Darryl Dawkins Rumors
“I won a contest in the Daily News to be a ballboy for 1 year, in 1977,” Lumpkin said. “Just a couple of weeks ago, Jeff told me that I had impressed him back then, and he decided to bring me back for another year, and it went from there. I went from ballboy to the ticket office to equipment manager to director of team travel services to still being here now. None of it would have been possible had it not been for Mr. Jeff. “Since we learned of his illness, you can’t imagine the amount of people that have called or visited him. Maurice Cheeks, Jrue Holiday, Rick Mahorn, Darryl Dawkins, Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand . . . Only someone like Mr. Jeff could get that. He was a regular Joe, but he never said a cross word about anybody, and he could tell jokes and stories that would make you laugh for days.”
Jeff Millman touched many people’s lives during a half-century of service to the 76ers. Many of the greatest names in franchise history returned to honor him Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center against the Miami Heat. Among the former Sixers on hand were Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, Moses Malone, Billy Cunningham, Bobby Jones, Darryl Dawkins, and Doug Collins. In a pregame ceremony, the Sixers dedicated their locker room to Millman, a longtime equipment manager who had several jobs with the team over the years. They also honored him with a video tribute.
01 Jun 13
Darryl Dawkins once put Toney’s career in perspective by saying, “if he hits one, you know he’s going to hit another and another and another.” Cheeks added, “When Andrew gets unconcious [there’s that word again], it really doesn’t matter what anybody does.” Toney stayed “unconscious” for three more years. This was Toney’s rise and fall. As deadly as he had become in such a short period of time—by the end of his second year he was widely considered the most dangerous man in the game along with Gus Williams of the SuperSonics and another second-year player by the name Bernard King—Toney became one-dimensional. “All he can do is shoot,” is what the haters said. “And!? Ain’t that the point?” Sixer fans would respond. As long as Ainge was the victim, no one in Philly cared about the rest of Toney’s game. “Let Toney shoot that bitch,” the native New Orleans cats (who grew to have a special love for Toney) used to say as we watched every Sixer game we could. “As long as he puttin’ that bitch in the basket, don’t nuttin’ else matter, Faw.”
Dime: How did the nickname Chocolate Thunder originate? Darryl Dawkins: Stevie Wonder used to come the ball games and they would have a guy sitting with him. And the guy would be holding on to his arm, telling him what’s going on, and he would say, “Hey, the big chocolate guy just put down a thunder dunk. The chocolate guy with another monster dunk.” And Stevie Wonder actually gave me the nickname Chocolate Thunder. So a guy who never saw me can give me that name. I think I can wear that well. I don’t even know if he remembers, it’s been so long, but I’ll keep that.
SLAM: Do you think you could break one of today’s NBA backboards? DD: I think so. I think these rims will still break, but from the side not from the front, they give too much at the front. From the side they may break. SLAM: Was it your goal to break the backboard every time you dunked? DD: No, my goal was to dunk it so hard that no one wanted to challenge me. If they stuck their hand up I wanted their hand to break or fall on the floor. I didn’t want anybody jumping up there to block it. SLAM: And you named your dunks… DD: Yeah, I had the “Yo-Mama,” the “Get-Out-of-the-Waying, Backboard-Swaying, Game-Delaying, If-You-Ain’t-Grooving-You-Best-Get-Moving,” “The Heart-Stopper,” “The Rim-Wrecker.” I had a lot of fun.
SLAM: You mentioned the brawl. Is it true that after being ejected you took your frustration out on a toilet? DD: Hey, the toilet came off the wall in my hands! Accidents happen, you know. I was pretty mad because I got in a fight and all your teammates are not really coming to help you. But I was young then and you had to learn how to control your emotions when you’re playing basketball. I learned, I was in the school of hard knocks.
SLAM: The 1977 Finals with the Trail Blazers was a particularly memorable series… DD: It was epic. We had an all-out brawl in one game, me and (Maurice) Lucas. Since then Lucas has passed on and I wish his family well. But we winded up being buddies after that fight. But that’s the difference between today and yesteryear, if you got in a fight with a guy then, you wound up being buddies, but if you get in a fight today with a guy, you’re mad at each other for a lifetime. But that was a good series. They played more run ‘n gun and we played more half court. Good series.
SLAM: What’s your opinion of the NBA’s minimum-age rule? Darryl Dawkins: I think it’s a good call. For some players it’s better to take that one year and learn what’s coming at them. Money, fame, everything’s coming at them real fast. I didn’t have a chance to really see what was coming at me because my mother was on me so hard, she would say, “You’re going to do what you’re supposed to do and then come home.”