of the most hyped athletes since LeBron James:
“I told Wiggins I played against his father,” Erving said. “He is part of a legacy and the bar should be very high. He should be trying to be better than his Dad was and other guys who have played in the league in the past and who are coming into the league with him.
“In terms of raising the bar and recognizing the bar and saying I want to be better then that. He needs to put in the work. I was challenging him to do that. I was challenging him mentally.
“I said, ‘What are you thinking right now?’ He said, ‘I am just happy to be here.’ You have to be more than happy to be here because you are going to go very high. If you go No. 1 it will put additional pressure, but he has to have high standards.”
Julius Erving is awesome. He gave it to Wiggins just how it is. Dr. J doesn’t care about the hype around Wiggins, he knows how hard the road will be for him if he’s selected with the No. 1 selection.
Besides talking to Wiggins, Erving also talked about the future of the Sixers with Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel in the fold for the future:
“Sometimes one is a little misleading,” Erving said. “Look at No. 1 last year — our guy (Michael Carter-Williams) was a lot better than him. With (Nerlens) Noel coming back they are going to have a No. 1 and then a three and 10 and possibly a second-round pick. We have leverage to make some deals”
“You don’t want your team to be too young and innocent because you have to compete against guys who are not young and innocent,” Erving said. “The Sixers have leverage. I think a corner has been turned. Getting the third and 10th pick was major. We probably did better than anyone else in this draft.”
Erving has a point. No. 1 isn’t the only way to draft success, because recent history shows that No. 1 is more of a crap shoot than any other pick in the draft (hi Anthony Bennett). The Cavaliers may have No. 1, but the Sixers have No. 3 and No. 10. I’ll take those two lottery picks in this draft over the top slot any day. A few days removed from the lottery and I’m super excited about the Sixers future. Erving would never show it, but I bet he’s pretty excited too.
How do you think the draft lottery turned out for the 76ers?
Follow Drew Corrigan on twitter: @Dcorrigan50