One of my all-time favorite NBA players has passed away today. Darryl Dawkins, aka Chocolate Thunder, died today of a heart attack.
I honestly remember him playing like it was just a few years ago. It doesn’t seem like it’s been 30 plus years since he helped the NBA bring breakaway rims as standard equipment. Known for naming his dunks, it was the “The Chocolate-Thunder-Flying, Robinzine-Crying, Teeth-Shaking, Glass-Breaking, Rump-Roasting, Bun-Toasting, Wham-Bam, Glass-Breaker-I-Am-Jam” that brought the end to a glass backboard in Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri on the night of November 13, 1979. As a kid, I was blown away looking at the replays of that dunk on the news. Before that happened, you would not have been able to convince me that such a thing was possible. Just to prove it wasn’t a one time thing, Dawkins shattered another backboard a few weeks later.
Some of the other notable names of his dunks include the Rim Wrecker, the Go-Rilla, the Look Out Below, the In-Your-Face Disgrace, the Cover Your Head, the Yo-Mama, the Spine-Chiller Supreme, and the Greyhound Special (for the rare occasions when he went coast to coast) h/t to Wikipedia.
If I were the NBA commissioner, I’d have to order all backboards to be lowered to half height to honor Chocolate Thunder. That about the best tribute I could think of to honor him. While not the greatest player stat wise, he left an impression and a long list of named dunks that will keep him in the memories of NBA fans long after today.
When writing, I have a list of tags that are automatically chosen that I can use. For this one, Backboard shattering and breakaway rim came up. Just shows how much of an impact Dawkins had. Dunk on in Lovetron, brother. Dunk on.