This past week, we lost NBA legend Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins, who passed away on August 27 at the age of 58. Dawkins was mostly known for his time in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers, where he played his first seven years of his career. The 6’11 center also played for the New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz, Detroit Pistons, Harlem Globetrotters, and even spent time overseas throughout his professional career.
Dawkins was born in Orlando, Fla., and his is nickname “Chocolate Thunder” was actually given to him by American soul singer Stevie Wonder. He will be remembered for his emphatic dunks on the court, as he often shattered backboards. Dawkins appeared in three NBA Finals and averaged double figure scoring nine times in his 14-year career.
After his career playing in the NBA, Dawkins spent some time with the Globetrotters as well as some D-League teams. He also took up coaching at small schools around Pennsylvania and the ABA’s Newark Express. He also wrote an autobiography entitled Chocolate Thunder: The Uncensored lIfe and Times of Darryl Dawkins, which was about his on and off the court life as an NBA star.
Dawkins passed away in Allentown, Pa., and although there is an autopsy being performed, a statement released by the Dawkins family on claim that the cause of death was a heart attack.
[quote_box_center]“It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our beloved husband and father, Darryl Dawkins, who succumbed today to a heart attack. Darryl touched the hearts and spirits of so many with his big smile and personality, ferocious dunks, but more than anything, his huge, loving heart. His family, wife Janice, children Dara, Tabitha, Nicholas and Alexis, along with countless family, friends, and fans, all mourn his loss. More than anything Darryl accomplished in his basketball career as the inimitable ‘Chocolate Thunder,’ he was most proud of his role and responsibility as a husband and father. We ask that the public please respect our privacy as we grieve his loss.” (via nba.com)[/quote_box_center]
Dawkins averaged 12 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game during his NBA career.