The NBA and ESPN are in talks to show a H-O-R-S-E competition featuring “several high-profile players,” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The COVID-19 pandemic has the NBA season and all other professional sports on pause, and having no sports has forced television networks such as ESPN to get creative with their programming. So, a H-O-R-S-E competition that involves star players is an idea that makes plenty of sense for both the NBA and ESPN.
The issue, of course: how are NBA players supposed to take part in a basketball competition with the social distancing and stay-at-home orders (along with most facilities/parks that have basketball hoops being closed)?
Wojnarowski reports that the players would participate in isolation, “presumably using home gyms.”
Discussions have been ongoing among the NBA, NBPA and ESPN about a competition among several players in isolation — presumably using home gyms — that would include them competing shot for shot in the traditional playground game, sources said.
That makes sense, but would seemingly make it tough for the likely 2019-20 NBA MVP to participate- Giannis Antetokounmpo told reporters on Friday that he doesn’t have a basketball hoop at home.
But most NBA stars have access to a basketball hoop, and many of them probably even have their own gym or court at home. It would make a H-O-R-S-E competition more exciting if every player had a full court to work with, allowing for crazy threes and long-distance shots, but we’ll take what we can get right now.
It would be a no-brainer to try to get Steph Curry into the H-O-R-S-E competition, especially if there are full courts.
UPDATE: ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the plan for the H-O-R-S-E competition “is nearing completion,” and will include NBA stars Chris Paul, Trae Young, and Zach LaVine. Woj adds that the competition will also feature “a couple of WNBA players and recent NBA alumni.”
Sources: The NBA and ESPN plan to televise a HORSE competition is nearing completion and among those expected to participate include Chris Paul, Trae Young and Zach LaVine. Competition will also include a couple of WNBA players and recent NBA alumni.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 8, 2020
UPDATE II: ESPN officially announced that the NBA Horse Challenge will air Sunday, April 12 at 7 p.m. ET.