NBA players both active and former shared tributes on social media to Darryl Dawkins, who died Thursday at 58 of a heart attack.
Dawkins, a 6'11" center known famously as “Chocolate Thunder” for his remarkable dunking ability, played for the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz and Detroit Pistons from 1975 to 1989. His family released a statement through the NBA announcing his death on Thursday.
“It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our beloved husband and father, Darryl Dawkins, who succumbed today to a heart attack,” the statement reads. “Darryl touched the hearts and spirits of so many with his big smile and personality, ferocious dunks, but more than anything, his huge, loving heart. His family, wife Janice, children Dara, Tabitha, Nicholas and Alexis, along with countless family, friends, and fans, all mourn his loss. More than anything Darryl accomplished in his basketball career as the inimitable ‘Chocolate Thunder,’ he was most proud of his role and responsibility as a husband and father. We ask that the public please respect our privacy as we grieve his loss.”
Numerous active and former NBA players honored Dawkins on social media after hearing of his death.
Condolences to the family of Darryl Dawkins, a great man! Your smile personality and energy will truly be missed!!!— Allen Iverson (@alleniverson) August 27, 2015
Rip Mr. Darryl Dawkins. 🙏🏽— Aaron Harrison (@AaronICE2) August 27, 2015
R.I.P. Daryl Dawkins .. Prayers up.— Ian Clark (@IanClark) August 27, 2015
Rip Chocolate Thunder..— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) August 27, 2015
I can't believe the news about my friend Darryl Dawkins. A fun spirited, loving and family man I hope you rest easy. Praying for your family— Tyrone Muggsy Bogues (@MuggsyBogues) August 27, 2015
So sad to hear that my friend, NBA Legend Darryl Dawkins aka "Chocolate Thunder" passed away.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) August 27, 2015
Darryl Dawkins' bigger than life personality will be missed by all. He was a good friend and I will miss him dearly.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) August 27, 2015
I couldn't wait to see Darryl at every NBA All-Star Weekend. He was always the life of the party!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) August 27, 2015