Julius “Dr. J” Erving, one of the most acrobatic and spectacular basketball players the NBA has ever seen, is producing a TV series based on the legendary Rucker Park in New York where he first rose to fame.
The Doctor, who influenced the creative aerial exploits exemplified by the likes of Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, James Worthy and a generation of others, will serve as the executive producer of the series that will illuminate the hardwood legends of the iconic court.
The TV series will be based on the book Asphalt Gods: An Oral History of the Rucker Tournament from the New York Times writer, Vincent M. Mallozzi, who penned the bestseller in 2003.
From what the New York Post‘s Page Six column has gathered so far, other legends to be featured include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Willis Reed, Joe “The Destroyer” Hammond and many others.
The asphalt of the almost mystical Rucker Park, located in the Harlem section of New York, was so fiercely competitive and spirited that even Frazier described the games as “being [like] a gunslinger in the Old West.”
Mallozi told the New York Post that “[Frazier] said that when he played those games, he didn’t know what he’d be in for … There was pushing, trash-talking, taking four steps to the rim. Everyone looked the other way as long as the dunk was good.”
Other marquee players who Mallozi said had the moxie to play on the famed, unforgiving court include the late Kobe Bryant, the brash Allen Iverson and hometown hero Stephon Marbury.
Charles Messina Jill Menza, Barry Bookhard and Jules Feiler will all join Dr. J as executive producers.
Check out a clip of Dr. J during the apex of Rucker Park’s fame.