Introducing Action’s NBA King of the Hill Tourney, the Ultimate 1-on-1 Extravaganza

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Photos by Getty Images. Pictured: Jayson Tatum (left), LeBron James (middle), James Harden (right).

No large gatherings.

No crowds.

No groups of 10 or more.

Social distancing.

No games.

But what if the NBA returned, only with just a handful of people. Two coaches, two trainers, two officials.

And two players.

A one-on-one tournament of NBA players. How would it work? Would matchups matter more than overall talent?

The best NBA players are oftentimes not the best one-on-one players. It’s almost an individual skillset. Yet most of the best NBA players are still guys who you would absolutely say “gets buckets.”

How much does physicality matter? Size? Tough-shot making? Handle?

How much friggin’ fun would this be?!

And so it is that The Action Network presents the NBA 1-on-1 Tournament.

We’ll be unveiling the bracket next week. But before then, we have some stuff to figure out.

What’s the Format?

First to 11 by 1’s and 2’s — it’s the best one-on-one format. Have to win by 2. No need to overcomplicate things.

How Are You Seeding? 

We’re ranking the best 64 one-on-one players to our informed eyes. We’ll seed them like the NCAA tournament, four sets of 1-16 seeds.

Some of these players will be big men with enough touch to wreak havoc. Some will be guards with the unstoppable step-back.

Who’s stopping LeBron James? Who can Luka Doncic stop? These are all great questions we’ll dive into.

How Do You Determine Winners?

We’re going to sim the games on NBA 2K, using their 1-on-1 feature. We’ll provide lines for each game and comprehensive previews of each game.

Can I Watch the Games?

Hell yes, you can! We’ll be posting videos of each simulation on Twitter. Stay tuned for more details.

What About Injuries?

We’re giving injured players like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving the benefit of the doubt and assessing them at somewhere near their peak, knowing that it’s unlikely Durant is ever there again.

Which Players Are Eligible?

Every NBA player. Big men, guards, wings, the works. No restrictions. If you can dominate with size, dominate with size. Best 3-point shooter? Go for it.

When Would This Tournament Happen?

Imagine it taking on July 1, 2020.

What Surprised You In Your Research?

Well, for starters, Jrue Holiday had the best points per possession scoring performance with a minimum of 100 ISO possessions this season. He’s really underrated in that aspect. As someone who’s never been overly fond of DeMar Derozan in an NBA setting, he’s perfect here.

Who Do You Like Most Going In?

Jayson Tatum. The length to defend, the physicality to handle himself, a super-low turnover rate, and the ability to hit 3’s comfortably off the dribble.

How Much Fun Is This Going to Be? 

A whole hell of a lot, in a time where we need every ounce of it.

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