19. Julius Erving
He might not have had an official PhD bestowed by an institution of higher learning, but there’s no question that Julius Erving, commonly known by his nickname of “Dr. J”, had all but a Doctorate degree in the game of basketball.
Erving won three championships, four Most Valuable Player Awards, and three scoring titles while playing for the ABA’s Virginia Squires and New York Nets (now the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets), as well as the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.
Though Erving led the ABA in scoring in three of his first five seasons as a professional, and averaged 22.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4 assists per game in nine seasons with the 76ers, Erving is best known for making the term (and practice of) “slam dunk” into the common lexicon.