Philadelphia 76ers Show Their Love for Dr. J

Joe BarnathanCorrespondent INovember 21, 2011

LOS ANGELES - 1987:  Julius Erving #6 of the Philadelphia 76ers receives a standing ovation from the Los Angeles Laker Girls before playing the final game of his career against Lakers, which happened to be at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles, California in 1987.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

This past week, Julius Erving sold a large portion of some of his most valuable memorabilia in an auction for $3.5 million.

What seemed initially like a very sad story about another former player being forced to sell some of his most prized possessions actually has a silver lining.

Why? Because the new owner of Dr. J’s belongings are the Philadelphia 76ers.

According to ESPN, the Sixers will put the memorabilia on display for all fans to see, including one Julius Erving. 

While in a perfect world Mr. Erving would have been able to keep many of these great items (such as his 1974 and 1983 championship rings—one from the ABA and one from the NBA), they will now reside in what will be an homage to the Sixers' most iconic player.

Instead of some private collector hoarding away these items, they’ll be on display for as long as the Sixers' doors are open.

Years from now, friends and family—as well as fans from all over—will be able to admire Dr. J’s greatest possessions.

In many ways, this is has turned into a rather heartwarming story. It's not that often that we see organizations show such appreciation for their stars of yesteryear.

In one move, the Sixers have helped to preserve Erving’s memory, as well as given him significant financial support. 

This has become a win-win situation for everyone, and perhaps could happen more often should NBA greats find themselves in financial trouble.

At a time in which we haven’t been thinking that highly of NBA owners, perhaps the brand new ownership in Philadelphia are trying to demonstrate that there are at least a few franchises left that still care about more than just the bottom line.