Legendary Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving — Dr. J as fans affectionately know him — knows a thing or two about what it takes to be great.
Erving, an 11-time NBA and five-time ABA All-Star, spoke to Fox News Digital Saturday about this weekend’s Final Four matchups and the talented coaches who got them there.
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“My hat goes off to all of them for achieving this great honor in getting there and, however it turns out at the end, there are no real losers – there’s only three losers,” Erving said with a chuckle when asked about his predictions.
“Somebody’s got to walk out the champion.”
The Duke Blue Devils, who have won five NCAA titles under retiring head coach Mike Krzyzewski, will take on the North Carolina Tar Heels, a program that has won six national championships and reached more Final Fours than any program in college basketball, Saturday at 8:49 p.m. ET.
But before that, Jay Wright and the Villanova Wildcats will take on the No. 1-seeded Kansas Jayhawks, who are in the hunt for their first national championship since 2008.
“Well, you know, Jay Wright’s my guy,” Erving said when asked about his predictions. “I used to live at Villanova when I was in Philly and I played for the 76ers. I lived there. I used to go to the school and practice and take my kids to the camps that Rollie Massimino (1973-92) used to have there, so I’m partial in that regard.”
Erving didn’t elaborate on who he thinks will come out on top Saturday. When asked about the possibility of Krzyzewski winning it all, Erving described that outcome as a storybook ending to a legendary career.
“That’s fantasy stuff. That’s the Cinderella story. You think Saint Peter’s being there was a Cinderella story. Duke winning and him being carried off the court in his last game … It would be very appropriate.”
This year’s Final Four is not short of talent and competition.
“In the storm, you have to remain calm. You have to stay true to your preparation. Everybody is prepared for this moment. How you handle that moment is the calmness that you have to have inside.”
Erving spoke to Fox News Digital on behalf of Coca-Cola’s “Debate the Goatness” campaign, which launched on Selection Sunday and will run through the men’s and women’s championship games.
Other basketball greats, including 2021-2022 NBA MVP front-runner Joel Embiid, four-time NCAA champion Breanna Stewart and Naismith Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie are also featured in two commercials that will be broadcast throughout both tournaments.
Source: Fox News