While sports have been postponed, television networks are having a difficult time filling time during the day. The NBA, the National Basketball Players Association and ESPN worked together on a game of HORSE to help with the problem.
The challenge included 8 NBA and WNBA players and legends in a game most people are familiar with. Those players included Mike Conley, Chris Paul, Trae Young, Tamika Catchings, Zach LaVine, Allie Quigley, Chauncey Billups, and legend Paul Pierce.
Rules of HORSE
If you are not familiar with the game of HORSE, it is a simple game to learn. The NBA format followed the traditional rules of the game.
The player must first describe what shot he/she will attempt before shooting. A player shot cannot include dunking. If the shot is missed it moves to the next player, but if the shot is made the opposing player must match it. If the other player cannot make the original shot, he/she receive a letter. The first player to spells out “HORSE” loses. Normally, both players would play on the same court but for safety, these players played on separate isolated home courts.
Conley Wins it All
Conley won the first-ever and possible last NBA HORSE Challenge using both hands. The Utah Jazz’s point guard defeated Chicago Bull’s guard LaVine in the finals only getting the first two letters. Conley defeated Catchings and Billups on his way to finals. Conley, throughout the tournament, had given his opponents trouble by using both his dominant right hand and his left hand.
LaVine defeated Pierce and thee-time WNBA All-Star Quigley. LaVine’s opponents had a difficult time matching his all-net layups. A layup that doesn’t touch the rim but instead hits of the glass and into the basket. However, Conley hit every single one of those shots in their matchup. But, it was the crazy trick shots Conley was hitting that LaVine could not match.
The dagger to finish the game was a solid shot behind the backboard shot.
Mike Conley is the first & probably the last champion of the NBA HORSE Challenge on ESPN after easily beating Zach LaVine in the finals with this behind the back shot. pic.twitter.com/C1BdafUlvf
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) April 17, 2020
Paul and Young were the favorite coming into the challenge but both lost in the first round. Conley coming into the challenge was fourth behind those two players and the guy he beat LaVine. The Jazz player was the only one to play on an indoor basketball court. It might have factored into winning.
The NBA HORSE Challenge was a nice distraction and gave the audience some kind of sport to watch. Looking past it, I think it is safe to say players and fans can’t wait for real competition on the basketball court.