At 64 years old, Dominique Wilkins has this physical status:
Jacques Dominique Wilkins (born January 12, 1960) is an American retired professional basketball player who competed for the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Wilkins, a nine-time NBA All-Star, is widely regarded as one of the top dunkers in NBA history, earning the nickname "The Human Highlight Film."
Wilkins was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. Wilkins spent brief stints with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Boston Celtics, Panathinaikos Athens (a professional team in Greece's top-tier level Greek Basket League, with whom he claimed his first titles, the FIBA European League and the Greek Cup), and the Orlando Magic before retiring in 1999.
Early life and high school career
Wilkins was born in Paris, while his father was stationed there as an airman in the United States Air Force. Gerald Wilkins, his younger brother, played in the NBA for the New York Knicks, is a basketball player. His family lived in Dallas and Baltimore before settling in Washington, North Carolina, where he attended Washington High School. (1978–1979), he was the back-to-back MVP for the team's second straight State Championships (1978–1979). While in high school for a game against a higher classification school in which Wilkins scored 48 points, had 27 rebounds, 9 dunks, and 8 blocks, he was in the "Faces in the Crowd" section of Sports Illustrated. Wilkins appeared in The Capital Classic, The Kentucky Derby Festival Classic, and The Dapper Dan Classic All-Star Games since being introduced in McDonald's All-American Game, The Capital Classic, The Kentucky Derby Festival Classic. In the McDonald's, 26 points in the Capital and 22 points in the Derby Classic, he had 16 points and 12 rebounds, as well as 22 points.
Wilkins made his way into the University of Georgia in 1979 as a vivacious actor and been dubbed the "Human Highlight Film." He scored 21.6 points a game over his Bulldogs career and was named SEC Men's Basketball Player of the Year in 1981. He dropped out of college after his junior year and is expected to appear in the 1982 NBA Draft as one of the very best picks of the 1982 NBA Draft.
In the 1982 NBA draft, Wilkins was voted third overall (behind James Worthy and Terry Cummings). Wilkins, on the other hand, was unable to play in Utah because the team wanted him to play power forward but he wanted to play small forward. The Jazz were also suffering from cash balance issues at the same time. As a result, the Jazz cut Wilkins to the Atlanta Hawks just over a month after the draft for John Drew, Freeman Williams, and $1 million in cash. Drew and Williams' trade is now considered one of NBA history, as Drew and Williams will play a combined four seasons for the Jazz.
Wilkins averaged more than 25 points per game for ten years in a row, and they claimed a scoring crown in 1985–86 with an average of 30.3 points per game.
Wilkins was instrumental in the Hawks' rise in the 1980s, when the team had four straight 50-win seasons during the decade. Wilkins averaged 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists during the 1990–91 season as Wilkins reached his thirties and the Hawks needed more of an all-around player.
Wilkins, a nine-time NBA All-Star and the winner of two NBA slam dunk tournaments, has scored 26,668 points and 7,169 rebounds in his NBA career. He currently ranks 14th on the NBA scoring list for 2021.
Wilkins' nickname was "The Human Highlight Film" because of his athleticism and highlight reel dunks. His trademark dunk was a powerful one- or two-handed windmill dunk he used to win the slam dunk championship titles in 1985 and 1990. As a basketball player, he was known as an acrobatic scorer, a bit of a shooter, but he was also a great finisher and one of the best dunkers in NBA history.
The Hawks cut his #21 jersey on January 13, 2001. He is one of five players whose jerseys have been retired by the Hawks.
In the 1982 NBA draft, Wilkins was ranked third overall (behind James Worthy and Terry Cummings). Wilkins, on the other hand, was not able to play in Utah. The Jazz were also suffering from cash shortages at the same time. As a result, the Jazz cut Wilkins to the Atlanta Hawks just a few months after the draft for John Drew, Freeman Williams, and $1 million in cash. Drew and Williams will be in combined four seasons for the Jazz, with Drew and Williams now regarded as one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history.
