The NBA and ESPN are teaming up to bring hoops fans a collection of virtual games of basketball. On Monday, it was reported that the league would hold an NBA 2K tournament involving 16 players from 16 different teams, with all of the games broadcasted on the Worldwide Leader in Sports. We learned a little bit earlier today that a few big names, like Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell, are slated to participate.
Now, the entire bracket is out, and it’s slated to be an absolutely loaded event with some of the best players in the league, both in real life and within the virtual world created by 2K Sports. The bracket was announced on the social media accounts for The Boardroom, Durant’s show on ESPN+.
Durant and Young as the 1 and 2 seeds makes plenty of sense, as both players were basically put on earth to torch opponents in video games with how they’re able to shoot and handle the ball. In terms of upsets, my eyebrows are raised at the 3-14 game, which has the potential to get hairy if Beverley is able to repeatedly pick Whiteside’s pockets. If that cannot happen and virtual Whiteside is able to essentially virtually manhandle Beverley, it’s hard to point out any major potential upsets.
For the finals, I’m inclined to go with KD making it there, although Booker potentially getting him before the championship game made me raise my eyebrows, because he’s the exact sort of player who can get thermonuclear hot in 2K and hit everything. On the other, Young seems like an easy pick to make it to the end, but getting LaVine in the second round could be treacherous, and if he runs into a big who sticks with him like Ayton, maybe he’ll run into some issues.
I have to go with Durant in the end, though, because picking against a healthy Kevin Durant in a 1-on-1 competition of any sort — whether it be in real life or a virtual tournament — seems foolish. But maybe I’ll be wrong, and maybe DJJ is able to take him down from the get-go. We’ll just have to see what happens when things get underway on Friday.