© Howard Smith – USA TODAY Sports
Marketing has plagued the NBA so much that some players are now coming up with various gimmicks to promote their stock. A good example was Indiana Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin when he said LeBron James has got to figure out a way to prove he’s better than him.
Of course, we all know “King James” would prevail, but Mathurin’s hoopla still worked out to his advantage because, aside from raising a couple of eyebrows, it also made people take a quick look at him on Google and YouTube.
Back then, such boastful self-promotion wasn’t always welcome in the NBA unless you’ve already proven yourself. But for Darryl Dawkins, no rule states you can’t run your mouth until you hit your strides.
Aside from the thunderous dunks, Dawkins left his mark on the NBA with his flamboyant remarks whenever he crossed paths with the media. Having seen the new generation of players market themselves the way he did during his time, “Chocolate Thunder” was certain he would’ve grown quite a fan base in the modern NBA.
“My parents had me about 20 years too soon! I always feel like I was ahead of my time because I knew how to market myself,” Dawkins told Sixers.com in 2011. “When you hear an NBA guy answer why they lost a game and they’re like, ‘Well, they made their jumpshots and they’re a very good team.’ No. No. No. I want to hear a guy talk trash sometimes! I want to hear them say, ‘Yeah we busted them up I had 38 on him and next week, I’m getting 40. They couldn’t guard me if I was glued to the floor.’”
Some NBA stars are being bashed whenever they say something people think is unbecoming for a professional athlete. Let alone on basketball’s biggest stage. Allen Iverson is well aware of that.
But as much as Dawkins knew where to draw the line between cockiness and confidence, he also wanted people to understand that sometimes, their competitive juices as players make them say things unsuitable for all audiences.
“Yeah, we’re supposed to be role models but we are human too and the human side makes you competitive,” Dawkins pointed out.
Indeed, bragging and throwing shades have become one of the most interesting things that NBA players do. With the wit and confidence of the late “Chocolate Thunder,” it’s safe to say he would’ve really been a fan favorite in this era.
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“I was ahead of my time because I knew how to market myself” — Darryl Dawkins on why he thinks he'd be popular in today's NBA – Basketball Network