Adams knew virtually nothing about the NBA when he arrived. One of his brothers had an old video game he played as a kid. In the game, the best player was Peja Stojakovic, Adams says. And his brother had a poster of Larry Bird. So when Adams started playing, it was a lot of shrugging and no deference, which unnerved a long list of opponents. During his rookie season, Nate Robinson punched him in the stomach. Vince Carter elbowed him in the side of the head. Jordan Hamilton punched him in the shoulder. Larry Sanders elbowed him in the neck. Zach Randolph punched him in the jaw, a move that got Randolph suspended for Game 7 of the Thunder’s first-round playoff series with the Memphis Grizzlies two years ago.
On the day that Kobe Bryant will play his final NBA game, 2K Sports announced that the Lakers superstar and 18-time All-Star will grace the cover of a special version of NBA 2K17 called the “Legend Edition.” This version of the professional basketball game will include all manner of Kobe-themed digital and physical content (see below). “It’s a great honor to partner with 2K on the NBA 2K17 Legend Edition,” Bryant said in a statement.
Some call it a video game simulation, Matt Barnes calls it a preview of real life. The NBA star tells TMZ Sports he’s seen the UFC video game brawl between him and Derek Fisher — and says the way he whooped D-Fish’s ass in the game is EXACTLY how it would go down for real. “My kids showed me that,” Barnes says … “That’s what would really happen if it came down to it.”
The experiences of a successful NBA player can feel alien to a gamer, but when framed in conversation with Hayward it’s a far less foreign affair. “I still probably play video games more than you would think,” he laughed when asked about a typical NBA game day. “Before I was married, and now we just had our first daughter and another on the way, I got a chance to play all the time because when I wasn’t playing basketball, it was just me.” He continued, “Now it’s a little bit different because I have a family, and so a lot of times I’ll play when my wife goes up to bed for a couple of hours because I usually stay up pretty late.” With all that to handle, he still manages to make morning shootaround at 10am the next day.
“I think for me, playing video games is a big time stress reliever. If I was constantly thinking about basketball all the time, I think I would drive myself nuts. I think having something that I do outside of the game can help reduce the stress; it makes me able to be more relaxed, and then when it is time to play the game then I can focus and get straight in on that. I think especially for people who play video games, it’s something that you can play for hours and hours on end, and I think you need to take a little break and do something else. That’s just my two cents.”
Seeing how Hayward uses video games as a stress reliever but still plays some seriously competitive titles, it’s interesting to hear him describe most of his fellow NBA players as “casual gamers.” According to him, “everyone plays video games… a lot of them will play Madden, 2K, FIFA, and everyone plays Call of Duty, but there aren’t that many that play PC games.” He’s heard that Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs plays Starcraft as well, but hasn’t talked to him about it personally.