With the COVID-19 outbreak continuing to keep the sports world on lockdown, the NBA is doing everything in its power to keep basketball fans entertained with the classic playground game HORSE even making noise right now.
There’s the still-ongoing “NBA 2K” tournament featuring a number of NBA players battling it out video-game style. It was also recently announced that a HORSE competition featuring past and present players from the NBA and WNBA would take place. Competitors will be isolated from one another on their home courts and will battle it out in the classic playground game, an event that will actually be televised on ESPN.
So that got the wheels moving a bit. If I could put together some fantasy matchups, using anyone that’s ever played in the NBA, who would I want to sit down and watch play HORSE? Naturally, the possibilities are endless but here are five that for some reason or another came right to the top of my head. Enjoy.
Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant
Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant is an absolute no-brainer. While some might want to see MJ take on LeBron James, I’m sticking with Jordan vs. Kobe. Kobe modeled his game after Jordan and I could sit there and watch them just take 17-foot fadeaway jumpers against one another all day long. But outside of that, both are known for making some of the greatest circus shots in NBA history and a game of HORSE between the two icons would have been legendary.
Larry Bird vs. LeBron James
I know, I know, Bird vs. Magic would be the easiest thing to do with Larry Legend but, let’s face it, that match is over pretty quickly. With no offense to Magic, Bird just destroys him in a shooting competition. But LeBron James might be a different story. Both have crazy range and their ability to hit a shot from just about anywhere on a basketball court is incredible. Bird would likely try to shake things up by going lefty (he was known to do that even in games for kicks) but LeBron isn’t bad with his left either.
Ray Allen vs. Stephen Curry
I don’t care if it’s HORSE or free throws or a three-point contest or whatever but Ray Allen vs. Stephen Curry would be a matchup for the ages. Ray Allen currently holds the all-time NBA record for most three-pointers made with 2,973 but it’s not going to be long before that falls. In just 11 seasons, which is really just 10 seeing as he only played in five games in 2020 before the NBA shut down, Curry has made 2,495 and will pass Reggie Miller for second at some point next season. Allen vs. Curry would be fantastic.
Steve Nash vs. Pete Maravich
Just imagine the possibilities here with Steve Nash vs. “Pistol” Pete Maravich. Maravich was easily one of the most exciting players of his era, making shots that nobody had ever seen before. In turn, Steve Nash was one of the most efficient shooters in the history of the NBA and is one of just a few players in history in the 50-40-90 club. What would make this matchup intriguing, or any matchup involving Steve Nash for that matter, would be the abilities he has with his feet. Watching Pete Maravich trying to match some soccer circus shots with a basketball in a game of HORSE would’ve been incredible.
Reggie Miller vs. James Harden
There can’t be any kind of shooting competition without Reggie Miller involved, right? Just ask the New York Knicks what can happen when he gets hot. Miller sits in second place on the NBA’s all-time list for three-pointers made with 2,560, a list that Houston Rockets guard James Harden continues to climb. Harden is currently fifth on the list with 2,296. Both have the ability to make amazing shots and watching these two go at it in a game of HORSE would be a treat.
Believe me, I could go on and on and on with this. Jerry West vs. Kevin Durant. Dirk Nowitzki vs. Drazen Petrovic. Klay Thompson vs. Glen Rice. Kyrie Irving vs. Isiah Thomas. Russell Westbrook vs. Oscar Robertson. Again, the possibilities are endless.
Or you just throw the Harlem Globetrotters into a game of HORSE and really make things interesting.