1981. South Jersey.
Me, a borderline Chachi-look-alike, heads over the Walt Whitman Bridge to his first Philadelphia 76ers game.
There was Julius Erving, Mo Cheeks, Lionel Hollins and The Jones’ — Caldwell and Bobby.
And then, there was Darryl Dawkins.
A presence. A talent.
My favorite Sixer after that game. And it was mainly because it looked like he was having so much fun out there.
2012. Portland, Oregon.
My Chachi look has been replaced by a low-rent Richard Gere gray hair thing.
I’m sitting in my office interviewing Darryl Dawkins. It’s almost surreal. It takes me back to being 13 years old. I’m a little nervous.
We talk about the very important All-Star Tasting benefit for The Partnership at drugfree.org on Wednesday, June 27th in New York. We talk a little Sixers and the names of his dunks (which has me rolling).
And there was that smile. The energy. The excitement.
He’s still having so much fun out there.
My favorite Sixer. That will never change.
But he’s also one of my favorite athletes of all time.
Not just for what he did on the court, but for how he commits himself to helping young people avoid the pitfalls of drug and alcohol abuse.