76ers: 3 Players NBA Should Consider for ESPN's HORSE Game

Justin Grasso

The state of sports isn't great at the moment. A little less than a month ago, you could switch on your television and find a handful of new sports games on. Now, if you throw on ESPN, you'll end up watching a re-run of a classic game, a documentary, or an NBA 2K20 simulation.

How long will this sports drought last? Nobody could tell you. As long as cases of the coronavirus continue to climb in the United States of America, though, we're not going to see actual sports on the television for quite some time.

Thankfully, ESPN and the NBA are trying hard to keep sports fans entertained for the time being. First, they put together a 16-man NBA 2K20 tournament among some notable players within the league. So for the next week or so, you can tune in to watch NBA players battling it out on a virtual court and talking some smack.

ESPN didn't just stop with the video game wars, though. On Saturday night, it has been reported that the network plans to broadcast a 'high-profile' game of HORSE among NBA players, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. While the idea was slightly comical at first, many resorted to the typical saying at this point: "Well, at least it's something."

Who's in the game?

As of Sunday morning, there haven't been any updates as to which players have been contacted and confirmed to be participating in this game of HORSE. However, it is necessary to note that Woj described the prospects as 'high-profile.' Also, the game will have to be played in home gyms because of self-isolation rules.

Therefore, the number of players who can participate is slightly limited. And to be honest, there's a good chance that the Philadelphia 76ers may not have a representative in the game because a lot of these younger guys are city living in condos. Therefore, a lot of them don't have access to a personal hoop at the moment.

However, if the NBA did want to include a Sixers player in the game -- here are a few that would be interesting to watch in the friendly competition.

1. Joel Embiid, C

This should go without saying. Joel Embiid is considered to be in that NBA 'Unicorn' category. He may be a very tall center, but he's not the type of player to stand in front of the rim and just dunk the ball every time he touches it (though a lot of you want him to be).

Embiid is talented all around the court. He can shoot from all ranges, including the three-ball. Although he's not always consistent, on a good day, he could probably keep up with the best of them. It won't come as a surprise if the NBA and ESPN haven't already reached out to the Sixers' big man.

2. Ben Simmons, PG

I can hear the jokes already. "How could Ben Simmons compete in this, he can't even shoot a three!" Here's the thing; Ben Simmons can shoot a three. Just for some odd reason, he isn't willing to shoot the three.

This season, he shocked the world and attempted three true three-point attempts. Once during the preseason, and twice during the regular season. Funny enough, he drained all of them. This isn't a full-court 5-on-5 game with players defending. 

This is taking shots on an empty court. I've witnessed Simmons shooting around with nobody defending him from all areas and ranges on the court and let me tell you -- the guy can shoot. It's doubtful Simmons would get in on this type of action because he's currently injured, but I personally wouldn't be surprised to see him be able to win something like this if he was hea.

3. Glenn Robinson III, F

In a typical game of HORSE on a playground, the game is full of jump shots from all over. In an NBA-caliber match, however, I'm expecting there to be some dunking. The complete rules aren't clear at the moment, so I'm just going to roll with that thought for a moment.

If dunking is involved, Glenn Robinson III would be a great representative from the Sixers. After all, he proved to the league that he's quite substantial in that category back in 2017 when he was with the Indiana Pacers and won the NBA Dunk Contest. Plus, Robinson can shoot as well. He might not have hit his stride with the Sixers before the suspension, but he proved early on in the year that he's finally approaching his prime as a versatile player. 

Honorable Mention: Shake Milton, G

Why Shake Milton? To be honest, I don't know. There's something about Shake that makes me believe he can come out and shock the NBA by winning a contest like this. Before the league shut down, Milton was doing some unexpectedly awesome things, and the second-year guard was heating up and getting comfortable.

Unfortunately, the chances of Milton even being considered for this game are slim-to-none. With the potential candidates being labeled as 'high-profile,' it makes it apparent that Shake Milton won't match that criterion. After all, fans in the stands outside of Philly had to Google who he was during the game right before the NBA shut down. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_