We still like Zach LaVine's chances in the NBA's televised H-O-R-S-E competition, which is set to be broadcast on ESPN and include the likes of Trae Young, Chris Paul and Tamika Catchings.
But it appears LaVine won't have the benefit of his secret weapon while competing: The dunk.
Thursday morning, ESPN officially announced the competition, whose planning was first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski earlier this week. The competition will be broken up over two nights, with four quarterfinal matchups on April 12 from 6 - 8 p.m. CT on ESPN, and the semifinals and finals taking place on April 16 from 8 - 10 p.m CT.
A final list of eight participants were announced: LaVine, Young, Paul, Catchings, Allie Quigley (Chicago Sky), Mike Conley Jr. (Utah Jazz), and NBA legends Paul Pierce and Chauncey Billups.
Here's the rundown on the rules, per a release from ESPN:
- 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 describe each shot attempt, specifying the type of score they intend to make before taking a shot, such as a bank shot or swish
- Dunking is prohibited (frankly, this feels targeted at LaVine)
- The first player in each game to accumulate the letters “H-O-R-S-E” after failing to match five shots is eliminated
So, basically, a game of H-O-R-S-E.
ESPN also announced that State Farm (a corporate sponsor) will donate $200,000 to coronavirus relief efforts on behalf of the participants.