Another day of waking up and not being able to go out. So, what was the NBA’s latest move? They will be showing an NBA2K tournament on ESPN for 10 days. And so, “Players Only” is reborn, although this time it’s as gamers and not broadcasters.
While ESports have been prevalent in recent years to the point of people being able to make a living off their gaming ability, this will not feature those virtual athletes. Expected to begin this Friday, the tournament is going to be a great way for the league to not only get some ratings but to see how competitive these guys are when it’s a controller in their hands and not a real basketball.
Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant and Atlanta’s Trae Young are the top two seeds in the tournament.
Some players around the league are always posting themselves playing, while the likes of De’Aaron Fox have openly bashed the game and stated that they aren’t fans.
One team that could have a tough time choosing their selection is the New York Knicks. Not surprising, one of the youngest teams in the league has several 2K players. Bobby Portis, RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox have all been playing, so maybe they’ll go head-to-head to decide.
This will actually not matter because Damyean Dotson is going to be the representative for these guys. Whether or not those players oppose the decision, however, is another story.
Big Man, Big Game?
Currently a free agent, DeMarcus Cousins is one of the 16 confirmed competitors of the event. He signed with the Lakers in the offseason but suffered a critical injury before the season even began, knocking him out for the entirety of the 2019-20 campaign.
He was one of the best big men in the NBA for a several-year stretch, but for 2.5 years, injuries have plagued him and primarily kept him glued to the bench. We’ll see if his time off has allowed him to become a guru in the 2K world.
Donovan Mitchell is going to be competing for the Utah Jazz. A gamer on the court, it would not be surprising to see him playing as his own Utah Jazz squad. He can probably run the pick and roll with himself and Rudy Gobert better than any other user can while playing the game.
He has the advantage of having been in college just a few years ago, where he was likely competing with his Louisville teammates in the 2K Circuit. The younger the players competing, the more advantageous the situation may be.
It is crazy that we’re at a point in the quarantine where a bunch of NBA players competing in a video game is going to be televised by major networks. That isn’t to say that this is going to be fun and exciting.
The need for competitive basketball by those in the league is at an all-time high. And watching the likes of Mitchell and Cousins virtually hooping against one another stands to be must-see TV. We’re looking forward to the beginning of the tournament in just a few days.