Friday, April 18, 2014

The Chocolate Puma Awards: NBA Edition

Holy hell, I love the NBA and what a season that has just passed us by. I know you have all been clamoring and begging for the Chocolate Puma to give you his opinion and awards out to those deserving players. Well ask no more, for I am here to present…THE SIXTH ANNUAL CHOCOLATE PUMA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FIELD OF EXCELLENCE.

Rookie of the Year: Michael Carter Williams, PG, Philadelphia
"I shut that cocky as blogger up eh?"
Carter-Williams was only bright spot in the city of brotherly love this year. I’ll admit I thought he would not be that good of a player. I looked at my notes on him (yes I take notes on players for a blog very few people read, don’t judge me) and one of the few positive things I had to say was “he looks like a member of an early 90s r&b group.” I was wrong.

Coach of the Year: Jeff Hornacek, Phoenix Suns

I had to google to find out who was the coach of this team. I really just referred to him as that guy who is coaching the hell out of the Phoenix Suns, a team that no one expected do much of anything and many thought would be sorry for Jabari this season. 50 wins and barely out the playoffs, going forward this team is on that should rise.

Sixth Man of the Year: Taj Gibson, PF, Chicago Bulls
Never gets old.
Ahhhhhhhh shit! You knew I was going to pick a few Bulls for my awards and this honor is well deserved. This is a man who would be starting if not for the bloated contract of Carlos Boozer. A versatile defender and explosive finisher at the basket is the top man on the Bulls second unit.

Most Valuable Player: Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City

Based Curse aside, Durant has finally from wire to wire been the most valuable player to his team. Always a dangerous scorer, this season he has taken his game to a new dimension with a new fervor for playing defense. That said though, turning down a nickname like the Slim Reaper for The Servant is just clown shows buddy. Also this choice gives me another place to post this:

All Chocolate Puma Team:

PG- Chris Paul

The best in the business at the point guard position.

SG- James Harden

He has quietly become the undisputed best shooting guard in the league.

SF- Kevin Durant

IF you’re MVP you got a spot on the All Puma team.

PF- Lebron James

I’ll never not have Lebron included on any active basketball related list.

If I could go back in time and tell a younger Puma who was not that pleased at the drafting of Jo Noah I would. Hey buddy this guy gets so awesome…relax.

Well there we have it. Expect a preview of the playoffs in the next few days.


NFL Draft Extravaganza

Before I begin my annual draft extravaganza allow me to get up on my soapbox for a second. You hear about this every draft and it always angers me. “The anonymous NFL executive” is a phrase you always hear and it never is attached to anything good. Recently comments about Jadaveon Clowney rubbed me the wrong way. “He's spoiled, and he's lazy. He's never worked hard a day in his life, now all of a sudden you're going to give him a bunch of money and expect him to work hard. I don't see it.'' The fact that this is going to affect the perception of Clowney is a crime. If you’re man enough to attempt to cost this kid money, because if he slides in the draft due to this it will cost him money then at the very least be man enough to put your name behind it. Something tells me that had he had an opportunity to say this to his face the words would be magically different.

Alright, now I have a confession to make to my loyal readers and people who googled Chocolate Puma looking for the Belgian house duo, I am what you would call a bit of a nerd. And one of my many nerdy moments include my intense happiness with draft times when it comes to the NBA and NFL. I spend hours watching videos on Youtube and ESPN specials and attempt to play GM. So without further ado, I present to you the top 10 picks of the 2014 NFL Draft lottery.

1. Houston: Jadaveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

An honest assment from noted talent evaluator The Chocolate Puma: "He's a cyborg from the future genetically engineered to play football." 

2. St. Louis: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
If you're going to stay with Sam Bradford you gotta keep him healthy. Best way to do that is to pick the best offensive tackle to keep him upright. 

3. Jacksonville: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Do I think Johnny Football is going to be the best quarterback in this draft? Not at all. Is he better than what Jacksonville has? Absolutely. Not only that he infuses some much needed personality into a team that franky has none. 

4. Cleveland: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
The most pro ready quarterback in the draft. Remarkably accurate, intelligent, and really the safest pick in the draft for a team desperate for a quarterback.

5. Oakland: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
The most exciting player in this draft by far. Watkins is a game changer in every since of the word from returns to receiving the ball. While not the most polished receiver he is the most dangerous.

