Darryl Dawkins Rumors
During pregame introductions of Game 3, after Blazers fans unrelentingly booed Dawkins, Lucas was introduced before a sellout Memorial Coliseum crowd. But instead of jogging to stand next to his teammates, as was common practice, Lucas trotted toward the 76ers’ bench to stand face-to-face with a stunned Dawkins. Some in the crowd gasped and Philadelphia players backed away from the two hulking men, no doubt because they expected another brouhaha. But instead of raising his fists, Lucas reached for Dawkins’ right hand, squeezed hard and said: “No hard feelings.” Dawkins was frozen. “After that, he was done,” Lucas told The Oregonian/OregonLive in 2010. “One of the smartest things I ever did.”
“We’ve lost a lot of guys over the last couple of years,” King said, “Moses, Darryl Dawkins, Jerome Kersey and before that Pat Cummings, just to name a few. And a lot of these guys have died of heart attacks. So I think it’s great that the league, the players association and the retired players association are joining forces to try and figure out why that is and what we can do to adequately provide for everyone.”
According to the NBA, scheduled to receive screenings are Tony Delk, Bernard King, Johnny Davis, Andrew Lang, Lee Davis, Sedric Toney, Victor Alexander, Cal Bowdler, Litterial Green, Marvin Roberts, Daune Causwell, Duane Ferrell, Jim Washington, Rick Brown, Harold Keeling, Reginald Johnson, Dale Ellis, Tyrone Brown, Kevin Willis and Jay Bilas. The event is closed to the public. Former Hawk and Basketball Hall of Famer Moses Malone died suddenly in September of cardiovascular disease. His death came a month after Darryl Dawkins died of a heart attack.
About 25 retired NBA players showed up for the screenings, which included heart testing. The NBPA initiated talks on the screenings at their July meetings, and the effort was given added urgency with the heart-related deaths of Moses Malone and Darryl Dawkins. In a conference room provided by the Houston Rockets, physicians met with the retired players to discuss their medical history, test blood pressure, administer EKGs to check the heart’s electrical activity, perform an echocardiogram to check the structure of the heart, scan carotids to look for plaque buildup in the arteries, check for sleep apnea and draw blood. The retired players also received attachments for their cellphones that can perform EKGs and send the results to cardiologists.
Kersey died on Feb. 18 at age 52. Darryl Dawkins died on Aug. 27 at 58. Moses Malone died on Sept. 13 at 60. The causes varied—blood clots for Kersey, a heart attack for Dawkins, heart disease for Malone—but height was a common denominator. Kersey was 6’ 7″, Malone 6’ 10″, Dawkins 6’ 11″. It was a scary summer to be a big man. Super-human size did not seem like such a blessing anymore. Bosh looks at the number of big men with health problems and says, “There’s a discussion we need to have about what we can do.” According to Shirin Shafazand, a pulmonologist with the University of Miami Health System, tall people are no more prone to blood clots than anybody else. But professional athletes may be, since they regularly sustain injuries and take long flights immediately afterward. “If there’s damage to the blood vessels, and then you sit on a plane for six hours without moving or staying hydrated, a clot can easily form,” Shafazand says.