NBA 2K20: Basketball Players Can’t Play Basketball Right Now, Might As Well Go Virtual!

This might be the coolest, most meta thing I have ever written about.

Since the NBA season has been suspended until further notice due to the worldwide Covid-19 crisis, ESPN and a few other brilliant minds have collaborated to bring us something new to fill our viewing void: basketball players playing virtual basketball.

Yes, basketball players are playing NBA 2K20 against other basketball players and it’s being broadcast for us to watch at home.

There’s a tournament host, a bracket schedule, 16 participants, halftime reports… and a grand prize of $100,000 to go to the player’s choice of Covid-19 relief charity.

And while none of my beloved TO Raptors are participating, it’s still an extremely entertaining substitute for actual basketball.

Each athlete is pictured on his own side of the television screen, sitting in his own home with his controller, and the video game feed is in the middle of the screen. Some players are seen in their luxurious media rooms, some are simply sitting in a chair on the deck, and some are on the living room couch with a kid or two nearby.

It’s pretty cool to see these guys at home in their personal spaces. They’ve got headsets on so they can talk to each other as they play – this is by far my favorite aspect of this whole setup! I just love listening to their chatter, their trash talk, their narration as they become completely engrossed in the games they’re playing. Sometimes player one will ask the player two a question, something not necessarily related to the game, but their question either isn’t heard or is ignored as the player two is simply too focused on what he’s doing.

A few of hilarious moments and details I’ve noted so far:

During the initial setup phase, when players chose and submitted their eight chosen NBA squads, Devin Booker actually scoffed at the idea of using the Phoenix Suns – his own team! LOL!

I was shocked to see someone handing Rui Hachimura a towel and bottle of water! He’s got his own waterboy!

Domantas Sabonis – played his own team and kept saying how terrible he was: “Look how bad they made me shoot free throws!”

Ronnie 2K’s sneaker collection is epic. I am extremely jealous.

A few hilarious moments and details I’ve noted so far:

  • During the initial setup phase, when players chose and submitted their eight chosen NBA squads, Devin Booker actually scoffed at the idea of using the Phoenix Suns – his own team! LOL!
  • I was shocked to see someone handing Rui Hachimura a towel and bottle of water! He’s got his own waterboy!
  • Domantas Sabonis – played his own team and kept saying how terrible he was: “Look how bad they made me shoot free throws!”
  • Ronnie 2K’s sneaker collection is epic. I am extremely jealous.
  • Click here to read some of the most memorable quips and banter from the on-screen athletes. I love how Even Turner said that K Dubs was too old to play! HA!

Okay, I do have one part of all this that I’m not a huge fan of, and that’s Ronnie 2K’s hosting. It kinda sucks. He’s kinda monotone and doesn’t really keep my attention much at all. He just doesn’t have the… presence, I guess, that a television host should have. Yes, he knows a crap ton about playing online sports, but that definitely doesn’t translate into having the skills to commentate on television.  

That’s a pretty minor complaint though. Overall, I’m loving this stuff!

The boys’ll be competing in the quarterfinals tonight and I am PUMPED!

Want to see the bracket or figure out how you can tune into the tournament? All the info you need is here.

For more thoughts and opinions from Melanie, check out her author page.

Image Source: NBA 2K20

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