When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.
Julius Erving, also known as “Dr. J,” is a retired American professional basketball player who is widely considered one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. He played for the American Basketball Association’s (ABA) Virginia Squires and New York Nets and the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Philadelphia 76ers.
Erving was known for his high-flying and acrobatic style of play, which earned him the nickname “Dr. J.” Erving was an 11-time ABA All-Star and 11-time NBA All-Star; he won the ABA MVP award three times, the NBA MVP award once and won two ABA championships and one NBA championship. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
Just because of his countless achievements during his career, he is still highly valued by basketball fans, and many collectors appreciate his cards. If you too want to add some “Dr. J” cards to your collection, this is the article for you.
The Best Julius Erving Cards to Collect!
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the top Julius Erving cards that every collector should aim to get their hands on.
1972-73 Topps Julius Erving card #195
The 1972-73 Topps Julius Erving #195 card is one of the most significant collectible cards from the 1970s period. There are several reasons why this card is so iconic and significant, starting with Erving’s jersey: that of the Virginia Squires.
The set from which it comes is extremely colorful and is a great collector’s classic. We can find both cards depicting NBA and ABA players within this set. The Julius Erving card is the most prominent of the whole set, but within the checklist, we can find other hall-of-fame players, such as Phil Jackson. The design of the front of the 1972-73 Topps Julius Erving #195 card is visually striking and highlights Topps’ use of bright colors in this era of basketball cards.
The figurine features a white border with a thick black outline surrounding Erving’s photo of him shooting with the iconic red, white and blue ABA basketball in front of a solid yellow background. The sticker shows Erving wearing the Virginia Squires uniform with the number 32, which he kept throughout his ABA career before switching to number 6 when he joined the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.
The Squires’ team name is prominently displayed below the photo, with the letters becoming larger from left to right, while his name and forward position are written in blue lettering at the bottom of the card, just below the team name.
The back of the 1972-73 Topps Julius Erving card #195 features a simple, linear design on gray card stock.
The top of the card features a blue band showing the card number (#195), Erving’s name, and his position (center). It is worth noting that this position is not accurate, as the front of the card correctly reports Erving as the attacker. This error has not been corrected, and no version of the card with the correct position has been made.
Julius Irving’s rookie card is one of the most significant and valuable from that period. For this very reason, if you want to add a copy of this card to your collection, you must consider that you need to spend several hundred dollars.
1972-73 Topps Julius Erving ABA All-Star #255
If the 1972-73 Topps Julius Erving card #195 is too expensive for your pocket, this alternative from the rookie year, and coming among other things from the same set, is for you. In fact, this card is much cheaper than the previous one and less sought after by collectors, but nevertheless, the photo chosen for the card makes it extremely cool.
1972-73 Topps ‘1971/1972 Rebound Leaders” #263
Also, within the same 192-1973 Topps set, we can find this horizontal card that depicts Erving. For many collectors, this card is not considered as a true Rookie but certainly belongs to Erving’s Rookie year. The presence of other players besides Erving makes this card definitely, in the rookie sphere, the cheapest card ever.
1975-76 Topps Julius Erving #300
The 1975-76 Topps Basketball card captures the essence of basketball during the 1970s. The card features a striking action image of Erving driving to the basket, with a vibrant pink team font and text box adding bold colors. The card is completed by highlighting “Julius Erving” with yellow text and a diagonal stripe with five stars in the top corner.
1978-79 Topps Julius Erving #130
The 1978-79 Topps Basketball card of Erving, while not as sleek as his 1975-76 card, is still an attractive option. It features two pictures that may appear cluttered, but the smaller photo provides collectors with a detailed view of his iconic afro.
1977-78 Topps Julius Erving #100
Although this card was created many years after the iconic Rookie card of “Dr.J” it is still quite significant for any collector for several reasons. In fact, this card produced by Topps is the first of Erving wearing an NBA jersey. 1976 the Philadelphia 76ers purchased his contract from the New York Nets for a price of about $6 million. So if you want to own Erving’s first card in the NBA, you should definitely buy it and add it to your collection. If you want to buy this card, it is also possible to find it graded with good grades, but you have to consider that you need to put your hand in your wallet.
1980-81 Topps Julius Erving, Magic Johnson RC, Larry Bird RC #6
Although Julius Erving is not the main protagonist of the 1980-81 Topps Basketball 1980-81 card, it is still considered a valuable and sought-after piece by collectors. This is due to the fact that the card also contains figurines of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Without their presence, the card is unlikely to be as valuable. Despite not being the main subject of the card, it is one of the most valuable Julius Erving cards in existence. In good condition, this card comes to be worth several thousand dollars.
1986-87 Fleer Julius Erving #3
The 1986-87 Fleer Basketball card was a fitting tribute to Julius Erving, as it was released during his final season and captures his iconic image in style. The card depicts Erving making a dunk with an intense facial expression, and the design is iconic, considering it is the same set as one of the most important cards in sports card collecting: Michael Jordan’s Fleer ’86.
Other Julius Erving Cards
There are other Julius Erving cards worth mentioning within this article, even though they may be rarer or more expensive, or hard to find.
2012-13 Upper Deck All-Time Greats Jordan Vs. Julius Irving #JV13 Autograph #/23
The 2012-13 Upper Deck All-Time Greats card features both Julius Erving and Michael Jordan‘s autographs, making it one of the several options available that pairs the two legends. The card is in black and white, hand-numbered to 23, and has gold ink, adding to its uniqueness.
2012-13 Panini Flawless Greats Julius Irving #3 Autographed Jersey
The 2012-13 Panini Flawless Basketball card, which features an autographed insert of Julius Erving, has been a sought-after option among collectors. The Greats insert, which features an autographed patch card, has been particularly popular. As a Hall of Fame player, any autographed card of Erving is considered a valuable addition to a collection.
Julius Erving, also known as “Dr. J,” is recognized as a legendary and exciting player in professional basketball because of his acrobatic offensive skills. His impact on the game has been significant, as his success in the ABA-which was previously considered a lower-level league than the NBA-has helped elevate its reputation. He won three ABA MVP awards before moving on to the NBA, where he continued to excel and was named an All-Star. He reached the pinnacle of success by winning the NBA MVP award in the 1980-81 season, making him the only player to win the MVP award in both leagues. All these factors and the historical relevance of the character make seasoned collectors and novices alike want to collect his cards and pass them down through time, to keep the memory of a legend alive….