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OS Goes to the NBA 2K League Draft

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OS Goes to the NBA 2K League Draft

There is something different about a live draft, whether it’s fantasy football or the NBA Draft at Barclays. The very first NBA 2K League draft was no exception.

When Adam Silver stepped to the podium at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, he may or may not have known that Adrian Wojnarowski had dropped a “Woj Bomb” as to the identity of the #1 overall pick whose hand the commissioner was about to shake. He may or may not have known exactly why Artreyo Boyd, or “DatBoyDimez,” was deserving of the first overall pick.

But he knew, as he had communicated to the assembled media and spectators at a press conference preceding the draft, that he was taking a big step in committing the NBA to their esports venture.

And what a step it was. Silver, 2K League director Brendan Donohue, and Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick all made more than appearances at the event, co-hosting a press conference before the draft. Before Silver announced the first pick, Donohue announced the remaining 101, and Zelnick made further appearances.

Silver said all the right things at a press conference that unsurprisingly focused its attention mainly on him. He stressed the importance of gender diversity in future drafts, acknowledging that he and his fellow panelists would have liked to have seen more gender diversity and have created a task force to address it. He declared his desire to have foreign franchises competing, and confirmed that the NBA 2K League is projected to have all 30 NBA teams by its third year. And he cited NBA Jam and Asteroids as key factors in his gaming history that led up to the momentous present day.

The densely packed crowd was hardly shocked to see Dimez go first to MavsGG, and oFab, another point guard, go second to CLTX Crossover Gaming. The first round flew fast and furious. OS-interviewed players did well: Mootyy, 4th overall, and Worthingcolt_, 31st, went to Shaq and Kings Guard Gaming; Detoxys went 24th overall to Raptors Uprising GC.

Ten point guards (of 21 available) heard their names come off the board in the 17-pick first round. The first international player to go, who plays under the name “Authentic African,” went 20th to Grizz Gaming; Harry Hurst, a British center, was the last international player to go — and the last player in general, the very first NBA 2K League Mr. Irrelevant. Many players foretold championships; many castigated teams for passing them over; several did both. Emotions ran high. Tilton Curry, or “TFreshyy,” picked by 76ersGC in the fifth round, held back tears as he declared his imminent arrival. “I’m coming,” he reiterated fiercely — great promotional material for 76ersGC seems to have already arrived.

Players are focused. Dimez told me that while this event hadn’t topped winning $250,000 and the Road to the All-Star Game Tournament, bringing home a championship belt certainly would. This time, he’s playing for $1 million. Mootyy cheered robustly when the Kings announced their third-round pick, timelycook, a player many expected to go in the first round. Players began to bond with their teammates immediately, or at least in whatever time they could find in between being shuttled from interview to interview.

There was also a palpable sentiment that there are real athletes here. As Silver said in the press conference, “Yes, they’re athletes…This requires physical and mental skills.” Many players told me that they wanted to set precedents for people aspiring to be gamers. And why not? They’ve put hours and hours in, and they’re about to reap their rewards.

Dimez said: “10-plus years, man. 10-plus years. Everybody always asks me how much I play. I don’t really have a specific time, but I play every day all day, almost literally 24 hours, 16 hours. I play every day as much as possible, and that’s not going to stop now.” Several team managers told me that they’ve already been working on creating individual player brands.

The league put behind it any scandals, controversies or mysteries it had carried with it so far. It forced them into the shadows, away from the flashing lights of NBATV and 2KTV glimmering on player interviews. The league, supported by commissioner Silver and the players’ sheer love for the game is stronger than ever because there’s just nothing like a live draft.

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  1. "physical" athletes seems like a stretch.  What physical workout is being done? Hand movements? Lol. Well then I guess chess players are physical athletes.  Same with nascar, it's a sport, but it's not like a physical sport. You're turning a wheel and pressing a pedal. I guess if you want to really relax on the definition, they're physical athletes w/well-defined thumbs lmao.  Idk if it matters what it's called.
    Keith01
    "physical" athletes seems like a stretch.* What physical workout is being done? Hand movements? Lol. Well then I guess chess players are physical athletes.* Same with nascar, it's a sport, but it's not like a physical sport. You're turning a wheel and pressing a pedal. I guess if you want to really relax on the definition, they're physical athletes w/well-defined thumbs lmao.* Idk if it matters what it's called.

