Best 'H-O-R-S-E' players for proposed NBA tournament? Here's a starting five

Steph-Curry-Kevin-Durant
(Getty Images)

The NBA may have figured out that there are only so many times fans can watch replays of classic games or play/watch "2K." There was word Saturday that the league is working with one of its broadcast partners, ESPN, to create a competition around the game of "H-O-R-S-E."

This would be a socially distant event, reports ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, where "high-profile" players would put up their trick shots alone in empty gyms, and opponents would then have to match.

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As clunky a setup as that would be, that could be the closest we get to seeing real-life basketball competition for the next few weeks or months. The NBA's hiatus is entering its fourth week and there's no end in sight.

With that, here are five (one for each letter, see) players who could definitely spell entertainment for hoops fans during this downtime:

Stephen Curry

Curry's repertoire is endless, but we'll just mention the obvious finishing move: the tunnel shot. Why waste it on "H"? Players' shooting ranges are catching up with Curry's, but how many of them can nail a two-hander from darn near inside the locker room?

Kyrie Irving

If the competition allows for seconds the way they're used in the Slam Dunk Competition, then Irving might be a favorite. His drives through the lane lead to a lot of what the old-timers would call "circus shots," off-balance tosses that wind up going in. Some jelly for you, friend?

Trae Young

Young has Steph-like range from deep, so he'd be competitive on those, but then he could counter with his midrange floater. And when we say midrange, we mean it extends out to the free throw line.

Kevin Durant

Got to have the guy who won two All-Star "H-O-R-S-E" competitions a decade ago AND beat Curry in a quick game of "P-I-G" when they were teammates much more recently.

Joel Embiid

The Process can join this group on one condition: that he only uses soccer moves to attempt his shots.

So many other big-name types could do well in a "H-O-R-S-E" competition, too. Today's players are infinitely more athletic and creative than the stars of 40 years ago who fronted a "H-O-R-S-E" series produced by CBS — although the late "Pistol" Pete Maravich, one of the stars of that '70s show and a player who was ahead of his time, would have been a contender in any era with a selection like this.

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