(Editors Note: With the sad news that the one and only Darryl Dawkins left this world and returned to Lovetron yesterday, our East Coast correspondent, EJ, felt it was his duty to submit this piece about the lasting memories supplied by the former NBA great.)
From the Dark Side – 8/28/15
For many sports junkies and general entertainment fans in general, August 27, 2015, was a sad day in history. Darryl Dawkins, forever known as Chocolate Thunder, passed away at the age of 58. What is truly remarkable is that nearly half of his life (25 years) was dedicated to entertaining fans, running up and down the hardwood, occasionally breaking a backboard or two, and playing the game he loved – professional basketball. For my generation, he was one of the first NBA superstars that we tried to emulate in every way. His dunking was ferocious and following his first backboard shattering dunk in 1979, Dr. Dunkenstein had a global following. He nicknamed that first dunk: “The Chocolate-Thunder-Flying, Robinzine-Crying, Teeth-Shaking, Glass-Breaking, Rump-Roasting, Bun-Toasting, Wham-Bam, Glass-Breaker-I-Am-Jam.” Who couldn’t fall in love with that?!
He had names for most of his dunks and I can remember trying every single one of them growing up on nerf hoops or lowered rims which allowed for 10 year olds like us to dream big. Some of the more famous ones were: 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). At one point, Dawkins claimed to be an alien from the planet Lovetron, where he spent the off-season practicing “interplanetary funkmanship” and where his girlfriend Juicy Lucy lived. Only one word comes to mind…CLASSIC.
Chocolate Thunder, along with many other NBA stars, adorned my bedroom walls with some of the best all-time, classic sports posters in history. Ever. My friends and I woke up every morning and went to sleep at night dreaming and looking up at Ice Man, Silk, Dr. Dunkenstein, Moses, Mailman, Sugar, the Supreme Court, and many others. These guys were bigger than life and loved every minute of it. For my money, these guys were the best ever. I have no doubt that rims are rattling, glass is shattering, and wherever Darryl is now, people are having a good time. Darryl Dawkins may no longer be with us, but I guarantee that Chocolate Thunder, Doctor Dunkenstein and the Greyhound Special, will live forever.
R.I.P Darryl Dawkins (1957-2015)
Some additional photos of a few of Darryl’s friends and our heroes. Every kid should be allowed to dream big like Chocolate Thunder.