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The Loop

The Loop

Charles Barkley has no idea where 70% of NBA players actually play

December 30, 2020

Charles Barkley is what we in the words industry call a columnist—an op-ed guy. He’s not there to wow with you facts, Xs and Os, or other bits of basketball knowledge accrued over decades spent in and around the NBA. He’s there to say some funny stuff, voice some questionable opinions, and generally keep you entertained on a night-in, night-out basis. He’s a bit like an internet thinkpiece writer, just minus the thinking part.

Still, you would expect Chuck to have at least some familiarity with the league he’s been covering since Luka Doncic was in diapers. A working knowledge. A solid foundation. We’re not talking Magna Cum Laude, just solid, steady Bs. Unfortunately, after his performance on NBA on TNT’s “Who He Play For?” segment on Tuesday night, we have no choice but to give the Chuckster a big fat F.

When your producer comes up with a segment specifically desgined to highlight how little you actually know about the sport you’re covering, that’s a bad sign. Why Chuck agrees to these sort of televised debasements on a weekly basis is beyond us. Perhaps he knows his role and plays to it. Perhaps he just likes having a reason to put on his clown shoes in the morning. Either way, it’s time to ask him to pay a little more attention.

That said, for the casual basketball viewer, these are pretty tough. Chuck should be a hell of a lot more prepared than the casual basketball viewer, but we can’t sit here and pretend like we were nailing these one after the next. I mean Ed Davis? Come on, that could be literally anybody. But still, that’s why they pay you the big bucks Chuck. Time to earn it.