It has been a whirlwind of emotions for Dominique Wilkins the past two days and it served as inspiration for the Atlanta Hawks organization he’s been a part of for more than 30 years.
On Thursday, Wilkins’ bronze statue was unveiled in a private ceremony before his family — including brother Gerald, who also played in the NBA — along with the creme de la creme of NBA legends, including Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Charles Barkley, Karl “The Mailman” Malone, Clyde “The Glide” Drexler, Dikembe Mtumbo, along with boxer Evander Holyfield and actor-comedian Chris Tucker.
On Friday, the Hawks displayed a dazzling 3-D on-court tribute to Dominique Wilkins, replete with highlights of his most spectacular dunks being projected onto the court. Wilkins’ niece sung the national anthem to rousing applause. The Atlanta Hawks honored the retired nine-time All-Star with his own statue in front of Philips Arena, and the players wore throwback jerseys for their victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Almost as awesome as the statue was the Hawks’ tribute to Wilkins. Before introducing their starting lineup, the Hawks played an amazing 3-D tribute on their court, celebrating Wilkins’ incredible career.
The tribute might have even fired up the Hawks players, with the team taking a 36-19 lead after the first quarter then went on to win decisively, keeping LeBron James in check, with an authoritative 106-97 victory. Six players were in double figures.
With the victory, the Hawks, who started strong and finished with aplomb, have won their sixth game in a row and stretched their Eastern Conference lead to an astounding 11 games. They also became the first team to secure a playoff spot in the NBA during what is the greatest regular season in Hawks history.
Take a look at the marvelous pre-game tribute to Wilkins below:
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