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Great Clips of the Week: Utah's Mike Conley wins, but ESPN's H-O-R-S-E a rough watch

By Sean Walker, KSL.com | Posted - Apr. 13, 2020 at 11:01 a.m.



UPSIDE DOWN — Yes, your favorite athletes are staying home, much like rest of us are/should be doing due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Games and leagues may be on hiatus worldwide. But basketball never stops.

Here are some of our favorite moments in sports, from the comfort of your (and everyone else’s) couch. As always, click the video above for more Great Clips of the Week.

H-O-R-S-E, No

We get it; there are no live sports, so what’s a live-sports-centric network like ESPN supposed to do with its endless hours of programming needs in the wake of the novel coronavirus?

It makes sense, on many levels, that the Worldwide Leader in Sports would partner with the NBA and WNBA to pair a group of athletes in a transcontinental game of H-O-R-S-E, with players from Atlanta star Trae Young to WNBA legend Tamika Catchings to Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley participating. The game makes sense, after all; each athlete can shoot at home, send the video to ESPN for broadcast, and then their opponent can respond in like fashion until each is eliminated, one-by-one.

In theory, it works out.

In practice? Not so much.

Sure there were some great moments, like Allie Quigley of the Chicago Sky taking down Chris Paul by taking advantage of his (apparent) 3-point weakness against him.

And who will ever forget Chauncey Billups telling Young to "respect your elders" in rolling to the opening-round win?

But overall, the broadcast was dull and lacked plenty of theatrics — not to mention, production quality. Conley’s matchup with Catchings — one of the more friendly of the quarterfinals — was tame, even if Jazz fans will take whatever win they can right now.

But the production of the contest — contestants shot footage on their phones and sent the footage to ESPN, which edited it all together — left plenty to be desired, as you can see in Conley’s recap video below.

But hey, it’s basketball, right? Sort of.

Conley moves on to Thursday’s semifinals at 7 p.m. MT on ESPN. Will Jazz fans tune in?

I mean, what else do you have planned?

Weekend sports update

Saturday Night Live returned over the weekend, for the first time since going on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the long-running NBC sketch comedy show came back much like the rest of us are going about our lives — at home.

"SNL At Home" — most of which you can now watch on YouTube — was taped from each cast member’s home, stitched together with production magic, and delivered to views via Zoom conferencing — complete with "host" Tom Hanks, one of the first celebrities to make public his diagnosis of the virus.

And it also came with its own sports report, wherein "reporter" Bob Tisdale (played by Alex Moffat) captures sports fans’ malaise adequately as he tries to perform play-by-play of computers "racing" to turn on and other mundane activities in his home.

Stay inside, and stay safe, everyone.

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