6. Atlanta: Jake Matthews, OT. Texas A&M
You've committed to Matt Ryan, keep him healthy with this rock solid player who can be a corner stone on the line.

7. Tampa Bay: Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
Lovie Smith gets the cornerstone of his new defense. Dynamic defensive player who definitely imposes his will on the game.

8. Minnesota: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF

Vikings need a quarterback and the best on the board is Bortles. New coach has a blank slate and could possibly

9. Buffalo: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

My favorite receiver in the draft. Evans is a monster both catching and blocking. Team him with CJ Spiller and an improving EJ Manuel and this could be the start of something special.

10. Detroit: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St.

In a division with Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler you need a good corner. Gilbert is the best of a very talented bunch.

Well folks there you go, the over under on how many of these I actually get right is currently set at 2. Let's see how I do.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Chocolate Puma Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: College Basketball Edition!

This is one of the most wonderful times of the year for the Puma of Chocolate descent. The NBA is gearing up for its stretch run, I just completed my fantasy baseball draft (FYI I crushed it), the NFL draft is coming and of course the NCAA tournament is about to begin. That glorious moment when I dust off my analyst hat and say things like Damian Lillard is good but he’ll be a bust in the NBA or I get a real good feeling about the Thomas Robinson.
Boy I'm bright.
With all that said I present to you the Chocolate Puma Awards for outstanding achievement in the field of excellence: College Basketball Edition!

Coach of the Year: Greg Marshall, Wichita St. 
Miss me with all the talks of their soft schedule, they “shocked” the world (I am so sorry for that pun) with their Final Four run a season ago and have followed it up with a perfect run through this season. Given that larger programs appeared to be a little scared to add them to their non-conference schedule (Looking at you Kansas) I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Freshman of the Year: Jabari Parker, F, Duke

Jabari Parker is so good that he made me overcome my hatred of Duke just to watch him play and he singlehandedly was the reason my beloved Tarheels could not sweep the season series against Duke. The most polished and pro ready player in this highly regarded freshman class there really was no other choice for me. No disrespect to Wiggins, Randle, Gordon etc.

For No Reason at All: Dean Smith
I have been a fan of the North Carolina Tar Heels for as long as I have been able to obsess over the sport. The man who led the team for an obscene amount of time was the greatest (my opinion) coach not named John Wooden ever and that was Dean Smith. Recently I read an article about his battle with dementia and if you have a few moments and a few tissues handy I would high suggest giving this a read regardless of your collegiate allegiances.

Most Overblown Moment: Marcus Smart’s altercation with a fan
"I'll never have to answer for my actions!"
If you expect me to tell a young man that he has to accept verbal abuse from a grown man old enough to be his grandfather you came to the wrong person. You expect these guys to be treated like amateurs but they have to respond as if they are professionals? That dog won’t hunt. In the words of Chris Rock: “I’m not saying he should have did it, but I understand.”

Funniest Moment of the year: Jim Boeheim’s Freak Out

Just look at the video and tell me that’s not the funniest thing you have seen all day.

All Chocolate Puma Squad:

PG- Marcus Paige, UNC

G- Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati

SG- Russ Smith, Louisville

SF- Jabari Parker, Duke

F- Doug McDermott, Creighton

And now for the most important award of the night, I present to you the Most Valuable Player of the 2013-14 season and the person that will hole the Beyonce trophy for the next year.

Doug McDermott, F, Creighton:

Holy hell what a season by Doug…we really gotta give him a nickname, regardless of what you call him no player was more unstoppable this season that McDermott. The ability to score from the post, hit the three, and that step back fade away is damn near un-guardable. I could see this guy being an American Dirk Nowitzki or worst case scenario an elite sharpshooter like his Creighton brethren Kyle Korver.

There you have it folks. Another season in the books and soon to be another bracket I have to explain with the phrase "what had happened was." You all take it easy.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Unbelievable Blackness (Apparently)

You know I have been around for 30 years on earth and I have done a lot of things I never thought I would. I never thought my dream of playing in the NBA would go unfulfilled. I never thought Tatiana Ali from the Fresh Prince would not be my wife by this point (it’s cool, Kari is better). And today, March 13th, 2014 I am about to do something else I never thought would happen…I am about to defend the movie “Annie.”
Yes, Annie the film about a precocious orphan which is being re imagined starring Oscar nominated actress Quvenzhané Wallis. And guess what people are pissed the hell off about it. Why is that you ask? Well because Annie is supposed to be a little white girl with red hair. Sigh.

