Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ex-Net Darryl Dawkins dies at 58; unmentioned in obits was his EB-5 career, pitching Atlantic Yards in China

From the NBA
The former ex-Philadelphia 76er and New Jersey Net Darryl Dawkins, known for his flamboyant style and backboard-shattering dunks, died this week, with many journalists saluting his career and personality.

All those are deserved, but the sports journalists missed something, because it just wasn't their beat, nor is it nearly anyone else's territory.

Unmentioned was Dawkins's curious sideline role for Barclays Center developer (and Nets majority-then-minority owner) Bruce Ratner. 

Not only did Dawkins do public appearances in Brooklyn, boosting Atlantic Yards, he went to China at least twice on Ratner's behalf, helping promote Atlantic Yards to not-so-well-informed potential investors who were considering investing
Signing autographs in China
$500,000 in the project in exchange for green cards for themselves and their families under the EB-5 program.

Under the program, investors forego all or most interest because they most value the green cards. The benefit, however, goes to the developer, as long as ten jobs are purportedly created by each investment.

Dawkins first went to China in 2010 for the first of three rounds of investment in Atlantic Yards, helping perpetuate the deception that the investment was going into the arena.

Dawkins also went to China in 2014 to boost "Atlantic Yards III."
The official statements

From the Nets:
“The entire Brooklyn Nets organization is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of legendary player Darryl Dawkins. As a member of the Nets in the 1980’s, Darryl, known as Chocolate Thunder, entertained fans on the court with his powerful dunks and effervescent personality, and also made an enormous impact in the community. Following his playing career, Darryl remained a part of the Nets and NBA family by serving as an ambassador and sharing his love of the game with countless fans. He had an amazing personality and touched everyone in a positive way. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Dawkins family and to all those who had the pleasure of knowing Darryl. He will be deeply missed.”
From the NBA:
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement regarding the passing of Darryl Dawkins:"The NBA family is heartbroken by the sudden and tragic passing of Darryl Dawkins. We will always remember Darryl for his incredible talent, his infectious enthusiasm and his boundless generosity. He played the game with passion, integrity and joy, never forgetting how great an influence he had on his legions of fans, young and old. Darryl was beloved around the league and he will be deeply missed by his friends, family, teammates, and coaches, as well as the millions of fans who witnessed the high-flying brilliance of the one and only 'Chocolate Thunder.' Our thoughts and prayers are with Darryl's wife, Janice, and the entire Dawkins family during this difficult time."

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