Hearing of the passing of Daryl Dawkins struck a nerve, rocked me to my core. During the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend I witnessed Chocolate Thunder make media rounds and he was as vibrant as ever. The news of his passing struck home due to the fact that he indirectly influenced my love for the game of basketball.
As a child I would hear stories of the Philadelphia 76ers from my father who was a huge fan of the franchise and its star Julius Erving. Along with mental illustrations of Erving, my dad would also tell me of Dawkins, a local boy who was born 30 minutes down the road. The words of my father became images in my mind, at that time there was no internet, no computer, just a television with 6 channels at most and my imagination. Words such as BOOM and POW were used to demonstrate the power of Dawkins and even my mother got into the act, describing how flashy and rambunctious Dawkins was during and after his playing days. Chocolate Thunder was a mainstay of my childhood and one can’t forget the wonderful names for his dunks:
Look Out Below
Spine Chiller Supreme
Cover Your Head
Chocolate-Thunder-Flying, Robinzine-Crying, Teeth-Shaking, Glass-Breaking, Rump-Roasting, Bun-Toasting, Wham-Bam, Glass-Breaker-I-Am-Jam
I often think of those conversations with my dad and mom and how when I was old enough I began to watch the Sixers and fell in love with a young brash kid named Charles who was smaller but similar to Dawkins with his power and brash attitude. The genesis of my love for Charles Barkley were those stories of love and excitement from my parents and for that I owe Daryl Dawkins a huge THANK YOU!
DeAndre Jordan again???
This story will never go away and that’s a great thing. Reports have shown that DeAndre Jordan has decided to part ways with his agent Dan Fegan (Relativity Sports). Perhaps Jordan is using Fegan as a scapegoat for the free agency debacle that saw him toggle between the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks. Word is that Fegan was pushing Jordan to Dallas due to his close ties to the franchise. Fegan in the past was a part of clients Jason Kidd, Monta Ellis, and Chandler Parsons joining the Mavericks but in a sense he still comes out as the winner.
Despite Jordan parting way with Relativity Sports, he still has to pay the agency 4% of his newly signed $88 million contract which equates to a little over $3.5 million. Jordan has left 3 agents in the last 7 years but still remains an afterthought on a borderline championship contender.
Tweet of the Century?
Recently Bryce Ward, a new addition to The Hardwood Nation, shared his thoughts on his favorite NBA franchise, the Orlando Magic. An amazing fact about the post was that its 2600 words were typed entirely from a cell phone….pretty impressive. With that said Bryce took some time to answer a few questions I had about the post and the potential of the Magic going forward.
You wrote a brilliant piece and the Orlando Magic needing to win NOW, what was the genesis of your feelings on the matter?
I read ESPN’s predictions for next season and for some reason it just bothered me. Yeah 30 wins is a little better, but it’s not enough. As a Magic fan I want us to show the rest of the league what we can really do. The coaches, players and staff all know it’s time too. It felt good to write the article honestly.
You seem to have an affection for Elfrid Payton, what do you think his potential really is?
It’s hard to make a comparison for Payton, I would say his style reminds me most of Rondo. I don’t like that comparison though because I believe Payton has a higher ceiling. Payton’s work ethic and attitude will work wonders for him in a league that praises having the right intangibles, Rondo is the perfect example of what happens when you don’t have those things. Also, I’m a big fan of pass first point guards and unorthodox players.
Despite the team’s penny-pinching history I do believe that they keep their young core intact. During the days of Otis Smith the team seemed fine with going into the luxury tax, I think if the players prove they can win then they will stay.