Sport: Dr. J's Dilemma

The bitter struggle between the rival National and American basketball associations has triggered a series of increasingly complicated lawsuits. But none of the earlier legal hassles compares in complexity to the bizarre case of Julius Winfield Erving Jr., a gifted 6-ft. 7-in., 22-year-old forward whose clinical dissection of opposing defenses supports his self-styled title of "Dr. J."

In 1971, at the end of his junior year at the University of Massachusetts, Erving quit school to sign a four-year, $500,000 contract with the A.B.A. Virginia Squires. After a brilliant rookie season, Erving decided that...

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