Before there was Michael Jordan posterizing players with his awesome slam dunks there was Darryl Dawkins. He didn’t create the slam dunk but he sure did perfect it shattering two backboards in the 1979 season. It was not long before he started to name his dunks with names like: The Rim Wrecker, the In-Your-Face Disgrace and the Yo-Mama.
This morning he passed away following a heart attack, he was only 58 years old.
Chocolate Thunder was a solid player early in his career after being drafted straight out of high school, helping the 76ers to the NBA Finals three times between 1977-1982 but was never able to win the big one. He was with the Pistons during their 1989 Championship season but was sent packing before the playoffs began. He later spent time in Italy but then returned to the US playing for the Harlem Globetrotters and then two minor league teams. He eventually made the transition to coach in the ABA, USBL and college.
Dawkins was always a popular guy, his winning smile swayed over anyone who looked at him, and you can find his cards in many sets through the years from the 1970s through today for a reasonable price. His 1977-78 Topps rookie card #132 can be picked up for a very reasonable $10-12 and his autographs are running around $20 but there are very limited options for his relic cards.
My first card set that I collected was 1979-80 Topps Basketball so I am willing to bet that I had some Dawkins cards in my collection at one point but those cards are long gone from my collection and while I do not have any of his cards in my collection any more I still have fond memories of his rim-shaking dunks that I used to watch as a kid.