An NBA Horse competition is in the works and could provide fans yet another form of entertainment to watch while the sports world is on pause.
The event would keep social distancing practices intact and also involve several “high-profile players” competing in the traditional game of matching basketball shots on the court.
NBA Horse competition is in the works for TV
The report first arrived on Saturday night from NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, who mentioned it was something that the league and the NBA were working on together.
Per Woj’s tweet, “Players would shoot in isolation–presumably in home gyms — and match shots against competitors.”
That would make sense and be similar to the other event going on featuring players, the NBA 2K Players-Only Tournament.
It’s unknown right now what the prize for the winner of the Horse competition would be.
The NBA and ESPN are working on televising a H-O-R-S-E competition involving several high-profile players, sources say. Players would shoot in isolation – presumably in home gyms – and match shots against competitors. Details are still being finalized.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 4, 2020
The game of Horse is a longtime basketball tradition, that gives players a way to show their shooting and other skills. In its most basic format, players try to make a shot of their choice. If they make that shot, their opponent has to match it, or they get a letter, starting with “H.”
The players continue going back and forth with this. The first player to completely spell out the word “H-O-R-S-E” loses the competition.
NBA continues to search for options
Weeks ago, the NBA was the first major U.S. sports league to have a player test positive for coronavirus with Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz. That led to the league announcing they were suspending the season.
As of right now, there is still uncertainty if the 2019-20 NBA season will ever finish and if the playoffs will even take place. There have been rumors that the league is considering having all the players compete in Las Vegas, so they’re in one spot, but that could cost millions.
However, insider Brian Windhorst appeared on Friday’s edition of SportsCenter and indicated the league is looking at ways to completely shut down the season.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 4, 2020
As of Friday night, the NBA along with 2K Sports and ESPN presented the first night of an ongoing NBA 2K Players-Only Tournament. It features 16 stars competing in a single-elimination format tournament. Among them are Kevin Durant, Trae Young, Donovan Mitchell, Patrick Beverly, and Hassan Whiteside.
Friday saw KD, the No. 1 seed based on his overall rating in the video game, eliminated by Derrick Jones Jr. Other winners who advanced to the next round included Trae Young, DeAndre Ayton, and Patrick Beverly.
— NBA (@NBA) April 4, 2020
The winner of that tournament gets to donate $100,000 to a charity of their choice to benefit COVID-19 relief efforts.
Will fans embrace NBA H-O-R-S-E over games?
One thing has become clear and that is that there is a serious drought with no sports going on as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
The NBA previously had H-O-R-S-E Competition as part of All-Star Weekend in 2009 and 2010. Kevin Durant, playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder, won both competitions before the league canceled the concept ahead of the 2011 All-Star Weekend.
A new NBA Horse competition could certainly be an event to attract fans’ interest in the interim, especially if some of the league’s best shooters such as Stephen Curry, Devin Booker, and LeBron James are included.
When the NBA held a HORSE competition as an All-Star event in 2010. pic.twitter.com/3jx0nLS1Ik
— ThrowbackHoops (@ThrowbackHoops) April 4, 2020
For now, NBA and sports fans are likely to take whatever they can get as the sports world is on hiatus.