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Legendary NBA player Darryl Dawkins aka “Chocolate Thunder” has passed away. He was 58-years-old.

Reports the Associated Press:

The Lehigh County, Pennsylvania coroner’s office said Dawkins died Thursday morning at a hospital. Later Thursday, Dawkins’ family said a heart attack was the cause of death. Officials said an autopsy was scheduled for Friday.

“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 said in a statement. “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.”

Dawkins spent parts of 14 seasons in the NBA with Philadelphia, New Jersey, Utah and Detroit. He averaged 12 points and 6.1 rebounds in 726 career regular-season games.

Dawkins was one of the first NBA player to be drafted right out of high school. The 76ers made him the 5th pick of the 1975 draft.

Powerfully built, Dawkins was known for shattering glass backboards and named his dunks. With plenty of personality to match his frame, he boasted of hailing from the planet Lovetron. Also, his sneaker game was official.

Plenty of current and past NBA players, as well as celebs, took to social media to pay their respects to a legend. Check out some choice commentary below and on the following pages.

Rest in power Darryl Dawkins.

darryl dawkins nike poster

Photo: Associated Press

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