The Loop

Charles Barkley just made his boldest guarantee yet, and it’s about his golf game

Back when the NBA was still a thing, Charles Barkley had been making a habit of making downright awful “guarantees.” It became a running joke on “Inside the NBA,” as Chuck’s guarantees had a 100 percent chance of not panning out.

And yet, none of them were as bold as the one he made on “Inside the NBA”’s return show on Thursday night. Barkley is set to play in his 25th American Century Championship this week, a remarkable feat for a number of reasons - 1. 25 starts in any golf event is impressive longevity, no matter if it’s a pro, amateur or celeb-am event, and 2. It’s flat-out insane that he keeps showing up year after year to shoot a billion. Lesser men would have given after the second or third dead effing last finish.

Speaking of dead effing last finishes, that’s where Chuck’s latest “guarantee comes in.” Surely, this one will one pan out for him:

Why Chuck, why? The Freezing Cold Takes Twitter account might not have to put this one in storage, because he’ll probably be using it Sunday evening. Sure, the Round Mound of double bogey Rebound’s swing has gotten slightly better in recent years, and he didn’t finish DFL a year ago (third-to-last but who’s counting). But history is not on the Chuckter’s side.

I went back and checked all 24 of his ACC starts just to see how many DFLs he’s had, and … spoiler alert … it’s a lot. Barkley has finished DFL 10 (!!) times out of 24, and the other 14 starts he’s come close to DFL each time. He’s finished fourth-to-last twice, third-to-last five times and second-to-last an additional five times. His two best finishes are a fifth-to-last in 1995 and a sixth-to-last in 2002.

Perhaps Chuck is feeling good about his swing. The more-likely scenario is he finishes second-to-last this year and then retires from the ACC for good, thus guaranteeing the guarantee. That’d be an all-time great chess move.