Thursday, June 25, 2015

The 2015 Mock Draft Extravaganza!

I know I say this every year but between the NBA Trade deadline and the NBA Draft you will be hard pressed to find me without the biggest damn grin on my face. And now I will jump into what will inevitably be one of the worst mock drafts in recent history as I will not try and figure out trades.

1. Minnesota: Karl Anthony Townes: C - Kentucky

The consensus top talent in the draft. This will give Minnesota flexibility to trade Nikola  Pekovic, a talented center and not lose much in terms of production and another cornerstone to add with Andrew Wiggins. Wide array of post moves and pretty good defensively. 

2. LA Lakers: Jahlil Okafor: C - Duke
If Okafor is the consolation prize for missing out the number one pick I think the Lakers will be just fine with it. Offensively he is the best center in the draft, he does not shoot free throws particularly well and his defense leaves much to be desired but his upside is just to ridiculous to pass up.

3. Philadelphia: D'Angelo Russell: PG - Ohio State
Russell could be the best player in this draft when it's all said and done. A gifted passer with the ability to create his own shot and plays amazing defense. I can't wait till the Sixers trade him in 2 years for more draft picks.

4. New York: Kristaps Porzingas: PF- Latvia
Please be good...please be good...
 I admittedly know nothing about this guy. Just seems like a very Knicks move.

5. Orlando: Justise Winslow: SF - Duke
The player who can steap in and contribute from day one. Good defensively, with the potential to be an anchor on that end for years to come. Offense is something that needs work but he is quite adept at getting to the basket, operimeter game will improve with time which he'll have with a team that already has Victor Oladipo, Elfrid Payton, and Nikola Vucevic.

6. Sacramento: Willie Cauley-Stein: C- Kentucky
When you're running a star center from Kentucky away who better to replace him than a star center from Kentucky. Cauley Stein is without a doubt the top defensive player in this draft as he exhibited the ability to guard all five positions on the floor. His ceiling offensively may be Tyson Chandler but that certainly isn't the worst thing that could happen.

7. Denver: Emmanual Mudiay: G- Congo

This kid personifies toughness, swagger, and leadership. Very strong for his size and incredibly quick he will be a perfect replacement for Ty Lawson who appears to be on his way out the door.

8. Detroit: Mario Hezonja: SG- Croatia
He's been compared to Peja Stojakovic and if it's the Kings version of Peja then this pick will definitely be worth it. The only downside to this kid that I have seen reported is that he at times
can be a bit of a head case. Not exactly what's needed in the Motor City. Ask Josh Smith about that.

9. Charlotte: Devin Booker: SG- Kentucky
This is a team in need of scoring and the best available shooter at this point in the draft would be the talented two guard from Kentucky. With Gerald Henderson being traded to Portland that opens up a spot for him to come in and contribute valuable minutes right away. The big question is will he be able to improve his perimeter defense.

10 . Miami: Sam Dekker: SF- Wisconsin
Dekker surprised his fair share of basketball fans with his tenacity and versatility. A stretch forward who has absolutely no problem being the on court emotional backbone he can go to Miami and be a valuable contributor from day one. 

11. Indiana: Myles Turner: C- Texas
Roy Hibbert for all intents and purposes is done. A breath of fresh air is needed and that can come from the versatile big man from Austin. Great defensive instincts and a massive 7'4 wingspan will definitely be welcome. He also shows great range as he can easily hit shots from the three point line as well. 

12: Utah: Frank Kaminsky: PF- Wisconsin
The player of the year last year will be able to start from day one. A high basketball IQ and the ability to knock down shots from all over the floor will definitely be welcome in Utah where he can play with wither Rudy Gobert on the floor or Derrick Favors.

13: Phoenix: Stanley Johnson: SF- Arizona
One of the safer bets in this years draft is the 6'7 freshman from Arizona. Stanley Johnson can go to any team and start tomorrow. Already a very legit perimeter defender he expanded his offensive game to being able to drive, shoot, and finish emphatically while at Arizona.

14: Oklahoma City: Cameron Payne: SG- Murray State

The Thunder have been looking for that lead dog off the bench since James Harden left. Insert the high scoring point guard from Murray State. He's able to create his own shot and is also a very good facilitator as he averaged over 6 assists a game as well. And if Westbrook leaves you could have his successor (granted a less athletic juggernaut of a successor but a successor nonetheless.)

