Basketball legend Julius Erving competed with Joe Bryant on the Philadelphia 76ers and witnessed his son Kobe Bryant’s rise to stardom and remarkable success as a player.
Like millions of folks, Erving reacted to the news of Kobe’s death by posting a message (or many) on social media.
Dr. J delivered a very personal message.
“Sadly absorbing the tragic news about my teammate’s loss of his son and granddaughter,” he tweeted. “Joe and Pam, I humbly offer my condolences. Vanessa, so sorry for your loss and pray you remain strong and focused on you and Kobe’s dreams for your family. Here always for you…”
Joe Bryant and Dr. J were 76ers teammates from 1976-79. Philly advanced to the NBA Finals in 1977, losing to the Portland Trail Blazers in a six-game series. The Sixers squad also featured Darryl Dawkins and Doug Collins, World B. Free and Henry Bibby, George McGinnis and Caldwell Jones and Mike Dunleavy and Steve Mix, among others.
When Erving retired in 1987, he was the third-highest scoring in pro basketball history. This included his sensational run in the ABA before joining the Sixers.
When Kobe Bryant retired in 2016, he was the third-highest scorer in NBA history.