In absence of actual basketball action, ESPN, NBA and 2K Games came up with a great replacement in the NBA2K Players Tournament. We're now officially past the first round, so let's take a look at how things went.
There were a few surprises, although it's a bit difficult gauging those as we're not that familiar with each player's NBA 2K prowess. Their ratings were based on their in-game rating, which additionally made things hard, but we now have a pretty good idea of who's who.
That's not to say that there weren't some close and action-packed games, quite the contrary, as Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell found out for himself. Unfortunately, Washington Wizards' forward Rui Hachimura edged Mitchell in a 74-71 game.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker's game against Denver Nuggets' forward Michael Porter Jr. wasn't as close, but their 85-75 was quite the watch.
There were a few one-sided matches as well, most notably that between Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond and Golden State Warriors centre DeMarcus Cousins, which ended 101-49.
In comparison, Indiana Pacers' centre Domantas Sabonis' game against LA Clippers centre Motrezl Harrell, which ended 73-51 in Harrell's favour, almost looks like an even matchup.
Being the official coverage on the event, ESPN noted that Sabonis and Harrell were the first to use their actual, real-life teams for the game. Unfortunately, Sabonis didn't really like 2K Games' edition of himself, and even benched himself in the first quarter.
Although the occasion may not be the jolliest one, seeing ESPN's programming populated with Formula 1 drivers playing Codemasters' F1 2019, NBA players diving into the NBA 2K series and other games - it's quite the sight. If nothing, it will help bring the real sports and their digital counterparts closer together.