NBA partnering with NBA 2K and ESPN to Air Player-Only Tournament
In the hiatus of basketball in light of the Coronovirus spread, the NBA, its players, and its affiliates have been working hard to figure out how to reach fans. League commissioner, Adam Silver, discussed jumping right into the playoffs, with a midsummer target date in mind. In the interim, NBA 2k, the popular video game franchise, had been airing simulated games to complete the remainder of the already slated schedule. However, the franchise will be taking it up a notch. It was announced that as of Friday, April 3rd, the NBA will be partnering with both NBA 2K and ESPN to air a 10-day 2K tournament.
The Layout of the Tournament
This story was first broken by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The tournament is further collaboration between the League and 2K. The event will be open only to players, giving fans a chance to hear and see their favorite players on the popular game. Moreover, ESPN will be broadcasting the tournament to audiences beginning Friday. Further details of the format of the tournament will be released throughout the week.
Participants will include Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, as well as Dononvan Mitchell, Trae Young, and Hassan Whiteside. Obviously, the goal here is fan service and to keep the fan connection alive. With the growth of E-sports in general, it makes sense that the NBA would look to utilize the video game to keep in touch with its fans.
This tournament is the latest effort by the League to keep basketball alive and prevalent. Fans have undoubtedly been missing the live experience. Fans should expect the League to continue to make such efforts while to country is still in the midst of an effective shutdown. Another option for fans to stay tuned is to sign up with the free promotion by NBA League Pass to watch an archive of basketball games, including recordings of the 2019-2020 NBA season, as well as classic games.
Over the weekend, the President announced plans to continue quarantine and social distancing guidelines until April 30th. In some states, the guidelines will stay in place for a longer. There is no definite word on when sport leagues will resume. The focus is clearly to keep everyone safe and try to prevent the continued spread of the virus. Staying in a continued quarantine can easily get boring. The League attempting to try to continue to entertain and provide content speaks volumes to how much they value fans. Until we hear further, fans can tune in to ESPN on Friday to watch the tournament.
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