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The day the dunk was born

Eric Neel takes a step back in time to remember Julius Erving and David Thompson's dueling legacy in the 1976 ABA All-Star Slam-Dunk Contest.

Updated: February 22, 2006, 12:27 PM ET
By Eric Neel | Page 2

"I remember the afro," George Gervin says. "Doc's hair was flying back."

Julius "Doctor J" Erving was three big strides into his approach on a foul-line dunk in the 1976 ABA All-Star Slam-Dunk Contest and his mane was roaring.

"Even before he took off he was really rolling, his afro blowing," Artis Gilmore remembers. "We all became entangled in what he was going to do."

What he did, of course, was rise up -- like a jet fighter lifting off the deck of a carrier -- and ...

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