Darryl Dawkins Breaks It Down: Wake-Up Video

The NBA season is underway, and a few things are already clear: Shaquille O'Neal is making an impact in Cleveland, the Boston Celtics appear to be back to their championship form and the Clippers are still no good at all. Though most teams have played less than 10 games, it's already an exciting season, part of the best hoops era since the Lakers/Celtics/Pistons/Rockets years of the 1980s. What's missing from the current crop of superstars? Somebody who can shatter backboards. Though O'Neal has destroyed his fair share of equipment early in his career, you rarely see a dunk so devastating that the fiberglass gives way. It's incredible to think that Darryl Dawkins, the former forward for the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Nets, used to be known for dunking so hard that he would leave a path of destruction — so much so that he was nicknamed "Chocolate Thunder." On November 13, 1979, Dawkins rose up over Bill Robinzine of the Kansas City Kings, threw down a powerful slam dunk and shattered his first fiberglass backboard. Dawkins, a flamboyant athlete who had nicknames for all his different dunks (including "The Spine Chiller Supreme" and "The Turbo Sexophonic Delight"), broke so many backboards that he was threatened with monetary fines to discourage him from delaying the game and creating so much dangerous shrapnel. His crimes against the hardware lead to the development of the breakaway rim, which could still be torn down but kept the glass in tact.

The best way to celebrate the majesty of Chocolate Thunder? Watch this amazing compendium of Dawkins' best dunks and bang around to Onyx's "Slam."