Basketball stars compete in games of H.O.R.S.E

The NBA allows players to get creative and show their skills on national TV

Basketball stars compete in games of H.O.R.S.E

Corsen Siconolfi, Section editor

In light of the cancellation of remaining games in the league, the NBA decided to hold a H.O.R.S.E competition between current and past NBA and WNBA players. The games were held at the players’ homes, supporting social distancing orders. The competition was put on national TV on April 12 and was made as something for fans to watch during the time that NBA playoffs would have started.

The stars in the games were placed in head-to-head matchups, using a bracket to determine the eventual champion. The first round featured 2020 NBA All-Star Trae Young vs. former finals MVP Chauncey Billups, retired 2011 MVP Tamika Catchings vs Utah Jazz player Mike Conley, Chicago Bulls star Zach Lavine vs NBA legend Paul Pierce and 10-time All-Star Chris Paul vs 3-time WNBA All-Star Allie Quigley.

Each round began with a coin toss to decide who goes first. Whoever shoots first must describe the shot they are taking, so that the opponent can replicate the shot exactly. If their opponent misses the shot, they earn a letter in the word H.O.R.S.E. The game goes until one player earns all the letters in H.O.R.S.E, which means they lose. Dunking is not allowed.

Zach Lavine and Mike Conley went against each other in the final game, which was played for the reward of $200,000 for the winner and $100,000 for the runner-up. Mike Conley ended up being the H.O.R.S.E champion, which some fans credit his victory to his access to a full indoor court. Both players donated their reward to COVID-19 relief.