Julius Erving believes former tennis star Arthur Ashe should have been permitted some privacy in his fight against AIDS.

Erving said the situation was not the same as the one Magic Johnson faced when he announced he had tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS."Magic's situation is somewhat different. He was almost forced to call a press conference because he was now moving away from the spotlight of being a professional basketball player and everyone would have asked him why," Erving said. "But in Arthur's situation, he wanted to keep the situation private. He made that clear to celebrities and friends, whoever was in his support group.

"My feeling is that I think whether you're a public figure or not, you still have a right to keep certain things private in life, if that's what you elect," Erving said.