Former NBA player Darryl Dawkins died suddenly of a heart attack. He was 58.
Forty years ago, Dawkins was the talk of the NBA when the Philadelphia 76ers drafted him. It was the first time a high school player had ever been drafted by the league. Dawkins never lived up to expectations during his tenure with the 76ers and later the New Jersey Nets as well as brief stints with the Utah Jazz and the Detroit Pistons before ending his NBA career in 1989. He would play another decade in Europe.
Nicknamed “Chocolate Thunder” by Stevie Wonder, Dawkins is best remembered for not once, but twice breaking the backboard with his slam dunks in 1979. The NBA would then make that move illegal.
After his playing career, Dawkins did some coaching with the ABA and the short-lived USBL before landing a gig with Lehigh Carbon Community College near his home in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Even if Dawkins didn’t become one of the greatest NBA players, he sure was one of its memorable.