124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

From The Top Rope

Charles Barkley went on a legendary rant about three-point shooting on Thursday night

February 05, 2021

Like distance in golf, targeting in college football, and bat flips in baseball, the NBA’s number-one old-man inflamer is three-point shooting. Without ever having met another person, you can immediately tell their age by their opinion on the NBA’s recent long-ball bias. Mid-30s and under, that’s just the basketball you know. Shaq and Yao aren’t ducking through that door. Michael Jordan was a Washington Wizard. Tick past 35, however, and you'll suddenly find yourself posting 500-word tirades on The Facebook every time a sixth man pulls up from the logo like they’re Steph. It is truly the hardcourt battle of our age, and on Thursday night Charles Barkley got promoted to general.

Chuck gets a lot flack for not knowing (or not caring to know) a damn thing about modern basketball. The nightly disinterest for a man being paid seven figures a year to at least feign interest is astounding. But amongst the bloviating, surliness, and general indigestion, there is an element of truth to what Chuck is saying here. The Dallas Mavericks are the worst three-point shooting team in the league this season, making just over 33% of their attempts from beyond the arc. Bad enough. Then on Thursday they came out against the Golden State Warriors, and instead of trying to put the ball on the floor and play, they jacked up 50 (as in FIVE-OH) tres enroute to a blowout loss to Golden State. If that makes sense to you, see an exterminator about your brain worms ASAP.

Now we don’t know how the NBA is going to feel about their most visible “analyst” calling the modern game “this stupid-ass basketball” and branding coaches, players, and fans alike “dumbasses” on primetime basic cable, but Chuck’s not wrong. At least not entirely. How often do we get to say that?