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.”
More NBA celebrities are taking an active interest in esports, with the latest being former Knicks point guard Stephon Marbuy. He shared a video via his personal Weibo account announcing that he has “exciting news” coming soon. “I decided to march [into the] esports industry to build my own team and recruit players, from my fans, in no time,” Marbury stated in the video. No additional information was revealed so this is essentially a primer hinting that a more formal announcement is on the way.
On Saturday, Sony Entertainment’s Vice President of Brand Marketing John Koller announced a new partnership with the Electronic Sports League (ESL) to deliver a new eSports tournament feature for the PlayStation 4. The first event will be an NBA 2K17 tournament that runs from October 27 thru November 26. This event is open to anyone with a PS4, a copy of NBA 2K17 and an ESL account. Major cup rounds will take place every Saturday. The Top 3 winners will receive a Sony branded prize pack, such as a DualShock 4 and other PlayStation gear.
Several sources have indicated the Heat will have a new alternate uniform this season. Although nothing has been released yet, the video game NBA 2K17 may have provided a hint of how the design will look: