The NBA and ESPN have almost finalized a plan to televise a H-O-R-S-E competition to help sate fans' appetite for basketball, reports ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). The league announced Thursday that it will hold a HORSE competition featuring current National Basketball Association and WNBA players, as well as a few legends.
Pierce will join Chris Paul, Trae Young, Zach LaVine and others in a silly competition that nonetheless will likely draw a lot of viewers as basketball-starved fans look for something to watch with the league suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak. Dunking isn't allowed and for each missed shot, they'll get a letter.
Pierce will face Lavine in the first round, followed by the victor of Paul vs. Quigley, and the contest will be broadcast on ESPN starting Sunday.
The rules are laid out in the announcement: "A coin toss at the start of each game will determine who shoots first, with the more senior player calling heads or tails". Players must also call out what shot and score they intend to make before taking it, such as a bank shot or swish.
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For its part, State Farm will donate over $200,000 on behalf of the participants to charities catering to coronavirus response efforts.
All first-round matchups will be Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m. ET on ESPN, with the semifinals and championship happening April 16 from 9 to 11 p.m. ET on ESPN. The winners of the semifinals will match-up in the championship round set to take place on April 16.