Darryl Dawkins was once requested to meet a celebrity in his locker room whose dunking was becoming popular for their immense force. The celebrity was none other than Steve Wonder, a blind Grammy Award winner, but even he sensed some style in his game. Darryl was much obliged to observe a blind man admiring him, calling him adoringly, ‘Chocolate Thunder’.

Darryl Dawkins died in a hospital on Thursday in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He was 58 at the time of his death, as the doctors prepare to conduct an autopsy on him later. However, his family publicly stated that he had died of a heart attack. With his signature big smile and dynamic personality, he touched hearts of millions.

With his ferocious dunks, he carved a place in hearts and minds.

Darryl Dawkin: an illustrious career

Darryl Dawkin’s career spanned 14 seasons in the NBA playing for Detroit, Utah, New Jersey and Philadelphia. His field goal percentage stands at 57.2, 7th best in NBA records. Moreover, he had an average of 12 points and 6.1 rebounds from 728 NBA outings.

Adam Silver, NBA commissioner, stated that the NBA community is heartbroken and torn-apart by this sudden demise of Darryl Dawkins. According to him, he will be remembered for his natural talent, his dynamism at the field and his limitless generosity. He was fully aware of his importance and influence over his fans and outside the field. He was drafted back in 1975 for 76ers. At high school then, he was the first to make it through from first drafting round.

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He was much revered and adored in NBA ecosystem and remained as such after his retirement. He had a brief stint as a part of Harlem Globetrotters.

Darryl Dawkin: fond memories

He had renamed his dunk as ‘Look-out below’, ‘Rim Wrecker’ and ‘Yo-mama’ among others. Sometimes, he referred ‘Lovetron’ to be his birthplace. Him Spanarkel was a colleague of Dawkins during his rookie season of 1979-80 and reminisced his entertaining wordplay with reporters, postgame. Being natural at making catchphrases, he was an instant hit with the reporters with his witty remarks, regardless of match win/loss, it was difficult to reach our lockers. His rigorous force changed the way NBA played. Soon enough NBA implemented breakaway rims and shatter-proof backboards. Once, when he broke the backboard for the first time, he was shouting postgame about getting a new contract since he had reached a new level. More praises and tributes came through soon after his demise from his fellow comrades.  

In short, he was loved by everyone, his teammates, family, friends and worldwide fans.

The CEO of 76er stated that his charm, his smile and incredible sense of humor touched millions. He will have a special place in our hearts. He had reached peak of his career in 1983-84 on the New Jersey tour. His average was a career best at 16.8 points in each game that season. He literally invented power-dunking as a new feature of the game.

Darryl Dawkin: post-retirement

He was plagued by injuries during his last years at the NBA. Moreover, he appeared in Italian League for many years. Apart from that, he made brief appearances in International Basketball association and International Basketball Association. He was a coach at college and minor leagues.