Chocolate Thunder Still Talks a Big Game: Our Interview with Darryl Dawkins

Chocolate Thunder Still Talks a Big Game: Our Interview with Darryl Dawkins


Within ten seconds of introducing myself to Darryl Dawkins, the 6 foot 11 inch giant was telling me how he should take me out in the hallway and "tune me up." All because my first name is Enrico.

As it turns out, the dunk king has a younger brother named Harold Enrico Dawkins who was spoiled rotten by their mother while older Darryl had to fight for attention. Darryl apparently still takes this fact out on all people named Enrico.

Anyway, I think that's how Darryl explained the story. To be honest, I was quite flustered when Chocolate Thunder jokingly said he wanted to rough me up so I may have misheard the tale.

I had the great pleasure of chatting with the former Sixers star on Sunday afternoon at Best Buy in South Philly. Most well known for his backboard shattering antics and his penchant for nicknaming dunks, Dawkins was helping promote a joint marketing campaign for HP and Windows 7.

Coincidentally, it was thirty years to the day on Friday when Dawkins shocked the world by throwing down the amazingly named, "The Chocolate-Thunder-Flying, Robinzine-Crying, Teeth-Shaking,
Glass-Breaking, Rump-Roasting, Bun-Toasting, Wham-Bam,
Glass-Breaker-I-Am-Jam."

Hearing Dawkins simply utter the name of that dunk in person may have been the highlight of my chat with him.

During our ten minute conversation with Daryll,
Scott Eisenlohr of B/R and myself asked wide ranging questions. Despite being the first player to be drafted out of high school to the NBA, Dawkins advocates at least a year in college and thinks the NBA's current age limit is a smart move. He's currently coaching hoops at Lehigh Carbon Community College and stressed the importance of teaching more than just hoops to his players, "life lessons" he called them. Like learning how to talk to a lady and treat her right.

The man is as verbose as ever and answered our questions with flare and anecdotes-a-plenty. Given that Chocolate Thunder shares a similar love of nicknames as one Shaquille O'Neal, I thought it'd be interesting to hear Dawkins thoughts on the greatest big man of his era.

I also included audio snippets of Dawkins talking about the best dunkers he ever faced -- hint: big ups to the Doctor -- as well as his thoughts on a new nickname for Andre Iguodala. And I finished up our chat with the all important Windows 7 question we were all dying to know the answer to. [audio + video below]

"I think Shaq was wearing diapers when I was dunking the ball," Dawkins says.

Sadly, we ran out of time and didn't get a chance to ask what he thought about Spectrum being torn down or the current Sixers squad and Philly big men heading in seemingly different directions in Elton Brand and Marreese Speights. Darryl was about as personable as a guy could be so we wish the best for the LCCC hoops team this season.

Today's lineup: Phillies try to salvage game against struggling Anibal Sanchez

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Today's lineup: Phillies try to salvage game against struggling Anibal Sanchez

Justin Verlander mowed down the Phillies last night in a 3-1 Tigers victory, but the Phils have a chance to strike back this afternoon against a struggling pitcher who hasn't had much career success against them.

Anibal Sanchez will take the hill for the Tigers and oppose Aaron Nola in today's series finale (1:10 p.m. on CSN). To say Sanchez hasn't had a great start to his season would be an understatement. He's 3-5 with a 6.32 ERA and opponents are batting .270 against him.

In his career against the Phillies, Sanchez is just 4-8 with a 4.94 ERA. Granted, most of those numbers came in the early part of his career with the Florida Marlins, when he regularly faced powerful Phillies lineups. As one might expect, Ryan Howard, who is again in the lineup today as the designated hitter and batting fifth, has seen Sanchez plenty of times. His 42 at-bats against Sanchez are tied for third-most against the 32-year-old righty. Howard's done OK against Sanchez — 9 for 31 (.290 average) with two homers and four RBI. Maybe some familiarity will finally lead to a breakout game for Howard. But, if his massive slump is any indication, maybe not.

For as poor as Sanchez's start to the season has been, Aaron Nola's first six weeks of 2016 have been at the other end of the spectrum.

Today's Phillies starter is 3-3 with a 2.85 ERA. But he's been better than those numbers show.

His .900 WHIP is third in the NL, as is his 5.82 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His 6.45 hits allowed per nine innings is fourth in the NL, as is his 1.65 walks per nine innings. His 64 strikeouts rank eighth in the NL. Imagine if he got more than the 2.89 runs of support he's been getting in his starts.

As for the rest of the Phillies' lineup today, the only changes see Andres Blanco getting the start for Cesar Hernandez, batting seventh and Cameron Rupp behind the plate, batting sixth.

Phillies
1. Odubel Herrera CF
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Maikel Franco 3B
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Ryan Howard DH
6. Cameron Rupp C
7. Andres Blanco 2B
8. Tyler Goeddell LF
9. Peter Bourjos 1B

Tigers
1. Cameron Maybin CF
2. J.D. Martinez RF
3. Miguel Cabrera DH
4. Victor Martinez 1B
5. Nick Castellanos 3B
6. Steven Moya LF
7. James McCann C
8. Mike Aviles 2B
9. Jose Iglesias SS

Watch: Miguel Cabrera gives Jeremy Hellickson thumbs up for fooling him on nasty pitch

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Watch: Miguel Cabrera gives Jeremy Hellickson thumbs up for fooling him on nasty pitch

The Phillies once again couldn't find much offense and fell to the Tigers in Detroit last night by a final of 3-1.

But at least the pitching showed something.

There was a fun moment between Jeremy Hellickson and Miguel Cabrera after Hellickson threw quite a nice pitch that fooled Miggy.

Here's how Jim Salisbury described the fun battle:

Hellickson served up a down-the-middle fastball to Miguel Cabrera in the first inning and Cabrera swatted it for an RBI double. He has four RBIs in the first two games against the Phillies.
 
In the third inning, Hellickson struck Cabrera out on a nasty changeup for the third out. The pitch was so good that Cabrera flashed Hellickson a thumbs-up before spiking his helmet to the ground.
 
Hellickson’s changeup has been very good lately.
 
“I really feel comfortable with it right now and I’m throwing it for a lot of strikes,” he said.

And here's the thumbs up:

Eagles 2016 training camp schedule features 2 open practices

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Eagles 2016 training camp schedule features 2 open practices

Eagles rookies, quarterbacks, and select veterans will report to training camp on Monday, July 25. 

The rest of the veterans will report on July 27, with the first full-team practice of training camp taking place on Thursday, July 28 at 3:30 p.m., the team announced Wednesday. 

The majority of training camp practices this summer under Doug Pederson will take place at the NovaCare Complex, beginning at 8:15 a.m., which is earlier than the team practiced during camp under former head coach Chip Kelly. The early practices hark back to training camps under Andy Reid at Lehigh, although now the team will have its walkthroughs in the afternoon. 

The Eagles will have two practices open to fans at Lincoln Financial Field: Sunday, July 31 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. Both open practices are free and don't require tickets. Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

The Eagles will have several off days throughout camp: Aug. 2, Aug. 9, Aug. 12. And camp ends on Aug. 16, with the preseason opener vs. the Tampa Bay Bucs in the middle, on Aug. 11.