During the 1984–85 season, Wilkins captured his first Slam-Dunk Championship in Indianapolis. He posted a 27.4 scoring average at the end of the season, good for sixth in the NBA. In recovering (6.9 rpg) and robbery (135), he came in second place on the Hawks. He led the NBA in field-goal attempts for the first time in two seasons in a row. 1,891. Wilkins made 25 of 81 three-point shots in 1984–85 after being 0-for-11 from the three-point line the previous season. For the first time in ten seasons, he shot better than 80% from the free throw line. Despite Wilkins' efforts, Atlanta finished 34-48 and failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Wilkins won the league scoring title with an average of 30.3 points per game in 1985-1986. For the first time, he was voted to the All-NBA First Team at the end of the season. He failed in his attempts to repeat as the NBA Slam-Dunk champion, but his opponents came from an unexpected place. Before the season, the Hawks had signed Anthony "Spud" Webb as a free agent, and Webb dazzled the Dallas audience by adding more than 4 feet (1.2 m) to the basket on each of his dunk attempts. Atlanta resurrecting in dramatic fashion, winning 16 more games in the 1985–86 season to finish 50-32 for the year. Wilkins ranked among the Hawks' most effective rebounders (7.9 rpg), steals (138), and free-throw percentage (0.88) in a single game. In the first round of the playoffs, Atlanta defeated the Detroit Pistons in four games, but the Hawks were unable to get past the eventual NBA champion Boston Celtics, losing four games to one in the Eastern Conference semifinals. In the nine playoff games, the Wilkins averaged 28.6 points.
Wilkins was the first Atlanta Hawks player to play in an NBA All-Star Game since Eddie Johnson in 1981, after starting as a reserve. Wilkins finished second in the league in scoring (29.0 ppg) to Michael Jordan's 37.1 points per game. On April 16, he scored the 10,000th point of his career against the Chicago Bulls and was named to the All-NBA Second Team at the conclusion of the season. Atlanta went into the season with high hopes following a 52-32 record the previous year, and the Hawks won their first game in franchise history. Doc Rivers, Kevin Willis, Tree Rollins, and Mike McGee all played with the team in the first round of the NBA playoffs before losing to the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Wilkins averaged 26.8 points during the second of six straight playoffs in which he would average at least 20 points.
Wilkins had the highest scoring average of his career in 1987-88 and came second second place behind Jordan in the NBA scoring competition. Jordan was beaten by 30.7 points for the Hawks, but Jordan was beaten at 35.0. At the NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago, Jordan defeated Wilkins for the Slam Dunk Championship. Wilkins was named on the All-NBA Second Team, making him the first Hawks player to be named NBA Player of the Week three times in a season. Wilkins scored 29 points on 12-of-22 shooting in his third straight All-Star Game appearance, leading the East squad to a 138–133 victory.Atlanta (50–32) won at least 50 games for the third straight season and advanced to the 1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals before losing to the Boston Celtics in seven games. Wilkins and Larry Bird, as well as the Boston Marathon, brought their respective teams to a dramatic conclusion in Game 7 on May 22, with a bucket for bucket in the fourth quarter until Boston beat Boston 118–116. Wilkins scored 47 points and Bird had 34-with 20 of his points tallied in the fourth quarter. Wilkins wrote, "The basket was like a well." "I couldn't miss it." He couldn't have missed it. And it came down to the last shot of the game.
Who was going to make the last shot?That's the best game I've ever played or seen played. It was two guys who didn't want to lose," says the narrator.
Wilkins' scoring average dropped just below 26.2 percent in the league's fourth straight year, but he was an All-Star for the fourth year in a row. He shot a career-best.844 from the free-throw line and finished second on the Hawks with 117 steals. At the end of the season, basketball journalists selected him to the All-NBA Third Team. In 1988-89, the Hawks welcomed Reggie Theus and Moses Malone to the team. Malone averaged 20.2 points and finished fourth in the league with his 11.8 rebounding average. Theus scored 15.8 points on average. Kevin Willis, however, missed the entire season due to a fractured left foot, Atlanta lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. Wilkins averaged 27.2 points in the playoffs.
Wilkins won the Sacramento Kings' Kenny Smith for his second NBA Slam-Dunk championship, bringing him right back to dunking glory in 1989-1990. In the NBA scoring standings, he earned 26.7 points to finish fifth. For the first time since 1985–86, he led the Hawks in robbery, finishing with 126. His.484 field-goal percentage was his highest since his rookie season, and he did not foul out of a game for the sixth year in a row. Despite that, Atlanta fell to a 41–41 record in Mike Fratello's last season as head coach, losing to make the playoffs for the second time in Wilkins' career.
Wilkins had a career-high 9.0 rebounds in 1990–91, leading the Hawks in the same division for the first time in his nine NBA seasons. For the eighth year in a row, he led the team in scoring, scoring at 25.9 points per game, the highest in the NBA. Although executing a three-point shot, he recorded a career-high 265 assists while still developing a three-point shot that he would use more often in the later stages of his career. By far his most prolific three-point figures to date, he hit 85 percent from a long range of 3.41 percent. Wilkins scored 12 points in the East's 116-114 victory over the West in his sixth All-Star Game appearance, bringing a total of 12 points. For the third time in his career, he was selected to the All-NBA Second Team. After a year of absence, Atlanta defeated the defending NBA champion Detroit Pistons in the first round. In Game 5, the Hawks pushed the Pistons to their fifth game, but Detroit defeated Atlanta 113–81. In the five games, Wilkins averaged 20.8 points, but they only shot.372 from the field and.133 from three-point range in a five-game series.
