NBA H-O-R-S-E set to begin Sunday

Trae Young is planning on living at half court. Chris Paul is recognized as one of the best trick-shot artists in the NBA. Zach LaVine isn’t afraid to put his 40-inch vertical on display.

Some of the NBA and WNBA’s best shooters, plus the likes of Paul Pierce and other recently retired players, are signed on for a nationally televised single-elimination H-O-R-S-E tournament starting Sunday.

ESPN will televise all first-round matchups Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m. ET and the semifinals and championship April 16 from 9 to 11 p.m. ET as a way to fill the absence of live sports competitions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Trae Young
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Title sponsor State Farm pledged $200,000 in support of coronavirus relief efforts.

PointsBet’s Patrick Eichner told Field Level Media on Wednesday that it is looking into regulatory requirements and potential limitations of a filmed competition — as opposed to live games — that would negatively impact betting markets.

Players will compete in the shot-for-shot competition from their own homes or courts of choice, most of which will be indoors. Social distancing and travel restrictions prevent players from being in the same venue.

Young has an outdoor court at his Atlanta-area home, which could make for an entertaining twist depending on the weather. He’s also noted more for his shooting and not the dunking skills that helped LaVine become a first-round pick out of UCLA.

“ABSOLUTELY NO DUNKING,” Young posted via Twitter, calling out LaVine.

Young is scheduled to open the H-O-R-S-E tournament against retired point guard Chauncey Billups. WNBA Hall of Famer Tamika Catchings will play Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley, while Pierce and LaVine play and Paul takes on Chicago Sky star Allie Quigley.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)