Chocolate Thunder: The Uncensored Life and Times of Darryl Dawkins

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Darryl Dawkins revives his swashbuckling persona in this tell-all account of sex, drugs and racism in pro basketball during the 1970s and '80s, the NBA's outlaw league era.

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Overview

Darryl Dawkins revives his swashbuckling persona in this tell-all account of sex, drugs and racism in pro basketball during the 1970s and '80s, the NBA's outlaw league era.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this shocking, and shockingly entertaining, memoir of a life in basketball, Dawkins, a former NBA star with the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets in the 1970s and '80s, takes readers from his earliest days in a poor Florida backwater through his first games as an 18-year-old NBA whippersnapper to later years of hard playing and harder partying. Dawkins has many professional claims to fame-he is generally credited with elevating the dunk to an art form and being the first to jump from high school to the NBA. But the best reason to read this book has nothing to do with who Dawkins is and everything to do with what he says. In an age when even athlete bad boys tend to be bland clich -machines, Dawkins is a throwback, a tell-it-like-it-is chatterbox who follows the one-jaw-dropping-anecdote-deserves-another school of thinking, whether he's comparing the merits of pot and cocaine, recounting his childhood pastime of shooting at roosters, giving his estranged wife a broken nose (it was self-defense, he says) or describing the things that affect his play. (He writes, "Me and Kelly were fucking so much that I could hardly shoot the ball, but I was rebounding like I was on welfare and the ball was made of gold.") He gets away with most of it because of a lighthearted tone and a playfully unapologetic style, resulting in a book that is as likely to make readers laugh as make them cringe. The book's messy, rambling charm wears thin toward the end, when Dawkins begins to feel like a caricature. But he redeems himself with straight talk about serious issues, too, like the double standards of race in basketball. Raw, provocative and as unsubtle as a shattering backboard, this is a look at how it used to be-from a man who was most definitely there. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
One of the great players of the 1970s-era NBA and a teammate of Julius "Dr. J." Irving on the Philadelphia 76ers, Dawkins is of particular significance today because he was the first player to be drafted directly from high school, a phenomenon that is becoming more and more common. He is also a classic example of a player who began to buck the image of the stoic, straight-faced, and polite NBA player. While his flair for description and aphorism is entertaining, the book could have used more help from Rosen, who helped Phil Jackson with his More than a Game. Dawkins's goofy and risqu voice is lost in muddy, ham-fisted prose that a ghostwriter should have cleaned up for him. What he lacks in polish, though, he more than makes up for in honesty, trashing such NBA royalty as Larry Brown and Isiah Thomas, making frank appraisals of his former teammates and opponents' basketball skills, and reiterating his lifelong distaste for referees. A fun look at the wilder days of the NBA, as well as a revealing view of a player and his contemporaries, this is recommended for public libraries with a strong interest in basketball, but its language and situations make this memoir suitable for younger fans.-James Miller, Springfield Coll. Lib., MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780973144321
  • Publisher: Sport Media Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Pages: 286
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2004

    I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS BOOK

    I had this book for a while and just never got around to reading it. I finally sat down and put my head in it. I laughed, felt sad, felt frustration, and thought about issues with this book. It takes you to many different places. He was very critical of his coaches, but I understand the coaching issue because I never got anywhere with my coaches. A coach can really make or break your career. I also want people to know that I LAUGHED OUT LOUD with this book (some statements brought me to tears). Go out and get it...you have nothing to lose with this one. It's a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2003

    great boook

    this book was very good. i enjoyed reading this book because it told of the true life of a professional basketball player. anyone who wants to read about a great basketball player should read this boook.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2003

    Eye opening book.

    This was a very good book. I truly enjoyed it. Dawkins laid it all out for the reader and did not worry about embarrassment or shame. I felt that Dawkins told a revealing story of life in the NBA and professional basketball altogether. He does at times become a tad bit too critical, but I suppose that is his nature. I certainly recommend this book to NBA fans and anyone interested in the life of a professional basketball player.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2003

    One good book

    An excelent book, that is never slow and always an exciting on the move book. At somepoints it's hilarious, and some times sad. The best book i've ever read.Im not easily impressed with books

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2003

    Darryl Dawkins is My Dad

    Darryl Dawkins is the greatest man to ever live. If you like reading, then I suggest you go and rob a liquor store and use the money to buy this book. It is the most important piece of literature of our time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2003

    The Truth is the light

    I thought this book was very truthful and Darryl opened up to Charley Rosen and told on himself and how he grew up in the NBA. Darryl was funny and sad at points in his life but you were able to see him grow into the man he is now. This is a great read for in so many different layer.

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