Nets All-Time Top 25: No. 20 Darryl Dawkins

Center holds Nets career record for field goal percentage

The selections for the Nets All-Time Top 25 Team were made by the author, with no input from the Brooklyn Nets organization. Selections were based on a combination of individual performance, team success and their contribution to it, and longevity with the franchise.

After the Nets made a big 20-win jump during the 1981-82 season to make their second NBA playoff appearance, they went looking for help in the paint to take the next step. They found it in one of the NBA’s biggest personalities, the man they called “Chocolate Thunder,” 6-foot-11, 251-pound Darryl Dawkins.

Having turned pro at age 18 for the 1975-76 season, Dawkins was already in his eighth season when he made his Nets debut at age 25. During that time he’d gone to three NBA Finals with the Philadelphia 76ers and become known for his backboard-shattering dunks.

Dawkins delivered a big impact immediately, helping the Nets improve to 49 wins, a franchise NBA record that would last until the 2001-02 team won 52 games in its Eastern Conference championship season.

In addition to averaging 12.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game, Dawkins set a Nets record in shooting 59.9 percent from the field. That mark has since been surpassed, but Dawkins still holds the second and third place on that list after shooting 59.4 percent in 1983-84.

The 1983-84 season saw Dawkins average a career-high 16.8 points, plus 6.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. As the Nets upset his former team, the defending champion Sixers, in the first round of the playoffs, Dawkins averaged 18.4 points and 6.2 rebounds in 11 playoff games. He had 32- and 31-point games in the second-round loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Injuries cut into Dawkins’ final three seasons with the team, including the 1986-87 season in which he played just six games. He still leads all Nets players in career field goal percentage with the team, a .601 mark.

Over five seasons, Dawkins averaged 14.3 points and 5.5 rebounds for the Nets.


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