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Brooklyn Nets

This Date in NBA History: Nets retire Julius Erving's jersey in 1987, Michael Jordan scores 59 vs. Pistons & more

New Jersey Nets honor Julius Erving
(NBA Getty Images)

On April 3, 1987, the New Jersey Nets (now the Brooklyn Nets) honored Julius Erving by retiring the #32, the number Erving wore during his three-year stint with the franchise in the ABA (American Basketball Association.

Before the NBA, Erving spent three of his five seasons in the ABA with the New Jersey Nets. With the franchise, he averaged 28.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 5.2 assists in 252 regular-season games.

More importantly, he was a huge reason for the franchise's only two (ABA) titles in 1974 and 1976.

He was part of the visiting Philadelphia 76ers, a franchise he played all of his 11 seasons in the NBA with. The 1986-87 season was the last of Erving's professional basketball career and teams across the league were paying tributes to him.

Earlier that same season, notable franchises like the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers had also honored Dr. J.

Other notable events on April 3

  • In 1988, Michael Jordan scored 59 points (21-27 FGs) in a 112-110 win vs. the Detroit Pistons.
  • In 1998, Michael Jordan reached the 29,000 career points plateau. At that time, he was only the third player ever to cross that mark after Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
  • In 1999, Kendall Gill of the New Jersey Nets set a single-game NBA record for steals with 11 in an 88-77 win against the Miami Heat.
  • In 2001, Jerry Stackhouse of the Detroit Pistons scored a career-high 57 points in a blowout 110-83 win against the Chicago Bulls.

Game-winning buzzer-Beaters on April 3

Shareef Abdur-Rahim vs. Washington Wizards in 2003

Antonie Walker vs. Detroit Pistons in 1998

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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