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Darryl Dawkins on his nickname "Dr. Dunkenstein" — “I wasn’t surgically operating but my operating did cause patients”

The late Darryl Dawkins was known as "Chocolate Thunder" but he also loved being called "Dr. Dunkenstein"
Philadelphia 76ers center Darryl Dawkins

Darryl Dawkins

Over time, dunking has found its category in the game, and it served as a platform for those who could throw it down hard. However, not all big-time dunkers are highflyers. Some of them just have that unique swag whenever they go up for a slam. Among them was the late Darryl Dawkins.

A dunking dynamo

Dawkins played 11 of his 14 NBA seasons as a healthy, ferocious, dunking dynamo. He never earned an All-Star and never won a single award his entire NBA career, but most of us are aware of the legacy of “Chocolate Thunder.”

For those who didn’t know, Dawkins earned quite a reputation for shattering backboards and rattling the rim with his thunderous in-game dunks. With a little help from soul and R&B icon Stevie Wonder, “Chocolate Thunder” became Dawkins’ most famous moniker. And he ensured to live up to that, so we don’t need to hear any further explanation.

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Darryl Dawkins shows up on the bank statements and bank notes, but really I go by Chocolate Thunder,” Dawkins told Fansided in 2011. “When people who know me see me in the grocery store they go “Hey Chocolate!” They know me like that. And even now, kids who were not even alive when I was playing, they see me and say “What’s up, Chocolate Thunder?

The meaning behind Dawkins’ other nickname

Indeed, “Chocolate Thunder” has become part of Dawkins’ life on and off the court. However, at one point, some fans were also fond of calling him “Dr. Dunkenstein.” Apparently, the man himself loved the nickname too.

According to Dawkins, he was best known for being Chocolate Thunder, but “Dr. Dunkenstein” pretty much summed up the way he operated with the basketball.

I like that one, because I was always able to operate down there and dunk on some of those guys,” Dawkins said of his other nickname. “And, you know, I’m 6′ 11″. And there were guys that were 7’2″ or 7’3″ and I was throwing it in their faces. So I was like a Doctor Dunk. I wasn’t like Dr. Chase, because I wasn’t surgically operating. I wasn’t surgically operating but my operating did cause patients.

Without a doubt, Dawkins is one of the greatest dunkers in the history of the sport. And regardless of whichever you prefer – Chocolate Thunder, Dr. Dunk, or Dr. Dunkenstein, they all refer to only one dunk legend: Darryl Dawkins. 

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