Darryl Dawkins: A Career And Life Worth Remembering


On Thursday, August 27th, the Philadelphia 76ers organization lost an all time great basketball player. News broke out that afternoon that Darryl Dawkins had passed away. The entire Sixers and NBA world was shocked, because Dawkins was — as far as most knew — in good health.

This impacted some of our staff at The Sixer Sense personally, as George Kondoleon shared some memorable experiences with the great player. George wrote a letter to his personal friend shortly after the news of his passing.

Death is a tough thing for everyone. Despite plenty of us not even ever meeting Dawkins, we feel impacted by what this player was able to accomplish on the court. While death can be a time of mourning — and don’t get me wrong, with death, there is a time for that — I also believe that with death comes a perfect time to look back at a life, and appreciate what was done. Dawkins had a very interesting career, and it’s something we should appreciate and honor in the midst of his passing.

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Over the course of his career, Dawkins racked up 12 points per game, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks. Dawkins was drafted by the Sixers, and was a member of three conference championship teams with the Sixers. Unfortunately, Dawkins didn’t ever win a title with the team, as he was traded with frustration to the Nets just a year before the Sixers finally won a title.

While we could look at his postseason shortcomings with the Sixers, we should focus on the positives. Dawkins was a fun, funky dude. He would have done well in today’s world with the media. At one point he claimed to be an alien from planet Lovetron where he spent off-seasons with his girlfriend. Imagine a quote like that in today’s world. SportsCenter would be playing that all day long.

He is credited with the title of being the first NBA player to ever shatter the backboard. Not even a month later, Dawkins did it again, causing a nuisance to the NBA, forcing them to impose punishments for breaking the backboard. Dawkins was also one of the main reasons the NBA started to use breakaway rims on their hoops to prevent the backboards from shattering.

He named plenty of his dunks, and they were all funky names just like the curator of them, as Chocolate Thunder was his nickname. Head to his Wikipedia page to see all of them.

Dawkins was known as a player who would talk to fans. Even up to his final days, he was a celebrity who was unafraid of talking to fans who were in awe of his presence. His friendship with George shows that. Dawkins was one of the friendlier faces that existed in the NBA.

Writers loved this guy. I would love to put some quotes from Dawkins in an article today, because he would always leave writers with a good line to lead their stories with. In a business where media and players sometimes struggle to get along, Dawkins embraced his connections with everyone.

Dawkins will go down in history as many things. All of them are positive, that I can think of. His big smile, his funky attitude, his loving character. He will be remembered for years to come, and I hope he rests in peace.

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