The NBA and ESPN are in discussion to bring live basketball action to the airwaves by televising a H-O-R-S-E competition with players competing from their homes, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“Players would shoot in isolation — presumably in home gyms — and match shots against competitors. Details are still being finalized,” Wojnarowski tweeted.
According to The Post’s Andrew Marchand, star players such as Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Donovan Mitchell and possibly Zion Williamson are names that have been discussed, but none have been confirmed.
On Friday, ESPN started airing a virtual NBA2K Tournament consisting of 16 NBA players, but this would be a creative way to get players competing again, even if it is from the comforts of their home gyms or backyards.
A H-O-R-S-E competition has basketball players take turns at connecting on a shot attempt from a particular location on the court. If one player misses a shot after another has made it, then the losing player spells out the first letter of the word “horse.” Once a player has missed all five attempts, he has spelled out “horse” and has lost the game.
The NBA first televised games of H-O-R-S-E in 1977 as pre-taped halftime segments of CBS national broadcasts featuring 32 players, including future Hall of Famers Rick Barry, George Gervin and Pete Maravich.
Getting current superstars to compete could be an issue with defending MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo stating he has not shot a basketball since he does not have a hoop in his house.
But former All-Star Paul Pierce, who responded to Wojnarowski’s original tweet by tweeting “I’m in,” might help the NBA and ESPN find viable alternatives to making this idea work.