Amid the real NBA season being postponed due to the ongoing Corona Virus pandemic, more and more fans – and actual NBA players – have turned to NBA 2K20 to get their basketball fix and use it as an outlet for competition. 2K, the NBA, and the NBPA have officially announced that 16 NBA players, including Kevin Durant, Trae Young, and Devon Booker, will put their stick skills to the test in an “NBA Players Only Tournament”. The head to head ‘Play Now‘ style tournament tips off on April 3 and can be viewed on ESPN and ESPN apps. The tournament champion will select a charity beneficiary to receive a $100,000 donation. Player seeding is based off of NBA 2K20 Ratings.
Read the full press release below:
NEW YORK — 2K, the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) today announced the “NBA 2K Players Tournament,” an NBA 2K20 gameplay tournament between 16 current NBA players. Beginning Friday, April 3 on ESPN and ESPN2, players – including top seeds Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks – will compete in a single-elimination, player-only tournament on Xbox One. The winner will be crowned the ultimate NBA 2K20 champion and select a charity beneficiary to receive a $100,000 donation from 2K, the NBA and the NBPA in support of ongoing coronavirus relief efforts.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the NBA and NBPA to bring basketball back to fans throughout the world and to help those in need during these uncertain times,” said Jason Argent, 2K Senior Vice President, Sports Strategy and Licensing. “Entertainment, especially sports, has the ability to bring communities together – including athletes, fans and families – and we hope that everyone will enjoy the tournament.”
“We are excited to tip off the first ‘NBA 2K Players Tournament’ in partnership with the NBPA and 2K, continuing an ongoing effort to stay connected with NBA fans around the world, while also giving back in this time of need,” said Matt Holt, NBA SVP of Global Partnerships.
“This tournament offers a unique opportunity for our players to compete with one another while also supporting their philanthropic efforts and engaging with their fans,” said Josh Goodstadt, EVP of Licensing for THINK450, the commercial arm of the NBPA. “We are excited to work with 2K and the NBA to bring this experience to life for the entire NBA community.”
Based on players’ seeding – which is determined first by NBA 2K rating, second by tenure – players will go head-to-head online in NBA 2K20. Prior to the tournament beginning, every player will choose eight of today’s NBA teams, each of which can only be used once. If a mirror match is set, the away team is awarded first choice of team. Rounds one and two will be single elimination, with the semifinals and finals running best of three.
1. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets (96)
2. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (90)
3. Hassan Whiteside, Portland Trail Blazers (87)
4. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz (87)
5. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (86)
6. Andre Drummond, Cleveland Cavaliers (85)
7. Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (85)
8. Montrezl Harrell, LA Clippers (85)
9. Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers (85)
10. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns (85)
11. DeMarcus Cousins (81)
12. Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets (81)
13. Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards (79)
14. Patrick Beverley, LA Clippers (78)
15. Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings (78)
16. Derrick Jones Jr., Miami Heat (78)
*Participating players subject to change.
Tournament coverage begins April 3 at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN, with a matchup between Jones Jr. (16) and Durant (1) tipping off at 7:30 p.m. ET. Jones Jr. and Durant will each play as one of their pre-selected teams, with Jones Jr. choosing from the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, LA Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, and Durant choosing from the Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, LA Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz.
Additional matchups will air through April 12. Every tournament game will debut on either ESPN or ESPN2, while also streaming on the ESPN App and running on NBA.com, the NBA App, and 2K and NBA social channels including Twitter (@NBA2K, @NBA), Twitch (@NBA2K, @NBA), YouTube (@NBA2K, @NBA) and Facebook (@NBA2K, @NBA). Fans can follow NBA 2K, NBA and NBPA for tune-in information, game commentary and game highlights, and they can join the conversation with #NBA2KTourney.
Friday, April 3: ESPN
• 7-7:30 p.m. ET: NBA 2K Players Tournament Preview Show
• 7:30-8:30 p.m. ET: Derrick Jones Jr. (16) vs. Kevin Durant (1)
Friday, April 3: ESPN2, 8:30-11:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, April 5: ESPN2, 12-4 p.m. ET
Tuesday, April 7: ESPN2, 7-11 p.m. ET
Semifinals & Finals
Saturday, April 11: ESPN, Timing to be announced.