‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty‘ chronicles the journey of the LA Lakers basketball team as they rise to the pinnacle of the sport. The series dives deep into the making of Earvin “Magic” Johnson by focusing on his personal and professional life. In the show’s first season, Magic is a rookie signed by the LA Lakers who quickly becomes an important player for the team.
The show’s eighth episode brings Magic face-to-face with one of his idols, Julius “Dr. J” Erving, both on and off the court. Given the duo’s interactions in the show, viewers must be surprised by their complex interpersonal dynamic. Naturally, if you watched the show, you must be curious to learn more about the real-life relationship between Dr. J and Magic Johnson and Dr. J’s current whereabouts. In that case, here is everything we have gathered on the matter!
Are Julius Erving and Magic Johnson Friends?
In ‘Winning TIme,’ Julius “Dr. J” Erving is a childhood idol of Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Dr. J’s influence on Magic is also one of the prime reasons behind his deal with Converse. In the series, the two meet during the NBA All-Star game in 1980, followed by meet-ups between their respective teams in the NBA. In reality, when Magic Johnson was in his rookie season, Dr. J was playing for the Philadelphia 76ers and was considered one of the best players in the league.
Most of Magic and Dr. J’s well-known interactions during the 80s took place on the basketball court. Most notable among these was their involvement in the 1979-80 NBA Finals, in which the LA Lakers faced off against the Philadelphia 76ers. Magic and Dr. J were rivals on the pitch for most of their careers but seem to have developed a cordial relationship outside the game. The two have made several public appearances together and also featured in Converse ad campaigns during the 80s. In an Instagram post from 2018, Dr. J referred to Magic Johnson as one of his friends. Therefore, it is safe to say that the basketball icons are friends in real life.
Where is Julius Erving Now?
Julius Erving, aka Dr. J, was named the NBA MVP for the 1981 season and won the NBA Championship in 1983. After playing for the Philadelphia 76ers for eleven seasons, Erving decided to hang up his boots and retired at the age of 37. Since his retirement from playing professional basketball, Dr. J has dabbled in various ventures. He became a television analyst while taking up other business interests. He owned a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Philadelphia and co-owned a NASCAR Busch Series team. He worked as the Vice President of RDV Sports and Executive Vice President for Orlando Magic.
Dr. J also served on the boards of several businesses such as Converse, Darden Restaurants, The Sports Authority, and Saks Incorporated. Outside sports and business, Erving is also known for making cameos in the 1993 movie ‘Philadelphia’ and sitcoms such as ‘Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper’ and ‘The Office.’ He was married to Turquoise Erving from 1972 until 2003. After his separation from his first wife, he married Dorýs Madden in 2008.