NBA legend Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins dead

darryl-dawkins-vs-celticsFormer NBA player, legendary Darryl Dawkins has died August 27, according to a message from his family, TMZ reported.

Dawkins’ family said the 58-year old former NBA star died from a heart attack.

“”More than anything Darryl accomplished in his basketball career … he was most proud of his role and responsibility as a husband and father,” said the family’s message.

TMZ reported referring to officials that the member of the Dawkins family called 911 to respond to a medical emergency and Dawkins himself was transported to a nearby hospital.

Unfortunately, Dawkins was not able to recover and was pronounced dead.

“We’ve lost a dear friend and an iconic figure, both on and off the court. We remember fondly not only his thunderous dunks, but more importantly his powerful presence and personality. Simply put, Darryl Dawkins was beloved—by his family, friends, former teammates and his fans all over the globe,” said the representative of the Philadelphia 76ers, Dawkins’ former team.

Among those who expressed their condolences were former NBA guard Kevin Johnson, NBA legend Magic Johnson and Dwight Howard.

“Darryl Dawkins is the father of power dunking,” Shaquille O’Neal once said. “I’m just one of his sons.”

Dawkins played in the NBA until 1989 … and also spent time playing with the Harlem Globetrotters. Dawkins was known for his powerful play and monster dunks – he shattered two backboards in 1979. He would name his dunks — the “look out below,” the “yo-mama” and the “rim wrecker” among them — and often boasted that he hailed from the “Planet Lovetron.”

Dawkins was the first basketball player to be drafted to the NBA straight out of high school when he was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1975.

He played 14 seasons in the NBA, 7 of them with Philadelphia 76ers. Dawkins averaged career high 16.8 ppg during the 1983-84 season. It should also be noted that Dawkins led the NBA in personal fouls 3 times during his career.

He retired after playing for 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz, and Detroit Pistons after the 1988-1989 season, averaging 12.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg in 23.7 mpg, playing in 726 NBA games.

Dawkins remained enormously popular after his playing days were done, even during his stint as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters.

Injuries plagued Dawkins late in his NBA career, and he went overseas for several more years to play in the Italian league. He also briefly had stints in the Continental Basketball Association and the International Basketball Association. He also coached at times, at both the minor-league and junior-college levels.

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