Well there you have it. Arguably one of the best mock drafts I have done in recent memory (operating under the notion that 10 of the 14 will probably be wrong.)  Feel free to take any of the words I have used in this and turn them against me when I am inevitably wrong (See Lillard, Damen.)

Puma gone ya'll.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Imitiation of Black

This is the weirdest damn story I’ve ever seen. In America we have a white woman pretending to be black. I mean that alone is just damn hilarious. 
"I'm black y'all, and I'm black y'all and I'm blackety black and I'm black y'all"
However the further down the rabbit hole we all fall with Rachel Dolezal the more insulted we should all feel. Now don’t get me wrong, I got my jokes off on this subject, and I definitely will continue to make jokes about this lady for one reason, she is not someone to be taken seriously. Why go through all of this when you could have made a bigger impact just being yourself. I’m gonna break down why this clown isn’t going to be getting the benefit of the doubt from this guy.

“She’s done more for the community than most so why not?”
What has she done? Other than be named the Spokane chapter president of the NAACP I have yet to hear what she has done that would make me look at her as something other than a sociopath. What I have heard is her question her own student’s race, provide road blocks for white speakers who actually want to help and constantly gave tips on what black people should do.
What a hero!
1That doesn’t sound like someone worthy of getting the benefit of the doubt. Hell she sued Howard University claiming she was discriminated against because she white, now I’m to believe she’s the world’s greatest champion of civil rights? 
“Well if Bruce Jenner can become Caitlin Jenner then why can’t she be black?”
Chocolate Puma here, if you use this line of thinking I hate to be the one to break it to you but your transophobia is showing. When a transgender makes a transition it them becoming their true self, what she did was a perverse form of racial tourism. Whereas she can get the props she wants in the black community but at any point she can tap out and just lay off the bronzer. That’s definitely not a courageous act.

“Well if black women can have blonde hair then how come she can’t be black?”
If this ain't the dumbest...
I don’t even know where to begin with this idiocy. So let me get this straight, every black woman has to have the exact same hair color/style in order for anyone to be upset at this Kirk Lazarus wannabe? Nah son, that don’t compute.

What upset me the most is that this woman faked hate crimes. She took the time to come up with hate mail and pass it off as a credible threat against herself and her organization.There are black women activists out there who regularly receive threats and this is just a slap in the face to the very real danger that they face. IF she did any good in this world, and that' a big if at this point all of that is negated because she showed no respect for the very real danger that black women face.

Sounds like somebody who should totally get the benefit.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

So Long to the American Dream

I am an avid wrestling fan. I have been my entire life. I was saddened to hear of the passing of one of my childhood favorites, the master of the bionic elbow, the son of a plumber, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes. While past his prime physically he was influencing an entire generation of new wrestlers to be as charismatic and entertaining as he was. Judging by the reaction of the wrestling world his influence was widespread and he will be missed. I'll leave you with maybe his most famous promo of all time. So long Dream.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Just a few thoughts

It's been a while since young Puma has blessed you all with a delightful ranting post. Well between a pretty damn fun wedding, a pretty damn fun honeymoon and just trying to get back into the swing of things at work I've been just a tad busy. But I am now free to give you all the amazing point of views that you, my loyal readers demand. Today I believe I will hit you with just a quick rapid fire edition of my ambling style that at least one of you has to like. Law of averages right?

  • Ah yes, the NBA finals are among us. I have to say when Kyrie Irving went down I said the Warriors would win in 5. After the valiant effort in game two to sneak a win away in one of the most hostile territories in the NBA last I have this to say. IT WILL STILL END IN 5! Why am I not moved by what I saw? Because I’m petty.  I don’t like the Cavs so the odds of me favoring them for anything short of deportation is very slim.
  • I know this isn't happening for another 2 years but the excitement I have for the new Black Panther can't be quantified by words. It takes everything in my body to not walk around screaming "THIS IS WAKANDA!"
  • This season of Game of Thrones...holy hell. From the "controversial" scene involving Sansa (You know what I'm referring to) to the White Walkers hitting us with some oh shit moments I am terrified to watch the season finale next week because let's be honest, the producers love to torture us.
  • As I write this it is Kanye West's birthday, in honor of his glorious birth I will now give you my favorite track from each of his studio release because my life is dope and I do dope shit.
College Dropout: All Falls Down

