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NBA, ESPN discussing H-O-R-S-E tournament during game stoppage

Generic view of a Spalding NBA basketball dropping into the hoop during the FIBA European Basketball Championship on 25 June 1989 at the Dom Sportova in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. (Photo by Gray Mortimore/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

H-O-R-S-E from the house?

The NBA, its players association and ESPN are working to put together a game of H-O-R-S-E with players in the league, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

Players would shoot in separate locations — likely courts at their own houses — to maintain social distancing guidelines and match each other’s shots.

The NBA has tried these shooting competitions before. During the 1977-78 season, the league did a competition throughout the year. A couple highlight videos are still on YouTube, including Pistol Pete Maravich playing against George Gervin.

Obviously they’re two of the NBA greats … but some of these shots are more or less the ones everyday fans mess around with during H-O-R-S-E today.

Phoenix Suns guard Paul Westphal ended up winning the tournament and the $15,000 prize money.

The competition was brought back starting with All-Star Weekend in 2009, but that only lasted two years.

Then-Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant won it both years it returned.

With some new rule changes, though, it had noticeably lost some goofy creativity that had been shown in the 70s. The absence of them describing their shots in detail like Maravich also felt like a loss.

The NBA, NBAPA and ESPN are still finalizing details including which players will participate and what the schedule will look like.

H-O-R-S-E may not be a real game of basketball, but as we’re approaching a month since the last game, watching elite athletes shoot is better than nothing.


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