    Racing is actually a very intensive sport. The G forces and heat take a huge toll on your body. Go to your nearest karting track (not gokart track) and see if they will allow you to take out a racing kart for 10 laps. Guarantee you wouldn't be able to run 10 consecutive laps a competitive pace without getting tired. Then imagine doing that for 300 laps.
    SkyWalker
    Racing is actually a very intensive sport. The G forces and heat take a huge toll on your body. Go to your nearest karting track (not gokart track) and see if they will allow you to take out a racing kart for 10 laps. Guarantee you wouldn't be able to run 10 consecutive laps a competitive pace without getting tired. Then imagine doing that for 300 laps.

    Good point. It's just hard for me to make that stretch for esports. I guess your hands get strained & you need to stretch if you play a few hours of 2k lol. I dont see much difference between 2k vs chess though as far as physical effort.
    My favorite part about this article was.....
    "The league put behind it any scandals, controversies or mysteries it had carried with it so far. It forced them into the shadows, away from the flashing lights of NBATV and 2KTV glimmering on player interviews. The league, supported by commissioner Silver and the players’ sheer love for the game is stronger than ever because there’s just nothing like a live draft."
    I'm so happy none of that was brought up.
    Keith01
    Good point. It's just hard for me to make that stretch for esports. I guess your hands get strained & you need to stretch if you play a few hours of 2k lol. I dont see much difference between 2k vs chess though as far as physical effort.

    Have you ever sat in a chair for hours with intense concentration? It can wear on you after awhile. Being in decent physical shape can really make a difference.
    Also, playing like 3 or 4 games of 2k or chess in one sitting isn't what we're talking about here. These guys practice constantly, for hours upon hours at a time. Every day. Being in-shape can help both mentally and physically when you're sitting in a chair for long periods.
    BA2929
    Have you ever sat in a chair for hours with intense concentration? It can wear on you after awhile. Being in decent physical shape can really make a difference.
    Also, playing like 3 or 4 games of 2k or chess in one sitting isn't what we're talking about here. These guys practice constantly, for hours upon hours at a time. Every day. Being in-shape can help both mentally and physically when you're sitting in a chair for long periods.

    When I think of "physical activity" I think of "physical activity". Has nothing to do with if in shape or not. The only part of your body you're moving during a game of NBA 2K is your hands lmao. Ability to sit for long periods of time doesn't take a lot of practice lmao. Seriously wtf are we talking about here lol. There's been times I've played the games a few hours playing pro-am, and legit only physical exercise I'm getting is when I get up and stretch.
    BA2929
    Have you ever sat in a chair for hours with intense concentration? It can wear on you after awhile. Being in decent physical shape can really make a difference.
    Also, playing like 3 or 4 games of 2k or chess in one sitting isn't what we're talking about here. These guys practice constantly, for hours upon hours at a time. Every day. Being in-shape can help both mentally and physically when you're sitting in a chair for long periods.

    I disagree here as well lol. I think the only thing getting worn out is your eyes and maybe your hands although I've had no issues with mines getting tired. Your eyes take a beating from strain and looking at that monitor 16+ hours a day.
    On the other hand it was good to see some of the more consistent players get drafted. All the hard work over the years have paid off. Hopefully the league is a success. It's been off to a rocky start so far but I think they can right their wrongs.
    jeebs9
    My favorite part about this article was.....
    "The league put behind it any scandals, controversies or mysteries it had carried with it so far. It forced them into the shadows, away from the flashing lights of NBATV and 2KTV glimmering on player interviews. The league, supported by commissioner Silver and the players’ sheer love for the game is stronger than ever because there’s just nothing like a live draft."
    I'm so happy none of that was brought up.

    the truth is, it wasnt put behind them. the media thats covering the 2k league has a super vested interest in not covering that stuff. reasoning being is this. The league just started, if you're a part of the media that will be covering this and its something you dreamt of doing. you will end up ruining your own dream by constantly reporting on their issues. even if you believe the issues to be real and league breaking. You the media person DO NOT want the league to be killed by this stuff. So you will do your job as a reporter, and report on it a couple of times but thats it.
    Now if this league was well into its 20th season and they had a big controversy. that would be completely different. media people would be all over the controversy trying to get hits/clicks.
    Now if by chance the league just flat out fails. You will after the fact get a lot of media people that covered it going in on why it failed. But at not point will you get any legit media person thats linked to the league overly talking about any negative aspect of the league. aint going to happen any time soon.
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