Wilkins' Achilles tendon against the Philadelphia 76ers in 1991–92 season. On January 30, he underwent surgery. He reached his 20,000th point in his career, becoming the first player to reach that record. Wilkins was a reserve on the Eastern Conference All-Star Team on the day of the injury. His 28.1 scoring average was his highest in five years, and the 52 points he scored in a double-overtime game against the New York Knicks on December 7 were the most by an NBA player this season.
Wilkins recovered from his injury over the course of the season. In the first month of the season, he averaged 27.7 points per game. On December 8, he set a record of free throws in a game without a missed, winning 23 free throws against the Chicago Bulls. He had a setback on December 15, breaking the ring finger on his right hand, leaving him out of the next 11 games. On a.487 shooting in January, he averaged 29.4 points per game, before adding 31.5 points per game on a.519 shooting in February. His scoring average had risen to 29.9, his second highest in the league behind Michael Jordan's 32.6. Wilkins scored his 31st point in a February 2 game against the Seattle SuperSonics, defeating Bob Pettit's franchise scoring record of 20,880 points. He had grown into a full-fledged three-point threat, winning 120 of 316 attempts from long range to shattering his previous career records. He was later selected to the All-NBA Second Team. In the first round of the playoffs, the Chicago Bulls defeated the Hawks 3–0.
Even after a turbulent midseason trade, Wilkins showed no signs of slowing down in his 12th NBA season. Wilkins was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers on February 24 in exchange for Danny Manning, despite his 1112 years with the Atlanta Hawks. This is the first time a team in first place in NBA history has lost its leading scorer after the All-Star break. Wilkins averaged 24.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists for Atlanta prior to being traded, leading the team to a 36-16 record. He appeared in his eighth NBA All-Star Game at midseason. Manning and his abilities, according to Hawks boss Lenny Wilkens, will help the team survive during the stretch run. However, many believed that money was the primary reason the Hawks made the trade. Wilkins' deal came to an end at the end of the season, and the Hawks may not have been ready to commit a new long-term deal to a player who was almost 35 years old.
In the conference semifinals to the Indiana Pacers, the top-seeded Hawks lost to the Indiana Pacers. Wilkins was the team's all-time leading scorer with 23,292 points before leaving Atlanta. Wilkins averaged 29.1 points and 7.0 rebounds in his last 25 games of the season. He returned to Atlanta in a Clippers uniform on March 25 and totaled 36 points and ten rebounds against his former team. Wilkins' 26.0 scoring average ranked fourth in the NBA overall. He finished the season with 24,019 career points, ranking ninth on the NBA's all-time list, with ninth.
Wilkins was a free agent from 1993-1994 and signed with the Boston Celtics in 1993. He helped Dream Team II win gold medal at the 1994 World Championship of Basketball just short of being signed. The team made it to the play-offs in his lone season with the Celtics, but the Orlando Magic knocked them out in the first round. Wilkins averaged 19.0 points for the series. He has also been awarded the privilege of scoring the Celtics' last game at the Boston Garden before the Celtics' loss in 1995.
Wilkins, who was unemployed with his service on a rebuilding Celtics team, joined Panathinaikos of the Greek League in August 1995, earning a two-year deal worth US$7 million per year in salary. The club also provided him with a four-story marbled villa of his choice, a maid, two cars, and even paid his Greek taxes for him.
Sophobe's three-year-old Wilkins' roster started the season slowly, with Stojko Vrankovi, Panagiotis Giannakis, Fragiskos Alvertis, and Nikos Oikonomou being fined US$50,000 by the team's disciplined, defensively-minded head coach Bojkovi complaining about being treated "like a dog" by coach Maljkovi.
However, Wilkins soon learned to adapt and flourish in the European game, scoring 20.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 33.2 minutes per game for Panathinaikos, helping them win the EuroLeague Final Four of 1996. Panathinaikos won by 64 points and 7 rebounds in deciding game 3 of the EuroLeague quarterfinals, especially in critical EuroLeague matches such as the deciding game three of the EuroLeague best-of-3 series, where he had a hard-fought 64–65 win over Treviso. Wilkins had 35 points and 8 rebounds in the semifinal against CSKA and a double-double against Barcelona in the final, during the 1996 EuroLeague Final Four, which was held in his birthplace of Paris. He was given the Final Four MVP award for his efforts. He also competed in the Greek Cup with Panathinaikos and was voted MVP of the Cup Final. However, he failed to win the national championship of the Greek League 1995-96 season, as his team, Panathinaikos, lost the Greek League Finals to Olympiacos, 3 games to 2. He averaged 21.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists, and 32.0 minutes per game in 30 games played in the Greek League.
Wilkins returned to the NBA before the 1996–97 season by signing a deal with the San Antonio Spurs as a free agent, helping to solidify their bench scoring. In 1996–97, Wilkins led the team to an average of 18.2 points per game. He's the last Spur to wear #21 until Tim Duncan.
Wilkins then went abroad, this time in the Italian League's Teamsystem Bologna. In 34 games played in the Italian League, Bologna averaged 17.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 33.5 minutes per game. In 20 games played in the FIBA EuroLeague 1997–98 season, Bologna averaged 17.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 33.8 minutes per game.
Wilkins, along with his brother Gerald Wilkins, with the Orlando Magic, returned to play his last season in the NBA. He averaged 5.0 points per game and 2.6 rebounds per game in 27 games.
Wilkins won two of five slam dunk tournaments. He first appeared in 1984 in Denver. Wilkins came in third, behind Larry Nance and Julius Erving. He defeated Michael Jordan in the finals in 1985 in Indianapolis. A Jordan-Wilkins match in Dallas in 1986 was postponed due to Jordan's injury. Wilkins advanced to the finals, where he was defeated by his 5'7" teammate, Spud Webb, and his 5'7" teammate was disqualified.
A rematch between Wilkins and Jordan was held during the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest. Jordan triumphed in the final over Wilkins by two points over two years. Judges gave Wilkins' first two dunks of the finals 50 points. Wilkins' third and final attempt, he dunk from the left side of a massive windmill. Wilkins' head barely touched the rim, with his head almost touching the rim as soaring high above the floor. Wilkins was greeted with standing ovation from players and supporters alike, but the team was given a poor rating of 45. Jordan received a score of only 48 points, according to the judges, who pushed him to victory in the Chicago-based competition. Jordan dunk with a 50-point dunk, securing the contest's most controversial crown.
Wilkins made his final appearance in the Slam Dunk Contest in 1990, competing against Kenny Smith, Scotty Pippen, and Kenny Walker (the 1989 champion). In the final round, he defeated Kenny Smith of the Sacramento Kings.
Wilkins has been Vice President of Basketball for the Hawks since 2004. He works in a variety of leadership positions within the franchise's basketball and marketing segments. Wilkins is in charge of advising the Hawks' senior leadership staff on basketball-related topics and as a goodwill ambassador for the area. Wilkins has served as a color analyst for Hawks games on Bally Sports, as well as long-time play-by-play announcer Bob Rathbun.
Wilkins was a judge in the 2008 NBA All-Star Game Breakaway Challenge, which was held in Atlanta.
Wilkins played in the McDonald's All-Star Celebrity Game during NBA All-Star Weekend and the 2009 NBA Asia Challenge against a team of Philippine Basketball Association All-Stars. With 28 points in 20 minutes of play, he led all scorers.
Wilkins founded the Dominique Wilkins Basketball Academy in 2010 after the athletes signed an agreement with fitness company 24 Hour Fitness to develop the Dominique Wilkins Basketball Academy. At the 24 Hour facility in Pearl City, Hawaii, the academy provided private instruction, camps, and clinics. Wilkins appeared in the TitleMax "short on cash" in late 2010. Television commercial campaigns continue to be funded.
Wilkins was assaulted by former NBA referee Rashan Michel after a 2011 Hawks–Magic game at Philips Arena in Atlanta, according to ESPN. Wilkins owes him money for a lawsuit that was sent to Wilkins, according to Michel. Michel then stabbed Wilkins in the chest, according to the police.
Wilkins unveiled the first of his private label wines under the Wilkins Private Reserve brand. When playing competitively in Italy at the end of his career, he became involved in fine wines, and running a private label was one of his long-term goals.
Wilkins, the father and grandfather of diabetic problems, and Novo Nordisk's Victoza produced a commercial focusing on children's health in March 2014.
Isaiah Wilkins, the University of Virginia's stepson, was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2018.
The Atlanta Hawks organization unveiled a statue of Wilkins on March 6, 2015, which stands in front of then-Hugh Arena.
Awards and honors
- 1985–86 NBA scoring champion (30.3 ppg)
- NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Champion: 1985, 1990.
- NBA All-Rookie Team: 1983.
- All-NBA First Team: 1986.
- All-NBA Second Team: 1987–88, 1991, 1993.
- All-NBA Third Team: 1989, 1994.
- Nine-time NBA All Star: 1986–94.
- Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2006).
- FIBA EuroLeague Champion: 1996 (now known as EuroLeague).
- Greek Cup Winner: 1996
- Italian Cup Winner: 1998
- NBA Shooting Stars champion: 2013–2015 (Team Chris Bosh, with Swin Cash).
- NBA 75th Anniversary Team