What, did you expect Chuck to just give up the debate? If so, then you -- like all the sports nerds trying to take over his sport -- are dead wrong.
Charles Barkley does not back down, and he's certainly not going to be outdone by someone whose nickname is "Dork Elvis."
That's the title given to Daryl Morey, the Houston Rockets GM famous as one of the leading innovators in basketball's analytics revolution. After Barkley and Morey got into a beef earlier this month regarding the value of statistical analysis, TNT's most unpredictable commentator launched into what he feels is the true heart of the matter.
"Analytics are like when you’re black and white," Barkley said. "When you’re black they call you a cook. When you’re white, they call you a chef … they're just stats. Everybody pays attention to stats. They just changed the name to analytics so they can charge you more."
Not sure the stats-and-food metaphor works out all the way to the increased price, since fans and Barkley aren't directly putting down any money for info on PER and other fancy-schmancy numbers. Another problem with this metaphor: White guys were the ones who invented the basic stats and measures of success in the first place, and advanced basketball metrics have taken rise as NBA front offices have grown more diverse.
Outside of that, sure, the cooks vs. chefs thing holds water.
The much more likely root of Barkley's frustration is that he's a basketball player -- and a former great one. This is his game, his territory, and so it's probably a little disconcerting to have nerdy know-it-alls carry in their spreadsheets and algorithms touting reams of new knowledge that are far beyond what the sports world has ever seen.
It's a pretty safe assessment that Barkley is a basketball purist, and he puts a lot of stock into intangibles such as "talent," "hard work" and "play better." All of this is neatly captured in a quote from Barkley's first go-around on the subject:
"The NBA is about talent," Barkley said earlier this month. "All these guys who run these organizations who talk about analytics, they have one thing in common. They're a bunch of guys who ain’t never played the game, and they never got the girls in high school, and they just want to get in the game."
Wait, so this is about high school girlfriends? Or still cooks vs. chefs? Barkley probably doesn't know, but expect him to have a bold reply. Like many basketball fans, he's just trying to make sense of all this change. The difference is Barkley has no problem with spouting his opinions on-the-go.
Here's the full video of the segment where Barkley unleashes his latest rant: