NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during a news conference at Vivint Smart Home Arena, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Salt Lake City. The NBA announced that Salt Lake City has been selected to host the NBA All-Star Game in 2023. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

NBA Developing H-O-R-S-E Tournament

Nearly a month removed from the indefinite suspension of the NBA season due to COVID-19, the league is proposing ideas to keep its fans entertained from home. They put together a video game tournament with 16 players battling it out over NBA 2K. ESPN has already begun airing this NBA 2K players tournament featuring stars like Kevin Durant, Trae Young and Donovan Mitchell. Although NBA players cannot practice with teammates, many players have access to a basketball court at their house. This has prompted the league to explore developing a virtual H-O-R-S-E tournament for its players to participate in.

HORSE Tournament

According to ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA is working with ESPN on televising a H-O-R-S-E contest among “several high-profile league players.” For those who may be unfamiliar with the “old playground game,” players will “[match] shot for shot” in order to avoid receiving a letter.

Once a player receives all five letters, they are eliminated.


Although ESPN has not confirmed any names, there is speculation among fans regarding who will compete in the tournament. Some of the players rumored to participate include Zion Williamson, Chris Paul and Dwayne Wade. The inclusion of these All-Stars would certainly make this tournament an enticing concept for NBA fans.

Unfortunately, some superstars like Giannis Antetokounmpo do not have access to a home gymnasium and therefore cannot play. Despite having limited options, the league can include retired players and WNBA players who have access to an isolated court.


The contest’s format is currently unknown, but a single-elimination bracket would be entertaining for both the players and fans. A 16 or 32 player bracket would allow fans to predict the outcome similar to the NCAA Tournament. Nevertheless, the competition should draw basketball fans to the television during a time in which the playoffs would soon begin under normal circumstances.

About Griffin Foll

Hi, my name is Griffin Foll and I am currently a senior at UF studying journalism with a focus on sports and media and an outside concentration in political science. In addition to covering the 2023 UF men's and women's golf beats, I contribute weekly web and radio content for WRUF ESPN Gainesville. Be sure to check out some of my recent articles!

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