A History Lesson With Booze ®

Darryl Dawkins Dunks and ‘The Chocolate Thunder’

A little over 30 years ago this week, Philadelphia 76er Darryl Dawkins made a historic dunk against the Kansas City Kings that shattered expectations... and basketball backboards.

Darryl Dawkins of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during a game. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)

Darryl Dawkins was always a special player. He was the first kid ever drafted into the NBA straight out of high school. And he soon became known for bein’ as much a showman… as an athlete.

Darryl didn’t charge onto the court with a serious game face. He’d smile and wave to fans. He played pranks on his own coach. And he asked announcers to introduce him in atypical fashion:

ANNOUNCER: From the planet Lovetron… Darryl Dawkins!

But what Dawkins was really known for… were slam dunks. He gave each a nickname. There was the “Look Out Below.” “The Turbo Sexophonic Delight.” The “Yo-Mama.” And then, in a game against the Kansas City Kings… he made a play that left even him speechless.

That day, Dawkins leapt over defender Billy Robinzine… and dunked the ball so hard? The glass backboard shattered. People in the audience said it sounded like a bomb had gone off.

Dawkins called the play “The Chocolate-Thunder-Flying, Robinzine-Crying, Teeth-Shaking, Glass-Breaking, Rump-Roasting, Bun-Toasting, Wham-Bam, Glass-Breaker-I-Am-Jam.”

The league called it “dangerous,” and made backboard-breaking a finable offense.

Today, NBA backboards are supposed to be shatterproof, though Shaquille O’Neal once dunked so hard the structure holding the board… collapsed.

The Chocolate Thunder

Photo credit: Elana Lepkowski, stirandstrain.com
Photo credit: Elana Lepkowski, stirandstrain.com

Created by Paul Rodriguez of Village Whiskey in Philadelphia, PA.


  • George Stagg Bourbon (uncut, unfiltered, 141 proof)
  • top with Italian Chocolate liqueur Varnelli Moka

In a shaker with ice combine ingredients. Drop (or dunk) into a glass of your favorite dark beer stout or porter. Slam it back. Smash empty glass against bartop. Hightail it out of town and repeat next month in another city.