NBA: 30 greatest playmakers in NBA history

(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /
14 of 30
Julius Irving, Philadelphia 76ers
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

17. Julius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard Julius Erving set the tone with his acrobatic play and rim-rocking dunks. With his trademark afro, “Dr. J” would soar effortlessly through his opponents through the lane before finishing with an emphatic jam, most of the time.

Erving made 11 All-Star appearances with the 76ers from 1976 to 1987, showing off his ability to make plays while eventually leading the way to an NBA crown. He averaged 22.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game during his time with the 76ers.

He won the regular season MVP award during the 1979-80 season, averaging 26.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists as one of the best shooting guards to ever play the game.

Erving won the elusive ring that many Hall of Famers have never had the opportunity to win in 1983. With Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks and Andrew Toney, the 76ers swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1983 NBA Finals on the way to their most recent NBA title in franchise history.

One of his finest plays came during Game 4 which was dubbed the “Baseline Move.” After driving past one defender, his route along the baseline was cut off by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but he effortlessly soared through the air around him to the other side of the hoop while putting up a soft underhanded layup for the score.

He’ll go down as one of the best playmakers in the NBA with his wizardry with the basketball. He turned it into success by the end of his career and continues to be talked about to this day.