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Chocolate Thunder: The Uncensored Life and Time of Darryl Dawkins Hardcover – March 25, 2003


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Hardcover, March 25, 2003
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Sport Media Publishing (March 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0973144327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0973144321
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,168,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. J Wiener on June 11, 2003
Chocolate Thunder is a light hearted bio on the fast and wild times of Darryl Dawkins. Whereas Darryl's bio is fairly comprehensive, one most surely understand who this is comming from. Darryl certainly was not the most disciplined player on the Earth or even Lovetron. In other words, I question some of the motives and biases of Mr. Dawkins.
Nonetheless, the read is very entertaining if a bit crass in spots. I love reading about his dunking exploits. Its interesting how such a wild and crazy basketball player like Darryl Dawkins eventually became a respected coach in the USBL and the IBA. I guess Darryl Dawkins has mellowed a bit with age.
Nonetheless, this is strong on entertainment value.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 2003
I just wanted to say that I have read this book in one day thought it was great. If you ever get to meet Darryl how he and Charley have written the book is how Darryl is in person. Darryl was honest about all the crazy things he did in the past and were he is heading for the future. IT is really great to read how a person truly grows up after the age 18 and really does not hit adulthood until later in life. Great book and Great Read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 18, 2003
This book proves that there was and is a lot more to Darryl Dawkins than just smashing backboards. His candid account of life in the NBA of the 70s and 80s, with its drug use, partying, and thinly veiled racism, is sure to raise some eyebrows in league headquarters. Darryl does name a few names, but his most shocking stories are about his own excesses. Just as interesting is what Darryl has been up to since he left the NBA, including a brief stint with the Globetrotters, several years playing in Italy, and the beginnings of a coaching career. A fascinating account of a groundbreaking career.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on December 13, 2003
Though Dawkins didn't have the most immortal NBA career, he does have the insights and understanding of the game to write a potentially powerhouse book. He deserves his place in history as the league's original entertainer and showman, and he did have a stone classic moment when he shattered the backboard to smithereens during a monster dunk. Dawkins is both smart enough and funny enough to understand the workings of the game while taking its dark side with a grain of salt. Thus he has great insights into the drug culture in pro sports, racial politics in the NBA of the 70's, the lowdown practices of agents and owners, and poor coaching. He also has many fascinating and illuminating things to say about the current state of the NBA, with its focus on promotion and superstardom rather than the fundamentals of solid team ball.
Darryl's great insights into these matters could have been the basis for a solid and powerful book of sports commentary. But here, the wisdom merely pops up occasionally in the midst of a funny but unremarkable bio about sex and partying, trash talking (though I did love the crack "Dennis Rodman's elevator didn't stop at the top floor"), and especially too much complaining about how referees mistreated him. Meanwhile, who knows what "professional" writer Charley Rosen was doing. We can't expect Dawkins to be a flawless writer, but having a supposed professional on board should have resulted in a book with more credibility. While Darryl's life story can be a fun read, I suggest that he write another book that sticks with commentary and criticism of modern basketball, because he knows what he's talking about. That book would be as powerful as one of his dunks. [~doomsdayer520~]
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Melvin Dickerson on August 18, 2003
As a 14-year old I was surprised that there was as much corruption in the 70's and 80's as there is now. I was always told that all they did was play ball and do their job. Now, I know that's not true. The Darryl Dawkins Autobiography was very interesting and appalling. It seems like he exaggerated a lot but the stories of childhood and manhood were very funny even though it seemed more like fiction. Once you start reading you won't be able to put it down.I reccomend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Johngy's Beat on January 29, 2006
Verified Purchase
If you want an entertaining look at Darryl Dawkins and basketball, this is a good choice to read. Dawkins takes the reader on a fast-paced, fun ride through the many stops on his roller-coaster career. This is not to say thet Dawkins isn't honest about the sometimes painful truth. He does admit some less-than-flattering things, but mostly he just glosses over his own weaknesses or shortcomings. Given his history and reputation, this was pretty much expected.

Dawkins does succeed in shedding some light on some interesting teams and people. He also shows some serious insight and reflection at various times of the book, just not nearly enough times.
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