The NBA HORSE Tournament is Getting Roasted on Twitter
Shaky camera work from NBA players led to jokes about “The Blair Hoops Project.”
As many people around the world move into yet another week tucked inside as they ride out the coronavirus pandemic, sports fans have begun to feel the loss of their favorite games. The NBA tried to answer that need with a HORSE tournament on ESPN.
Turns out that pretty much no one talking about the competition on social media thought it was a very good answer at all.
CBS Sports Managing Editor Adi Joseph nailed the problem when he dubbed the whole thing “The Blair Hoops Project.”
The Blair Hoops Project.
— Adi Joseph (@AdiJoseph) April 12, 2020
If the reference is a little outdated for you, he was referring to all the shaky amateur camera work and joking that it reminded him of the first major horror movie to rely on seemingly amateur-made jerky found footage, The Blair Witch Project.
Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time. The HORSE Challenge happened on pro NBA players’ home courts—their actual homes, where many have hoops in the driveway. They shot their own video, then sent it to ESPN for editing and packaging.
The idea was well-received.
The execution, however, aired Sunday, April 12th, was pretty ridiculous. It was all about the video quality, for the most part, right from the beginning half-hour of a showdown between Atlanta Hawks player Trae Young and retired Pistons player Chauncey Billups. More tweets tell the story.
These dudes make millions of dollars but their HORSE footage looks like this pic.twitter.com/KmutWsj15U
— 𝑪𝒐𝒏𝒆 🌩 (@Three_Cone) April 12, 2020
Here is how the NBA HORSE competition was filmed pic.twitter.com/HWusCPQhJ2
— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) April 12, 2020
i appreciate the effort of a HORSE tournament but this is awful television hahahahaha
— whitney medworth (@its_whitney) April 12, 2020
I’m really watching nba players play horse in their back yards. I’m losing my mind pic.twitter.com/RbD5RCpsj3
— PM (@OhItsPM) April 12, 2020
The NBA Horse challenge on ESPN right now pic.twitter.com/BN7NWTgASz
— Rich (@rjfortune10) April 12, 2020
This NBA HORSE Challenge is terrible https://t.co/G3hgFLz7GU
— Kory Waldron (@KWalHoops) April 12, 2020
ESPN: “Y’all tryna watch a HORSE competition?”
NBA Twitter: pic.twitter.com/7w8Lx9cEg6
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) April 12, 2020
NBA Horse competition deadass looks like this: pic.twitter.com/ncQTmtu4xw
— 𝙏𝙧𝙤𝙮⁸⁸ ✭ (@DakZekeCooper) April 12, 2020
…And so on. Social media users known and unknown basically beat the whole thing to death with sometimes wickedly funny memes.
One of the questions facing the league is how long would they need to give players and teams before restarting games, given that the vast majority of players will have gone months without playing basketball or even being able to shoot for months.
Some have suggested they would need as few as two weeks or as much as one month, and according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the league has crafted a 25-day “return to basketball” plan that includes 11 days of individual workouts practicing social distancing and then a 14-day training camp once the league is cleared to do so.
In the meantime, there are no plans that we know of to follow up on the HORSE tournament with a scintillating game of 21, so at least we’re done with relying on pro athletes to be their own best cameramen for a while.