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The NBA 2K League Combine Schedule And Outlook

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The NBA 2K League Combine Schedule And Outlook

NBA 2K League tryouts are reaching a fever pitch, with the combine officially kicking off on Friday, February 2. Here’s all you need to know and more about the NBA 2K League combine. Full info can be found here.

Remember that you need to play in — not win, like January tryouts — 40 games, at one position, to be eligible. Since there are only 12 pre-set windows in which games will count toward those 40, it’s important to keep track of each:

  1. 2/2 – 8pm to 12am ET
  2. 2/3 – 2pm to 8pm ET
  3. 2/4 – 2pm to 8pm ET
  4. 2/7 – 8pm to 12am ET
  5. 2/9 – 8pm to 12am ET
  6. 2/10 – 4pm to 10pm ET
  7. 2/11 – 2pm to 8pm ET
  8. 2/14 – 8pm to 12am ET
  9. 2/16 – 8pm to 12am ET
  10. 2/17 – 4pm to 10pm ET
  11. 2/18 – 2pm to 8pm ET
  12. 2/21 – 8pm to 12am ET

It’s somewhat rough on the non-North American players, to say the least, but to have a shot at this league one has to make sacrifices, and if a player is serious about qualifying, making time to play in these windows will be one of them. One silver lining is that games that aren’t finished by the end time of a window will still count toward games played. All in all, there are a maximum of 60 hours in which to hit 40 games played.

You also need to be cognizant of how you’re going to play with random players. There are no predetermined teams. Everyone will have a chance to select one of five archetypes at their position (which can be found here) for each game, and will have some level of animation customization. All players will be on a level playing field in terms of attributes and badges for their position. Height and weight are also predetermined:

  1. PG: 6’3” | 190
  2. SG: 6’6” | 210
  3. SF: 6’8” | 230
  4. PF: 6’11” | 240
  5. C: 7’1” | 260.

Setting aside the parity, there are a few crucial things to keep in mind for playing in such high-stakes games with random teammates.

First and foremost, be professional. If being a good teammate for its own sake isn’t enough, consider the fact that all games are being recorded and will be reviewable. This combine is no haven for ball hogs. Or, to paraphrase Epictetus (arguably the Greco-Roman Shaun Livingston): “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in playing great on-ball defense.” Having a microphone in order to communicate is optimal. Players are allowed to stream their games, which in itself won’t affect their likelihood of entering the draft pool, but being unprofessional and disrespectful certainly will have a deleterious impact. On the whole, it’s not a terrible idea to get your name out there — highlight clips are encouraged, and social media may for once be your friend.

Speaking of highlight clips, however, now might be the time to watch a little game film — if you haven’t already done so and if you have a free moment. The stakes are higher than ever, and looking at gameplay objectively is a good way to improve and learn some maneuvers that could help your game in ways both small and large. Self-assessment outside of the emotional throes of combine gameplay will help you prepare for future windows and help your 2K game altogether. Importantly, though, this exercise should not be done in order to beat yourself up over small mistakes or tear down the gameplay of others (that’s for the fans and the media). It’s just a game, at the end of the day, and even though there’s a lot on the line there are more important things than trying to give yourself a leg up on the competition at all costs.

Stay calm. If you can ensure your availability for the majority of the combine windows, don’t get too down after a loss. All the greats have short memories. Short memories are necessary for short combine windows. Have fun, too — if you’re serious about wanting one of those 102 roster spots, it’s important that you enjoy the game. You aren’t the one who will make the final decision of whether you’re in or you out, you can just do your best and give it your all. To return once more to Epictetus: “Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.”

Best of luck!

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