We’re without live basketball for quite some time, as the coronavirus pandemic has put the NBA on indefinite hold. Naturally, the league is trying to come up with ways to keep providing basketball-related entertainment and content for the fans.
First there was the players-only NBA 2K tournament, which began on Friday and is still running.
And now there’s talks of a remote H-O-R-S-E competition, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The NBA and ESPN are working on televising a H-O-R-S-E competition involving several high-profile players, sources say. Players would shoot in isolation – presumably in home gyms – and match shots against competitors. Details are still being finalized.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 4, 2020
No names have been revealed, though we can certainly hope that the Golden State Warriors will be represented. The only players who could actually participate in such a remote tournament would be those who have home gyms, and the number of NBA players with basketball courts at home is probably a surprisingly small number. But it is a number that probably includes Steph Curry.
It got me thinking: Who would win a H-O-R-S-E competition on the Warriors?
Here’s my definitive, completely inarguable (so don’t even try!) ranking of the Warriors current 15-man roster, should they compete in a H-O-R-S-E tournament.
1. Steph Curry
Steph Curry is the obvious pick, but he’s the obvious pick because he’s the right pick.
Not only does he have shooting range that only one of his teammates can even think of matching, but he’s far and away the most ambidextrous Warriors player. You think he can’t make left-handed free throws at a high rate? Think again. The man can use his off-hand better than many NBA players can use their dominant hand, and he has a knack for making some ridiculous shots.
Plus, if any tunnels are involved, it’s game over . . .
2. Klay Thompson
I think sometimes we forget just how versatile Klay Thompson’s skillset is, just because he’s best known for one thing, and usually sticks to it.
But Thompson makes some ridiculous shots, and just seems to understand how to get the basketball to go in the hoop, even if it’s not always graceful.
Plus, he can always just start chucking 30-footers, and know that only one teammate can keep up with him.
3. Jordan Poole
Curry is pretty clearly the frontrunner in this tournament, and Thompson is an equally obvious runner-up. But after those two? Things get murky.
So I’m going with rookie Jordan Poole, despite the fact that Poole struggled more than any Warrior player this year to put the ball in the hoop, which is kind of the entire point of H-O-R-S-E.
Why do I have this confidence? Well, Poole has a sweet jump shot, even if it hasn’t played out during games. In an empty gym, he can stroke it from anywhere on the court. He’s also silly (in a good way), and I can completely see him being that guy who hangs around the gym for an extra 30 minutes trying to ricochet the ball off of the rafters and into the hoop. Something tells me he has some unique tricks up his sleeve.
4. Andrew Wiggins
Andrew Wiggins has the distinct advantage of being the most athletic member of the Warriors roster, at least in the traditional sense. If this game of H-O-R-S-E allows dunks, he moves to the top of the list.
No one else on the Warriors can make that dunk. Although, in fairness, neither could Wiggins, but you get the point.
5. Damion Lee
Damion Lee can do a little bit of everything. He can shoot — not as well as Curry and Thompson, but maybe 80% as well. He can jump — not as high as Wiggins, but maybe 80% as high. He seems comfortable using both hands, and just has a good feel for the basketball.
6. Draymond Green
I have no idea what Draymond Green brings to the H-O-R-S-E table. He can’t shoot well, he’s not really known for any special ability to score, and the two things he does best — pass and defend — don’t come into play at all.
But I can’t put him lower than this. I just can’t. He’s insanely competitive, and has shown a knack for overcoming the odds at all costs. He’s also probably a better scorer than we give him credit for, because he’s (usually) tremendous at playing his role.
Underestimate him at your own risk.
7. Mychal Mulder
Dude can shoot. Give me shooters when it comes to H-O-R-S-E. Always give me shooters.
8. Juan Toscano-Anderson
Juan Toscano-Anderson has some of that sneaky athleticism that can show up in big ways in silly competitions. He seems like the kind of guy who might just be able to leap, do a 360, and fire off a 15-foot jumper with ease.
Side note: I would love to see that.
Double side-note: Kevin Durant would do very well in this competition.
9. Marquese Chriss
Tell me Marquese Chriss doesn’t hang around in the gym in his spare time and practice weird shots to amuse himself. You can’t.
10. Eric Paschall
H-O-R-S-E is definitely not a competition designed for Eric Paschall, but like Green, I have a hard time betting against him. If only first steps and drop steps and jump stops were part of H-O-R-S-E!
11. Ky Bowman
Well, we’re officially in the final third of the contestants, which means I’m no longer obligated to say why a player can win, because I’m basically saying they can’t.
Bowman would struggle. He’s not a great shooter, doesn’t have great distance, and we haven’t seen too much suggesting he can make crazy or weird shots. Now, maybe he would surprise us in that area, but . . . maybe he wouldn’t.
12. Kevon Looney
I’m not really sure what Kevon Looney could do well in a H-O-R-S-E tournament, but I have zero doubt that he would offer something totally surprising. He would definitely get a letter on his opponent by doing something weird and whacky, while breaking out a grin that reminds you not to underestimate him.
13. Chasson Randle
Look, Chasson Randle has played 40 minutes with the Warriors, and probably won’t ever play a 41st. I’m not really sure what he can do. All I know is he can play H-O-R-S-E better than the next two guys.
14. Alen Smailagic
There is nothing about Alen Smailagic’s game that suggests he can do well in a game of H-O-R-S-E. The only things he has going for him are that he’s occasionally coordinated, and would seem to have some funny trick shot in his back pocket that probably involves using the basketball like a soccer ball.
15. Dragan Bender
Who would win in a H-O-R-S-E competition?
This poll is closed