Late Registration: Drive Slow

Graduation: Homecoming
808s and Heartbreak:The Coldest Winter
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: Devil In a New Dress

Yeezus: Black Skinhead

Alright, here I go wading into the most recent example of police over reach. In case you haven't been paying attention in McKinney, Texas a pool party unraveled into a war between the forces of good against the most dangerous thing on the face of the planet...teenagers at a pool party. In a video I won't post a cop barrel rolls into the shot and begins running around chasing people like it's a damn John Woo movie. A girl apparently disobeys him so he grabs her by the hair, flings her down and puts his knee into her back.
Who's the fat bastard chilling in the background?
A 14 year old girl in a swimsuit disrespected his "autoritah" or was such a public nuisance that he felt the need to forcibly throw her down and then pull his gun on clearly unarmed teens. He does nothing to the instigator of the entire situation who apparently yelled at black children "Go back to your section 8 housing" but thought this was a proper reaction. Maybe it's just me but if teens who at worst crashed a pool party scares you to this point then maybe you shouldn't be a cop. It amazes me that we see examples of this all the time yet the response most of the time is to yell well "there are good cops too." I'm sure there are, so I'm gonna need some of them to step in and maybe just maybe corral these abusive ass clowns.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

On Baltimore...

It’s like a broken record. Every time a protest happens there will be idiots who just want to cause trouble. There also are people who are so beyond fed up with an oppressive system that an emotional outburst occurs. That’s what we’re seeing in Baltimore right now. On April 12th Freddie Gray was arrested. 45 minutes later his spine was severed 80 percent and he would die a week later. There have been no answers given as to why he was arrested, how he was injured, and what was going to be done to the 6 officers who by their own admission did not administer proper medical attention to an obviously injured man. 

I must be a masochist because I have tried and be rational and explain that every time this happens it derails the conversation to focus more on the aftermath than what led to the action. And invariably it will always lead to discrediting the Black Lives Matter movement. Allow me to say to anyone who was curious on my opinion (which may be few to none at this point) that yes we all know that all lives matter, but right now we’re talking about black lives and the unfair treatment and executions that are becoming common place it seems. I saw a joke that basically said people who scream all lives matter when this topic comes up must go to funerals and scream “I know someone who died too!” 

I’ve also seen a ton of “hilarious” memes showing Martin Luther King Jr and others marching beside a photo of a young man rioting. They claim this is what real protesting looks like. 
Conveniently leaving out the silly part where they were attacked with dogs, fire hoses, had rocks thrown at them and spit on.
Can this be added to the meme too?
 Another pet peeve is whenever I get hit with a “well Dr. King wouldn’t want this” or something of that nature. We’d know what he thought had he not BEEN SHOT IN THE FACE while protesting so properly. 

I think that all of this could have been avoided had one thing happened. The police just admitted they made a mistake. Come out and speak to the community and let them know the 6 individuals acted over zealously and would see their day in court unlike Mr. Gray. I’ve said this a million times but if you don’t call out the abusive ass clowns, it makes the job harder for the good guys. Speak up for John Crawford, Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, Rekia Boyd and far too many others to put here and say yes we are police and yes these deaths are unacceptable. No one is above criticism as no one is perfect. You have a hard job, we all know and acknowledge this fact, but you knew that when you signed up. I’m not anti-police, but what I am anti is this notion that they have to be treated with kid gloves and nothing negative can be said. 

I know this will come off as complaining but I had to get this off my chest. The Puma should probably run. He happens to be getting married in 4 days. Peace.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Quandry of The Anonymous NFL Executive

I have noticed a growing trend that occurs every year around the NFL Draft and I suppose you the loyal followers of the Puma deserve to hear about it. As we get closer and closer to the sports nerds Thanksgiving (Christmas of course being the NBA Draft) the "anonymous NFL executive" becomes a very vocal person. And usually this anonymous person does not come baring good news. And more often than not his verbal barbs always strike the black quarterback.

Don't believe me? How about this report on Teddy Bridgewater: "He's a dynamic playmaker, but is he the guy you want running your offense? They're very similar." The he in his quote is of course reference to the fictional quarterback Willie Beamen from "Any Given Sunday." 
Hmm...what's the similarity? I wonder...
The flashy, me first player who rarely put team first. Teddy Bridgewater was the most mild mannered player who never so much as had a parking ticket. Contrast that with the scouting report for the player who actually resembled Beamen the most, Johnny Manziel: "Mental Toughness: Performs at a high level under constant media attention and scrutiny."
What a leader!
He failed to mention constant spats with coaches and by his own admission learning a little over half of the playbook. But yeah he shows grit.