Here we go again. And little Ms. Wallis is not the only one who has to deal with this idiocy. Recently “fans” were in an uproar over Michael B. Jordan, the amazing actor being cast as the Human Torch in the latest version of the Fantastic Four. Yes because in the story featuring a man who can become a literal human torch the most illogical part is that it's a black guy in the role. You can play the hell out of roles like Wallace from The Wire, Oscar Grant in  Fruitvale Station or the complicated Vince Howard in Friday Night Lights but if you dare play the Human Torch then we riot!

I notice that this only happens when a black actor takes over a role that is historically played by a white actor. So for your viewing pleasure I have decided to flip the coin a bit.

Angelina Jolie as Marianne Pearl:
Like twins.
Why is this ridiculous? Well no reason other than Pearl was Dutch and Cuban not a white lady from Los Angeles. Where was that outrage?

John Wayne as Genghis Khan: 
Look it's the founding father of Mongolia!

Liz Taylor as Cleopatra: Yup.
Moving on.
Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez:
Affleck kicked ass in this role but it doesn't change the fact that he clearly is not a Hispanic man. 

Now why are all these roles more egregious than the other examples of Hollywood whitewashing roles? Because these are all based on REAL PEOPLE! Hollywood had no problem casting a white person in the role of a person of color but flip the script and make a FICTIONAL character black then we have madness. MADNESS I SAY!

So in summation, if you are one of the people talking angrily about whether a critically acclaimed actor can play the highly difficult role of a guy becoming a human torch or an Academy Award nominated actress can handle playing Annie please turn around and walk away from me.

Unless you’re Beyonce. Then you can come on home.
Hey boo.

Monday, February 24, 2014

An Interview That Didn't Happen But Let's Pretend It Did

Been a while since I have given you all the things you need, no that you crave and for that I am truly sorry but cut the Puma a damn break, he’s been busy. For one thing, your boy the Puma is now an engaged man. And as a treat for all of my fans and enemies alike I sat down with the aforementioned soon to be Mrs. Chocolate Puma.

Puma: Hi Kari, thanks for sitting down and having a few words with me.

Kari: Anytime, it’s been a dream of mine to be featured here for quite some time.

Puma: Well what can I say I am a dream maker.

Kari: This is true.

Puma: Easy woman, keep it PG.

Kari: Sorry about that, I’m in awe of your handsome face.

Puma: Duly noted.

Kari: I’ll say.

Puma: Easy now…moving on. So tell me what makes Brian Thompson so amazing?

Kari: Well where do I begin? First off, devastatingly handsome. Like I find myself taking breaks during the day just to look at pictures of you.
Puma: I’ll believe that.

Kari: Stunningly intelligent. His wit and intellect are second to none in my opinion.

Puma: I’d be lying if I said I disagreed.

Kari: You humble nature is one of your best attributes.

Puma: Well tell the people, how exactly did we meet?

Kari: I remember the day like it was yesterday. We were at a party and I saw you standing across from me, time stood still as I saw you gracefully dispensing shots of pink champagne. I knew then I must talk to you. 

Puma: Sounds like it was a pretty good call on your part.

Kari: Indeed it was. Now I get to say I am joining households with you. It’s like a dream come true.

Puma: Well I will go ahead and wrap this up, anything you want the readers to know?

Kari: Sure, I am luckier than anyone ever. It’s like a dream come true.

Puma: Why thank you! I’ll let you go back to weeping over some episodes of “Parenthood”

Big thanks to the fiancée for taking the time to sit down and answer a few questions for us. Well folks the Puma is about to sign off. Expect my 100% fool proof version of a NFL Mock draft that couldn't possibly be wrong*.

*Accuracy not guaranteed.*

Thursday, February 13, 2014

NBA's Mt. Rushmore

Earlier this week Lebron James apparently broke people’s minds with his declaration that after all was said and done with his career he would be on the Mount Rushmore of the NBA. Frankly I didn't even see where there would be a controversy; this appears to me to be the biggest duh statement of all time. Now while I am of the group who believes it is impossible to compare eras I will bite and give you all my Mount Rushmore of the NBA. Now a few addendums, this is not a list of the most talented players in NBA history, mine is a list of the most influential players who changed the game in my humble opinion.

