What was Darryl Dawkins’s Net Worth?
Darryl Dawkins was a professional basketball player and coach who had a net worth of $1.5 million at the time of his death in 2015. Darryl Dawkins was known for his NBA tenures with the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets. Famed for his incredibly powerful dunks, which forced the NBA to adopt breakaway rims, he played in three NBA Finals with the 76ers in the late 1970s and early 80s. Later in his career, Dawkins played briefly with the Utah Jazz and Detroit Pistons, winning an NBA championship title with the latter in 1989.
Early Life and High School
Darryl Dawkins was born on January 11, 1957 in Orlando, Florida. As an adolescent, he attended Maynard Evans High School, where he was a star basketball player. In his senior year there, Dawkins averaged 32 points and 21 rebounds per game and led his team to the state championship. Due to his record, he was heavily recruited by various Division I colleges, including Florida State University and the University of Kentucky.
In 1975, Dawkins surprised the basketball world by forgoing college and directly entering the NBA draft. He did this so he could make money to support his impoverished family. Selected with the fifth overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers, Dawkins became the first player ever to enter the NBA straight out of high school. Although he was mostly benched during his first two seasons with the 76ers, he strongly contributed to the team’s victorious playoff run in 1977 that led to an NBA Finals appearance. In the first two games of the series, Dawkins helped secure wins against the Portland Trail Blazers. However, Portland won the next four games to win the championship. The next season, Dawkins helped lead the 76ers to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they fell to the Washington Bullets. The team returned to the NBA Finals in 1980, and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. In 1981, the 76ers’ postseason ended in the Eastern Conference Finals with a loss to the Boston Celtics. Dawkins helped the team make it back to the NBA Finals in 1982, but once again, the 76ers lost to the Lakers.
New Jersey Nets
Frustrated with its team’s failure to thwart Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the court, the 76ers’ management traded Dawkins to the New Jersey Nets in the 1982 offseason. He went on to have something of a career renaissance in his first two seasons with the Nets, giving the team its best seasons to date. In the 1982-83 season, Dawkins averaged 12 points per game and helped the Nets achieve a 49-33 record, which would stand as the team’s best for close to 20 years. He performed even better in the 1983-84 season, posting a career-high 16.8 points per game and setting a franchise record for blocks in a single game, with 13. The Nets ended up making it to the playoffs, where they won their first playoff games ever and shocked the 76ers to win the first round. Although Dawkins averaged 22.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in the second round, it wasn’t enough to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Nets came into the 1984-85 season with high expectations, but were disappointed due to injuries sustained by Dawkins, limiting him to just 39 games. Dawkins seemed to recover the next season, averaging 15.3 points per game and shooting .644 from the floor, but an injury midway through the season caused him to miss all but one game of the remainder of the season. He was again down-for-the-count in the 1986-87 season, when he played in only six games due to buck surgery.
Final Playing Years
In the 1987 offseason, Dawkins was traded to the Utah Jazz. His tenure with the team ultimately lasted for just four games before he was traded to the Detroit Pistons. Dawkins spent more time with the Pistons – two seasons to be exact – but only played in 14 games due to lingering injuries and the passing of his estranged wife. However, he was considered to be one of the best players on the team, and in his final season in the NBA, he won the 1989 NBA championship title as a member of the Pistons.
After ending his tenure with the Pistons, Dawkins chose to play in Italy. He spent many seasons there playing for such teams as Torino, Olimpia Milano, and Telemarket Forli. Dawkins later attempted unsuccessful NBA comebacks by attending training camps for the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics. In the 1995-96 season, he played with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the Continental Basketball Association.
Dawkins began coaching after he stopped playing basketball professionally. He served as the head coach of various teams, including the ABA’s Newark Express and the USBL’s Pennsylvania ValleyDawgs. In the 2009-10 collegiate season, Dawkins served as the head basketball coach at Lehigh Carbon Community College in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania.
Personal Life and Death
In 1986, Dawkins married Kelly Barnes. The two were planning to get divorced the next year when Barnes killed herself at her parents’ home in New Jersey. After taking some time to recover, Dawkins wed former Nets cheerleader Robbin Thornton in 1988. They divorced a decade later. Dawkins subsequently married his third wife, Janice, with whom he had two children named Nick and Alexis, plus a daughter named Tabitha from Janice’s prior relationship.
Dawkins passed away from a heart attack in August of 2015 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He was 58 years of age.