With the coronavirus suspending (and threatening to cancel) the 2019-20 NBA season, the league is heading in a new route with competition and entertainment: video games.
Per a report from Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, the NBA is launching a 10-day NBA 2K20 tournament starting on Friday. It will be a 16-player competition, with all 16 participants being current NBA players. The competition will be broadcast on ESPN.
While no members of the Golden State Warriors are participating, three former Warriors players are: Harrison Barnes, DeMarcus Cousins, and Kevin Durant.
One of Durant’s business ventures, The Boardroom, released the full bracket, which features Durant as the 1 seed (players are seeded by their rating in 2K, followed by their veteran status).
The complete 16-player field for the @NBA2K Players Only tournament starting Friday via The @boardroom ... pic.twitter.com/v76c6wLmwo— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 31, 2020
Here’s the full bracket:
- Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
- Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)
- Hassan Whiteside (Portland Trail Blazers)
- Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz)
- Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
- Andre Drummond (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls)
- Montrezl Harrell (Los Angeles Clippers)
- Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers)
- DeAndre Ayton (Phoenix Suns)
- DeMarcus Cousins (technically a free agent, but essentially Los Angeles Lakers)
- Michael Porter Jr. (Denver Nuggets)
- Rui Hachimura (Washington Wizards)
- Patrick Beverley (Los Angeles Clippers)
- Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings)
- Derrick Jones Jr. (Miami Heat)
How Whiteside is third on that list in 2K20 player rating, I’ll never know.
Either way, this isn’t the basketball we all wish we had, but in the interim, it’s the best we can hope for. And let’s be honest, it’s still probably better than the last venture that had the “Players Only” moniker.