This year the man up to the plate is Jameis Winston.
Now allow me to state this, off the field he has been a moron and possibly a criminal. Thanks to the Tallahassee police screwing up the investigation, we may never know the answer as to whether he is a criminal. On the field however, there is no question that he is the best quarterback in the current draft. Don't take my word for it, how about we take the word of Steve Mariucci who has worked with such quarterbacks as Steve Young and Brett Favre. "The most astute X's and O's guy that he's ever put on the board." Rich Eisen added, "He was not only answering the questions that Steve was throwing at him but anticipating what that question might lead to next and answering that question before Steve even posed it."

Now look, off the field concerns are huge. But when evaluating a player, let's not make up things about his on the field play. Be open and just admit you're scared off by the off the field stuff. Believe me it's a legit reason to not draft a guy.

Well I've ranted enough. Suppose I'll work up a mock draft lottery for you all. I promise, no unnecessary slander.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Final Four Preview

What a tournament so far. Despite my bracket looking like the Red Wedding I have thoroughly enjoyed watching hours of this tournament…despite my hatred of the current NCAA system but that’s another post. Before I go into my preview that will inevitably be wrong I’d like to offer just a few of my favorite moments from the tournament so far.

·         Everything about Georgia State. From their coach falling off his stool seeing his son hit a game winner to the redemption of Kevin Ware these guys truly are the embodiment of March Madness.
Glad to see this guy back in the tourney.
·         The emotion that some of the coaches show for their players. It always warms my cynical heart to see a hall of famer like Roy Williams jitterbug after a victory or be brought to tears when asked about his kids after a loss. Definitely something we should see more of.

·         Notre Dame versus Kentucky. Wow. That may have been the game of the tournament and definitely one of the best I’ve seen in quite a while. Notre Dame had the perfect game plan and executed it to damn near perfection and they still lost.

Now on to what none of you asked for, my astute analysis.

Michigan State Versus Duke:
# 7 Michigan State:
What a run by these group of guys. I echoed the sentiment of Bomani Jones, who would have thought a team that lost to Texas Southern would make it out the Big Ten Tourney let alone make it to the Final Four. They are an excellently coached group but unfortunately Cinderella turns her slippers in after running into Duke. This is a team that lives and dies by the three and Duke is a team that can keep pace with you unlike Louisville. And if it comes down to free throws this is just a group that can be consistently counted upon.

#1 Duke:
This is going to be the most difficult thing I have ever written. So Krista if you’re reading this you should know I have vomited at the thought of praising the Blue Devils. That said I give praise where it’s due. Jahlil Okafor is a downright beast. We knew that coming into the tournament
What most of us didn’t account for were Tyus Jones, Quinn Cook and Justice Winslow all playing the best they have the entire season now that we've hit the tourney. I don’t expect this game to be a blowout but I do forsee a victory for these bastards from Durham. 

Wisconsin Versus Kentucky:
#1 Wisconsin:
There is in my opinion no team left in this tournament as annoying as the Wisconsin Badgers with their faux underdog persona. All season they have played up the scrappy band of misfits who happened to defy the odds and succeed. No, you have a team of All Americans and Mr. Basketballs and have been ranked in the top ten for the better part of the last 3 seasons. That said they have a daunting task ahead of them. Kaminsky versus Townes could be a draw, other than Dekker Wisconsin can’t keep up with the athleticism of Kentucky.  History will repeat itself.

#1 Kentucky:
This team is a modern marvel. I say that without a hint of sarcasm. Never before have I seen such a group of highly rated players put ego aside and buy into a coach’s system so readily. How else could you convince potential first round picks last season the Harrison twins, Alex Poythress, and Willie Cauley- Stein to say no to NBA millions for a chance at redemption? Take the experience of those players with the amazing play of the potential number one pick Karl Anthony Townes and there is no surprise this is a team that is on the precipice of history. Kentucky will win out and become the first every 40-0 champion.

There you have it folks. I’m the only person in America calling for a Duke-Kentucky final with Kentucky winning it all. Stand and be amazed by my individuality! Alright I’m off to shower again as speaking positively of Duke has me feeling quite dirty.