Certainly a unique character in the history of basketball, Darryl Dawkins entertained fans with his thunderous dunking ability as he attacked the rim like few others before, or after, did in the NBA.
Darryl Dawkins didn’t attend college and was the 5th pick of the 1975 draft, selected by the Philadelphia 76ers. He didn’t do much in his first two years in the NBA but in the seasons after that with the 76ers he would often shoot 60% from the field, block a couple of shots a game and score around 14 points per game. He played in the NBA playoffs every year with Philadelphia between season 1977 and 1982.
It wasn’t the best timing for Darryl Dawkins when he was sent out by the 76ers, when less than a year later they would win the NBA title, as Dawkins was traded by the Philadelphia 76ers to the New Jersey Nets for a 1983 first round draft pick.
With New Jersey, Dawkins was able to score more as that team didn’t have the stars that the 76ers did. In 1984, Dawkins had a career high for points, 16.8 per game.
In 1984, Darryl Dawkins set a record in the NBA. Maybe not the best record to set, his 386 total fouls were a record for an NBA season. He fouled out of 22 games that year, and 23 games the year before, and for his career he fouled out of 100 games.
There was a lot of trading going on in October of 1987. First, it was the Nets trading him and James Bailey to the Cleveland Cavaliers for John Bagley and Keith Lee. Dawkins wouldn’t be staying there as Cleveland would send him and Melvin Turpin to the Utah Jazz for Kent Benson and Dell Curry.
The Pistons were looking for size and veterans who could help them win and wanted Dawkins. For the big center, the Pistons gave the Utah Jazz some money and two second round draft picks, one for the 1988 draft and another for the 1990 draft.
To end his career, Dawkins again got close but not close enough to the NBA title. The Pistons would win the 1989 NBA championship but they waived Dawkins in February of that season.
Long after his NBA playing days were over, Darryl Dawkins found another job that suited him, as a judge on a barbecue cooking television show. The show was called the Barbeque Championship Series. Dawkins was joined by food judges Megyn Price and Michel Richard.
Two contestants would each get several different ingredients, cook them up on the barbecue and present them to Dawkins for his assessment. His listed weight during his playing days was 270 pounds so it is safe to assume he was an expert on food as well as basketball.
In his NBA days, Dawkins was called Chocolate Thunder, Dr. Dunkenstein, Sir Slam, and many other nicknames. Dawkins also came up with names to describe some of his entertaining dunks like Rim Wrecker and Look Out Below. He was also one of the few NBA players to shatter a backboard during play.