The New York 2K team drafted ninth overall in the first-ever gaming draft associated with the NBA, picking Texas native Dayvon Curry, a power forward in the video game, in the 17-team esports league.
After Wednesday night’s NBA 2K League Draft, the first of its kind, it’s safe to say the NBA isn’t messing around when it comes to its exploration of esports.
The draft had everything actual NBA drafts have—including commissioner Adam Silver introducing teams’ picks, draftees walking up to greet Silver on stage, and even ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski leaking picks before their official announcement, a hallowed draft tradition, regardless of the virtual gameplay of the esport:
Mavs Gaming will select Artreyo Boyd, aka Dimez, as the No. 1 overall pick in the inaugural NBA2K Draft, league source tells ESPN. Draft starts soon, with Commissioner Adam Silver at the podium.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 4, 2018
The only things the 2K League Draft didn’t (or couldn’t) match the NBA Draft on: NBA prospects and an established history. Obviously, the 2K League will feature esports athletes and not college or international basketball prospects. As far as carving out a historical legacy in the esports industry, Silver plans on treating the 2K League as the “fourth league in our family,” he proclaimed at the draft.
Silver went on to say he wants to “view this as the same way as those other league,” meaning the NBA, WNBA, and G League. “We’re building this league as something that’s going to be around forever,” Silver remarked on Wednesday.
— KnicksGaming (@KnicksGaming) April 4, 2018
One thing that’s certain to help with the 2K League’s staying power is the League’s talent pool. Out of 72,000 entrants in the draft, only the top 102 prospects were selected Wednesday.
The NBA wants to make sure those draftees can earn a living doing what they love too. The 17 first-round selections will earn salaries of $35,000, while everyone else will make $32,000 a season. Each NBA team will field a team of five players plus one sixth man to compete for a prize pool of $1 million at the end of the season.
The Knicks, under the team name Knicks Gaming, selected “Goofy757” (real name Dayvon Curry) at power forward with their first-round pick at ninth overall—a spot they may be picking from come June.
The rest of Knicks Gaming’s roster filled out as such: NateKahl (real name Nate Kahl) at small forward, YeyNotGaming (real name Eric Ward) at shooting guard, Iamadamthe1st (real name Adam Kudeimati) at point guard, and Idris da Goat6 (real name Idris Richardson) at center. The final selection for Knicks Gaming on Wednesday was sixth-man xKPMR, real name Marc Rodriguez. The team is led by head scout (and Power star) Jerry Ferrara. The season will commence in May and play out in the summer.
UPDATE: 9:51 a.m. EST, 4/5.
The Knicks officially announce their team: