The NBA 2K League has organized, with the NBA and NBPA, an esports tournament with such stars as Kevin Durant and Trae Young competing.
As the NBA and 2K League seasons are still on pause, the league and networks are finding creative ways to fill the void of sports content, while helping out during the COVID-19 pandemic. ESPN will air on its main channel and ESPN2 a 2K tournament of current NBA players competing against each other in NBA 2K20.
The tournament will be single elimination, and all games will be played on Xbox One. The winner of the tournament will select a charity that will receive a $100,000 donation from the NBA, 2K, and the NBPA in support of coronavirus relief.
Here is a list of the participating players. The seeding was organized by highest to lowest rating in 2K20:
- Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets (96)
- Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (90)
- Hassan Whiteside, Portland Trail Blazers (87)
- Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz (87)
- Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (86)
- Andre Drummond, Cleveland Cavaliers (85)
- Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (85)
- Montrezl Harrell, Los Angeles Clippers (85)
- Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers (85)
- Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns (85)
- DeMarcus Cousins (81)
- Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets (81)
- Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards (79)
- Patrick Beverley, Los Angeles Clippers (78)
- Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings (78)
- Derrick Jones Jr., Miami Heat (78)
— The Boardroom (@boardroom) March 31, 2020
Ignoring the inconsistencies in 2K20 overall ratings, here are the Round 1 matchups that will air Friday, April 3rd starting at 7 p.m. ET:
Game 1 on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. ET:
AWAY: #16 Derrick Jones Jr. vs. HOME: #1 Kevin Durant
Game 2 on ESPN2 at 8:30 p.m. ET:
AWAY #10 Deandre Ayton vs. HOME #7 Zach LaVine
Game 3 on ESPN2 at 9:30 p.m. ET:
AWAY: #15 Harrison Barnes vs. HOME: #2 Trae Young
Game 4 on ESPN2 at 10:30 p.m. ET:
AWAY: #14 Patrick Beverley vs. HOME: #3 Hassan Whiteside
No New York Knicks players will be participating in the 2K Player tournament. As for matchups to watch, Patrick Beverley vs. Hassan Whiteside may be the highlight of the night. Two opposite personalities clashing, Beverley is known for his tenacity on the court and I wonder if his gaming style will mimic that. An Xbox One controller could be lodged in the TV by the end of the night. Whiteside might not even show up. Get ready for an exciting night of virtual basketball!