Presented in no particular order:

Bill Russell, C, Boston Celtics
Boom bitch!
No mention of a basketball Mt. Rushmore can be complete with mentioning the greatest winner in team sports history. In fact one of the most telling statistics about Russell led teams was they played in 10 game 7s and won all 10 of those games. Eleven championships aside Russell is considered to be the greatest defensive player of all time. Unlike today where the blocked shot is seen as a competition to volleyball spike the ball as hard as you can, Russell not only blocked the shot but was so skilled at it he could knock it to an already running point guard and spear head the fast break.

Magic Johnson, PG, Los Angeles Lakers

The only way to describe Magic Johnson is that he was the prototype for a guy like Lebron. Never before had there been a player who was 6’9, could run the point, defend all 5 positions and do it well and score from literally anywhere on the floor. His on the court contributions along with his rivalry with Larry Bird literally saved the NBA. Before the Bird/Magic years of the NBA the championship was shown on a tape delay. That certainly makes one worthy of mention in my Mt. Rushmore.

Larry Bird, SF, Boston Celtics

For all the reasons I mentioned above I could apply here. The thing to remember about Larry Bird was that he was a stone cold assassin. There are two stories that describe Bird perfectly. First during the 1986 3 Point Shooting Contest, Bird in warm ups walks into the locker room and looks around and says "I want all of you to know I am winning this thing. I'm just looking around to see who's gonna finish up second." He won. And of course there is the classic tale of his encounter with Chuck Person who made the mistake of trash talking Bird before a game on Christmas. Bird at the tip let him know he had a Christmas gift for him. While Person was on the bench Bird shot a three-pointer while in front of him. Immediately after shooting, Bird said to Person, "Merry fucking Christmas!" Swish. Legend made.

Michael Jordan, SG, Chicago Bulls

A duh inclusion, as the greatest player of all time he is a must for this Mt. Rushmore. Jordan was the first primarily wing player to completely dominate the game. And while Bird and Magic pulled the game out the proverbial gutter it was Jordan to who helped to take that game to the next level. He was a beast defensively, an above the rim player and a personality that was needed for the game.

Well folks that’s my list of the NBA Mt. Rushmore. Feel free to let me know what yours is, just know you’re not changing mine.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

On Kap and Russell Wilson.

Ah yes 2014 is here and unfortunately the bullshit of 2013, 2012, 2011 etc. have already creeped in. What has the Puma of Chocolate persuasion all riled up today? Why that would be the Seattle Seahawk “fans” and sports media perpetuating a lame ass story. Now before my friends from the Pacific Northwest get all angry at me I am not referring to you, I am referring to the idiotic"fans" that have no idea who Shaun Alexander, Steve Largent, or Cortez Kennedy is. Why are these fans the worst? Because they pass around dumb ass pictures like this:

Ugh. Really? Is this the kind of game we wanna play? And what makes it worse is that sports media such as the “worldwide leader” ESPN have pointless talks about whether or not Kaepernick is too cocky.

Based on what? His Instagram feed? I'm sorry I thought that was a personal thing where he posts whatever the hell he wants. Maybe, just maybe he doesn't want his charitable donations flaunted in public.

If you based  your impression of me off my Instagram feed it would leave the impression I was a crazy dog person who spends his time around maniacs on public transportation. How about I don’t know doing something called research. In 10 seconds I found out he works with a camp for children born with heart defects. Wanna know how long it took me to find that out? 20 seconds!
What an asshole!
Now none of this is written in any way to bash Russell Wilson, I find the guy to be quite entertaining and the undisputed king of the pump fake. He’s an exciting kid to watch but the narrative of “Respectable Russell” and “Cocky Colin” is getting old and frankly seems a bit offensive. Kaepernick often is shown in a manner being this spoiled and entitled jerk, while Russell is a salt of the earth angel who in no way to ever be spoken negatively about. If you're going to debate the merits of these two supremely talented athlete use stats and on the field play but the insulting "who's worthy of being respected" story has got to stop.

Rant over.