Brady Trantham

The HORSE Competition watch-along diary

The HORSE Competition watch-along diary

In the new normal with no spots, we finally have something to watch, analyze and hate on in the aftermath as being pointless. If you’re unable to catch it live, I will give you — Oklahoma basketball fans — all the tidbits you need to know.

Let’s go!


I sat down to watch the HORSE Competition and flip on ESPN to find the 2008 Spelling Bee. The word was introuvable, which apparently is a French word meaning, “to want or to have.” 

Sameer Mishra won the competition by spelling the old high-German word, guerdon. In 2008, we had the Patriots losing the Super Bowl and missing out the opportunity to go undefeated. We had Tim Tebow winning a national championship, but Sameer Mishra was the actual MVP of 2008. 

Mark Jones goes live from his living room with a #1 blue Vice City Miami Heat jersey and #22 Golden State jersey as his back drop. There is currently no #1 jersey on the Miami Heat so I’m assuming this is a Chris Bosh jersey while the Golden State jersey is…Andrew Wiggins? He’s been a Warrior for just over two months! Mr. Jones has an eclectic style to say the least.


Trae Young — who is participating from Norman, Oklahoma — needs to get a new ESPN picture, which gives off the appearance of a unibrow.

Jones flips a coin and commands Chauncey Billups to call it in the air even though this is taking place over a Zoom conversation. The lag is a few seconds off before Billups calls “heads.” It is tails, giving Young the first shot.

Young takes and makes a three which Jones claims is a college three. Billups makes the comment that, “Of course, Trae is used to making college threes in Norman, Oklahoma.“ Billups makes it.

Young makes a shot from the right wing and surprisingly Billups misses the responding shot. Billups is now an H.

Young then goes directly behind the backboard towards the right and makes it. Billups continues to laugh and unfortunately misses because he hit the top of the backboard. HO for Billups.

Young then misses his next shot, allowing Billups to dictate the game. Billups chooses to shoot a three from the top of the key with the caveat that you have to hit it off the glass, but he misses.

Take a shot every time any of them says, “Oh my gosh!”

Young takes and makes another left-handed FT shot. He makes a comment about the wind in Oklahoma — light storms with winds up to 30 MPH currently going on. Billups misses his attempt and he is now at HOR. Young is now wiping the floor with the elderly Billups.

ESPN mercifully goes to break and return with a PSA about Trae Young giving out his phone number —  seriously, he did! It’s 404-737-4344. Young mentions that he did it in an effort to keep in touch with fans.

One dribble, right leg three pointer from the right wing results in Young’s first miss after a Billups make. HOR to H

A made three from the right corner slightly behind the goal results in Young’s second consecutive miss. HOR to HO in favor of the former Sooner.

Young misses another routine three and the game is now tied. There are so many narratives here. Young’s hot start and cooling off mirrors his one-year stint at Oklahoma. Billups is a former Colorado Buffalo, making this an old school Big 8/Big 12 Conference game.

Young airballs an underhanded FT attempt. HORS for Young who now trails.

YOUNG LOSES! YOUNG LOSES! Billups wins in an upset. Jerry Ramsey will no doubt crown this win as the best Detroit Piston moment since the ‘04 Finals.

Billups with a statement that can be interpreted in many different ways given the current state of the world, “Respect your elders.”

Billups wishes Young and his family health and safety. He mentioned Young’s father Ray by name, who I assume will tweet about it fairly soon if he hasn’t already.


Current Indiana Fever GM and former amazing WNBA player Tamika Catchings and Mike Conley — whose quarantine beard will have its own Twitter account — are the next two participants. 

I started daydreaming about Easter dinner and didn’t pay attention to any of their shots. The score is inconsequential.

Catchings went to school in Italy with Kobe Bryant as a first and second grader. Even during a global pandemic, it is still sad to remember Kobe is gone.

Catchings is at HORS by the time I realize the score. Conley has yet to letter. Please end.

Mike Conley wins, but the Utah Jazz still sent a sick player with an unknown diagnosis to a different state (Oklahoma) during a global pandemic.


Splash Sister extraordinaire Allie Quigley of the Chicago Sky takes on Chris Paul. If TV ratings in Oklahoma dropped following the Trae Young collapse, they’ve resurfaced with a vengeance now. 

How many times will Chris Paul say some version of, “that’s tough, man!”

Paul mentions that it is nice to be back with his family in Los Angeles. I am still trying to find the amendment in Paul’s contract that restricts his family from living in Oklahoma City during his time as a member of the Thunder.

Quigley goes for a bank shot free throw and makes her first attempt. Paul responds with a make of his own.

Quigley shows off some athleticism by shooting from the left elbow and jumping off her left foot following a shuffle, both contestants make it.

Paul gets to dictate now, and chooses an easy off the glass shot from six-feet away.

Quigley is really good. She goes Pistol Pete Maravich by sitting down and hitting a bank shot. Paul — the most clutch player in the NBA this season — misses. Paul is now at HO with Quigley not having lettered.

Paul finally gets Quigley on the board but trails HO to H. The tension across the world is palpable. 

Paul is getting worked. HOR for the Thunder point gu- Oh now he’s at HORS. His trade value is dropping by the second. Sam Presti should cut the cord before it’s too late.

In a dramatic turn of events, Chris Paul turns his back to the goal, grabs his left ankle with his left arm and shoots behind with his right arm to regain momentum. Paul channeled his inner-dad dance moves on that shot.

Paul loses on a missed free throw. Oklahoma gets knocked out of HORSE in the first round. How fitting?

Brady Trantham has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for The Franchise since April 2018 and for Thunder Digest since 2016. He hosts a Thunder podcast with Madysson Morris “OKC-82 Podcast” which can be found on all podcast outlets, and is a co-host on the Franchise Thunder Insider’s Show on Saturdays from 10-12. Brady is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma class of 2014. Follow him on Twitter @BradyDoesSports

Brady Trantham

Brady has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder since 2016. University of Oklahoma alum class of 2014. He has worked for the Franchise since April 2018. Brady co-hosts the OKC-82 Podcast and the Inside OU podcast, part of the Franchise Podcast Network. He also hosts the Locked On Thunder Podcast, part of the Locked On Podcast Network. You can hear Brady on Saturdays after football season from 10am-12 on the Franchise Thunder Insider's Show with Jerry Ramsey, Jon Hamm and Madysson Morris.

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