Getty Images / Jonathan Daniel

Backboard-Shattering NBA Legend Darryl Dawkins Dies At 58

Former NBA player Darryl Dawkins, known for naming his backboard-shattering dunks, has died at 58 years old.

By Christian Bryant | August 27, 2015

The NBA legend known as "Chocolate Thunder" died Wednesday. Former Philadelphia 76ers big man Darryl Dawkins was 58 years old.

Dawkins was known for many things throughout his playing career, starting with his introduction into professional basketball: In 1975, he became the first player drafted straight out of high school. 

His star power grew when he became the first player to shatter a backboard with a dunk, which makes Dawkins part of the reason why the NBA implemented breakaway rims in the '80s. (Video via ESPN / "Sports Science")

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Publicly, Dawkins had a personality just as big as his stature. He told TMZ in 2014 how Stevie Wonder gave him the nickname "Chocolate Thunder":

"Stevie got vision like no other person," Dawkins said. 

And what he named some of his dunks:

"Oh, you know, the 'Get Outta The Way' ... 'If You Ain't Groovin', You Best Get Movin,' 'Spine-Chiller Supreme,' 'Turbo Sexophonic Delight,'" Dawkins said.

Dawkins played 15 seasons in the NBA before retiring. He leaves behind a wife and four children. (Video via WNYW)

This video includes images from Getty Images.

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