Rick Fox: I think back to the first time I met “Froggen,” a Danish League of Legends player. What struck me were all the similarities he shared with the great players I had come across during my NBA career. This was someone who focused intensely on one thing for 16 hours a day because he was driven to be the best at it. The only difference between him and guys like Kobe Bryant and Larry Bird was name recognition. As competitors — and I’ve been around some remarkable ones — it was obvious to me how many traits they shared. While there are still many outdated stigmas associated with e-sports by people who have never taken the time to try to appreciate them, I’ve always known that just because an older generation couldn’t fully understand what someone like Froggen was pursuing didn’t make it any less meaningful.
After an NBA tease in the initial Nintendo Switch reveal trailer, NBA 2K18 was shown as part of a sizzle reel during the Nintendo Switch reveal event live stream. No information was offered during the stream about NBA 2K18, but this sizzle reel, which included a number of other games, is the first official confirmation of the 2K18 iteration of the game, as well as which entry in the franchise will be appearing on Nintendo’s new system. According to Nintendo’s website, the game is projected for a September 2017 release.
On Wednesday night, we will be running an NBA 2K17 Opening Night simulation between us and the Wizards and streaming that simulation through the video game platform Twitch. The CPU vs. CPU simulation will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET Wednesday night, exactly 24 hours before the two teams square off at Philips Arena. Fan can watch the simulation live here.
It’s no stretch to say Hollis Thompson knows how to hustle. The Philadelphia 76ers swingman — he plays both shooting guard and small forward — regularly shows his mettle in the fast break or transition, or with a clutch shot. This summer, the NBA helped the fourth-year Georgetown product take his skill set to a new arena: business. For two weeks, Thompson interned at 2K, the video game company that makes the popular NBA2K and Mafia III, pitching big retailers Target and Walmart at the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles. “It was pretty exciting and more hands-on than I could’ve even imagined,” Thompson said in an interview. “Besides playing basketball, this was one of the best experiences of my life.”
In addition to Thompson, other players who spent time at tech companies include vets Ryan Hollins and Al-Farouq Aminu, at Facebook, and C.J. Watson, Dahntay Jones, Wilson Chandler and Moses Ehambe, at Google. “The main purpose of this program is exposing the players to multiple career options and letting them see what skills they need to develop in order to be competitive in this other world,” Taylor said. Technology companies were popular destinations because “this generation of players lives and breathes with technology and their smartphones.”