During the 1977-1978 season someone at CBS thought that pitting the NBA's top scoring stars against each other in a driveway inspired H-O-R-S-E competition would be a ratings bonanza.
But there was this. George "Iceman" Gervin vs. "Pistol" Pete Maravich in a televised game of H-O-R-S-E. And there is so much to love about this video.
First of all, seeing Maravich and Gervin share the court, for whatever reason, is electric. Seeing them play horse is just insane.
Second, CBS has a specially designed scoreboard that spells out the word H-O-R-S-E. How much do you think that cost them? Ballpark it. How many back-up H-O-R-S-E signs existed? I'm guessing at least three.
Third, that referee takes the whole thing HEART ATTACK SERIOUSLY. When Gervin has to take that sitting "lay-up" that ref is there signalling for Gervin to inch forward, loudly barking, "More, move forward more, right there!" He's the incredible. I bet he's a blast at a kid's birthday party, giving no shits that everyone is five years old or under. "THE RULES ARE THE RULES AND THAT FUCKING KID TRAVELED!"
Fourth, so much plaid, so much golf clapping. NBA fans weren't NBA fans yet. They were mostly the extended family of Pete Maravich (at least according to this YouTube video, which I assume is indicative of the whole era). So the audience doesn't know how to react after each shot. They don't scream, or holler. Watching Gervin and Maravich should be mind-boggling insanity! Instead, it's like a Catholic high school's graduation, with everyone poopooing the guy who whistled for his sister.
Fifth, all of their moves are the same crap you've done in your driveway forever. The granny shot---check. Sitting on your ass and shooting a "lay-up"---check. Called bank shots---check. Rim-out jumpers---check.
Don't get me wrong, some of the stuff they do is sneaky difficult. The next time you play H-O-R-S-E try to throw the ball over your back (with both hands? "WITH BOTH HANDS!" angry ref screamed at George Gervin) and then convert the lay-up. Or hit any shot starting from behind your hoop. It's damn near impossible. But it's cool to see Gervin miss granny shots and ass lay-ups. It's humanizing somehow.
Anyways, enjoy the second installment of The Daily YouTube Landing---CM