Unhappy with his contract with the Virginia Squires of the American Basketball Association, Erving struck a deal with the Hawks before the 1972 draft for the National Basketball Association. But the Milwaukee Bucks drafted him, leading to a series of legal wrangles.
For one week of training camp, Dr. J was a Hawk, teamed with Pete Maravich. He averaged 24 points in two exhibition wins before the ABA forced him back to the Squires.. The Hawks were fined $25,000 per game by the NBA. Erving went back to Virginia for a second season. Facing the possibility of losing Erving to the NBA, ABA officials arranged for him to stay in the league with the New York Nets. The Hawks, Squires and Bucks all received some compensation.