With the NBA on an indefinite hiatus, the league has tried to come up with ways to keep its players relevant and fans entertained. One option involves creating a H-O-R-S-E basketball tournament with NBA and WNBA players. This inspired us to think about other ways the NBA could engage fans. Let’s look at a few different options we’d love to see.
The H-O-R-S-E tournament
The league’s first try wasn’t an outright failure, but having an NBA 2K tournament during prime NBA time hasn’t been a success either. Whether it’s players not being as engaged as fans would hope, sometimes it comes off as boring to the casual fan.
H-O-R-S-E should be a little different, as players will still be on various courts practicing social distancing, but with stars like Chris Paul, Trae Young, and Zach LaVine, the NBA can pull viewers in quickly. Some fans may look at the inclusion of WNBA players as an afterthought. But we are excited to see what some of the sharpshooting women can do, too.
A modified version of 21
If you grew up playing basketball in a park then you know how to play 21 (or Utah depending on where you’re from). This game is normally a rough-and-tumble free for all, with players scoring one point for anything inside the three-point line and two for anything past it.
How could this work? Have players set a timer, and the person to score 21 points the fastest wins. As The Ringer explains, guards will clearly have an advantage shooting from the outside. But having two separate brackets for big men and guards could make things interesting. The tournament should involve the winners of each bracket facing off. The winning side donates proceeds to Covid-19 research, and you’ve got a winner.
A one-on-one tournament
This isn’t the safest idea, and we completely understand. But if a handful of players are in the same city, this could be a potential moneymaker. When the All-Star Game was getting stale, fans proposed the idea of an eight-man one-on-one tournament.
The same could happen now with each player playing for a charity of their choice. Make it an 8- or 16-man tournament, have the entire tournament televised in one or two days in an isolated location, and it would provide weeks of content to fans.
A three-point contest
This can be done anywhere by several players in the NBA. Although Steph Curry had to recently build his own basketball court — a surprise to us in the first place — basketball players can gain access to a court if the proper precautions are put in place. Someone could pass them the ball as they go around the five different spots. And, like the normal contest, players with the highest score in a minute advance to the next round.
E-sports league with real players and rosters
We know this one may not be incredibly popular, but we would love to see each NBA team’s starting five continue the season on 2k. Have each player link either through Twitch or Zoom, and broadcast the games in real-time. Sure it may be chaotic with 10 people talking all at once at times. But the logistics wouldn’t be too hard to handle after the first few games.