Well, Darryl Dawkins put quite a hurting on Larry Bird. Slowed him down big time. If you’re a fan of the NBA you know this one. But today I picked up a newspaper and was reading about it, and low and behold there was a mention about Darryl Dawkins’ putrid play against Bird. I thought I remembered him good then. And sure enough, there it was in black and white.
In the 1986 NBA playoffs, the Philadelphia 76ers were in the midst of an unimaginable collapse. When their star center, Darryl Dawkins, was called to the bench in the second game of a best-of-five series, fans were panicked. Dawkins, who had accounted for nearly 30 percent of the Sixers’ points, rebounds and assists that year, had been benched. But not for very long. Dawkins, who had started all 82 of the Sixers’ regular season games, returned to the line-up for Game 3.
Recently, there was a controversial event in the world of sports. While NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird was playing a game, he was nearly put out of the game with a vicious elbow. Darryl Dawkins, who played for the Philadelphia 76ers, did not know that he was one of the players playing that game. However, Dawkins reportedly put Bird into the hospital with the elbow.
Darryl Dawkins was a force to be reckoned with. After breaking two backboards in 1979, the guy who forced the NBA to use breakaway rims was a frightening and fascinating figure.
At 6-foot-11 and 251 pounds, Dawkins was a powerful player who not only destroyed backboards but also wrecked his opponents’ confidence with harsh fouls. He once inflicted agony on Larry Bird during a game and didn’t know how much until he read the papers the next day that he had caused the Boston Celtics star.
Darryl Dawkins was a great dunker with a long list of nicknames.
During the second quarter of Game 5 of the 1980 NBA playoffs between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers at the Boston Garden on April 27, 1980, Boston Celtics’ Dave Cowens and referee Walter Rooney break up the Celtics’ M.L. Carr and Philadelphia’s Darryl Dawkins. The Celtics won the series thanks to Larry Bird’s leadership. | Getty Images/Frank O’Brien/The Boston Globe
Dawkins was the kind of back-to-basket big guy who camped in the paint that the NBA sorely lacks now. When the Philadelphia 76ers selected Dawkins fifth overall in the 1975 NBA Draft, he was just out of high school. He played for four different clubs throughout the course of his 14-year career in the league.
Despite the fact that he was never selected to the NBA All-Star team, Dawkins was always a force to be reckoned with. He played in three NBA Finals and had his finest season in 1979-80, starting 80 games and averaging 14.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
The guy known as “Chocolate Thunder” was renowned for his massive dunks. He not only delivered those devastating smashes, but he also identified a number of them. Dawkins disclosed the name of the first dunk against the Kansas City Kings in 1979 that broke the backboard and sent Kings forward Bill Robinzine fleeing for cover in a video uploaded on YouTube.
Dawkins described the first dunk’s moniker as “the Chocolate-Thunder-Flying, Robinzine-Crying, Teeth-Shaking, Glass-Breaking, Rump-Roasting, Bun-Toasting, Wham-Bam, Glass-Breaker-I-Am-Jam.”
Other dunks he mentioned were the “In Your Face Disgrace” and the “Spine-Chiller Supreme.” Dawkins averaged 12.0 points and 6.1 rebounds per game throughout his career. He passed away in 2015 at the age of 58.
Larry Bird was in a lot of discomfort because to Darryl Dawkins, who had no clue what he was doing.
It was all about being physical in Dawkins’ game. He had six fouls to issue and almost always utilized all of them. Dawkins established a record for most fouls in a season with 386 during his time with the New Jersey Nets in 1983-84.
Despite all of his fouls, Dawkins was never labeled as a nasty player. He was huge and rugged, and he didn’t seem to know how powerful he was. Just ask Bird, the Celtics star, who was left writhing in agony after colliding with Dawkins.
Bird and the Celtics were on a roll during the 1980-81 season. Bird was unbeatable, and Boston had won 25 of their previous 26 games.
“For about a month, I was playing fantastic basketball. In 1981, Bird told Sports Illustrated, “I achieved my potential.” “I was averaging about 28 points, 14 or 15 rebounds, and seven assists for a while there. Every game I played felt like I was in command.”
Bird then met Dawkins. Bird claimed he had never been in such much agony after taking a Dawkins knee to the leg.
“I’ve been injured before, but I’ve never experienced agony like that in my leg and back,” Bird said. “It felt like my hip was coming out of my ear. Darryl had no idea he had struck me! When I meet him again, he says, ‘I’m sorry, Larry.’ That night, I believed I felt something against my leg. The following morning, I read in the press that I had struck you.’ It wasn’t until the playoffs that I got it back.”
Bird has took his vengeance on Dawkins and the 76ers.
Bird “got it back” against Dawkins and the 76ers in the last game of the regular season, according to Sports Illustrated. Boston beat Philadelphia 94-90, earning them a first-round bye in the playoffs and enabling Bird to stay an additional week. Although both Boston and Philadelphia ended with a score of 62-20, the Celtics won the tie-breaker.
The Celtics and Sixers met again after sweeping the Chicago Bulls. After trailing 3-1 in the series, Bird and the Celtics looked to be on their way out. They were also down six points with 1:51 left in Game 5 but came back to win 3-2.
Things got much worse for Boston in Game 6, which was down 17 points on the road. The Celtics were down seven points in the closing minutes of the game, but went on a 9-1 run to win the game and the series.
In six games, Boston beat the Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals, putting an end to Bird’s and the Celtics’ agony.
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