Growing up as a celebrity kid is different. More people know you, so certain things that normal kids do don’t seem normal. That’s how it was for Julius “J” Erving III. He attended All-Star games, and met players like five-time NBA champion Magic Johnson.
“I don’t really want to say it was pressure,” Erving III said. “I learned a lot that I recognized later in life where hard work gets you and perseverance. I wasn’t really a great basketball player, so I didn’t have the pressure there.”
Erving III and his father and former Sixers All-Star Julius “Dr. J” Erving joined Inquirer Live to discuss their latest ventures, family and basketball.
Dr. J was one of the best basketball players in the world during the 1970s and ’80s. There were financial and popularity benefits that came with being Erving’s child, but there was more.
“My goals as a parent were to try to be a great parent and try to be inspirational,” Erving said.
The basketball skills didn’t transfer to Erving III. He doesn’t have the his father’s height or massive hands that palmed basketballs. But he does have the same competitive nature.
Erving III spent time as a boxer, but he’s found a home in the music industry. He founded his own record distribution company, named Human-Re-Sources.
In 2018, the industry-leading distribution company brought in more than 400 million streams between artists. Those artists include Brent Faiyaz, Mario, and YBN Nahmir. The company was acquired by Sony last Friday.
It’s no accident that Erving III has put himself in this position after growing up and watching how his father handled success.
“I learned about network and your friend group,” Erving III said of watching his father. “Just surrounding yourself with people that are like-minded, smart, and moving in the same direction that you’re moving in.”
The trials also sparked the success. One of the hardest moments for the Erving family was the death of Dr. J’s 19-year-old son Cory in 2000 in a drowning accident. For Dr. J, he had been in a similar situation after losing his brother. It was tough for “J” because of the close relationship he had with his younger brother.
“J” said his brother’s death “shaped” and “saved” his life. He later named his son after Cory.
“My son has a lot of the same mannerisms as my brother,” Erving III said.
Today, the family is tight. “J” and Dr. J have often exchange FaceTime calls, which is something that’s even more important during the pandemic.
“One of the things that I love about the relationship with my dad is the consistency of it,” Erving III said. “If we talk to each other every day for two months, and we don’t talk for a couple of weeks. When we pick the phone back up, we’re right back where we left off. It never wavers.”