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In the book, he covers his marriage to Turquoise, which was mutually abusive, he says and the devastating death of his 19-year-old son, Cory, who was struggling with drug addiction and died in an accidental drowning in Orlando, Florida 13 years ago. He also talks about his womanizing, including a streak of eight days with eight different women. (Erving also fathered a second child while he was married to Turquoise, and now, including two kids from his second marriage to Dorys Madden, has a total of eight children.)

And of course, he talks basketball, including his infamous choking of rival Boston Celtic legend Larry Bird and his only championship with the 1983 Philadelphia 76’ers. Allegations that Erving had some financial incentive to do the book after some failed business deals may have led to the more surprisingly candid details. But Erving, now 63, says that writing the book was good for him.

“I think it’s a cleansing process. It’s therapeutic in terms of talking about my life and talking about it in terms of being at peace with the circumstances and understanding that I’ve always been the person who put the carrot out in front and says the next big thing in my life is going to happen tomorrow. In spite of the highs and lows and of yesterday and the middle ground that exists day to day, there’s always something out there that we should look forward to otherwise why live?”

Check out Tom Joyner’s take on Dr. J’s book here: 

Dr. J: ‘I Just Wanted to Tell The Whole Truth’  was originally published on

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