Former 76ers, Nets star Darryl Dawkins dead at 58
0:46 | NBA
Former 76ers, Nets star Darryl Dawkins dead at 58
Thursday August 27th, 2015

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.”

• MORE NBA: SI Vault: Expectations follow Dawkins throughout career

Numerous active and former NBA players honored Dawkins on social media after hearing of his death.

GALLERY: Sports Illustrated's best photos of Darryl Dawkins

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