During these surreal days, even those fortunate enough to be in good health are suffering from elevated temperatures in the form of some old-fashioned cabin fever.
One glance at social media reveals folks from all walks of life going stir crazy while confined at home.
- The Rangers’ Joey Gallo is apparently gunning to elicit one of the more unique neighbor noise complaints ever by taking herculean hacks into a batting cage net in his apartment living room.
- Then, those desperate to get action in on any kind of “sporting event” recently had the opportunity to place over/under wagers on a certain DFS tout’s push-up stamina. The day-long endurance test was broadcast live on Periscope, a testimony to how arid the sports landscape currently is.
NBA and partners teaming up for charitable diversion
These are clearly end-times-levels of desperation.
Fortunately, the NBA and NBAPA, in conjunction with video-game partner 2K Sports and with an assist from FanDuel, have stepped up to give these kinds of tortured souls a competitive outlet. Best of all, they’ll simultaneously raise money for a highly worthwhile cause.
The NBA 2K Players Tournament kicks off Friday, April 3 at 7pm ET and runs through Saturday, April 11. As its name implies, the event features current NBA stars – 16 in total – facing off in a single-elimination tournament based on head-to-head competition in the Xbox One version of the NBA2K20 video game.
The last man standing will designate a charity related to COVID-19 relief efforts as the recipient of a $100,000 donation from 2K, the NBA and the NBAPA.
Tournament games will be easy to watch as well.
In a move that somewhat harkens back to its early days of televising “alternative” sports (horseshow jumping, anyone?), ESPN (or ESPN2) will broadcast each night of the NBA2K Players Tournament. Games will also be streamed on NBA.com, the NBA app, and both 2K and NBA social media channels.
FanDuel gets in on the fun with free prop-based contest
And for its part, FanDuel is commemorating this quasi-return of NBA action by offering the Props Pick ‘Em eHoops Player Tourney. The free-to-play contest consists of eight daily prop-based questions based on that night’s scheduled NBA 2K Players Tournament game(s).
Participants with the most correct answers will split a prize pool consisting of $5,000 in FanDuel site credits. The participant(s) with the most cumulative correct answers by tournament’s end will also take home (or split, in the case of multiple winners) $5,000 in cash.
Those residing in states where FanDuel Sportsbook is active – New Jersey, Indiana, West Virginia and Pennsylvania – will be able to make their nightly selections for the Props Pick ‘Em eHoops Player Tourney through that platform. Residents of all other states where FanDuel’s DFS site is available will gain access to the contest through that avenue.
The eight prop questions for Friday night’s opening matchups went live on FD Sportsbook and FD’s DFS site on Thursday, April 2. Opening-night questions include selecting the winner of the Kevin Durant– Derrick Jones, Jr. matchup, determining whether Durant’s team will log over or under 6.5 three-point baskets and answering whether or not any in-game player will score more than 24.5 points in Friday night’s contests.
Full details on the Props Pick ‘Em eHoops Player Tourney, including all terms and conditions, can be found here.
Tournament features star-laden bracket
The NBA 2K Players Tournament certainly won’t lack for star power. The pre-tournament player seeding is as follows (number in parenthesis is player’s 2K rating):
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)
Other particulars of tournament play:
- Each player will select eight teams within NBA2K20 game that they can use once throughout the tournament.
- Four rounds in total – Two single-elimination rounds, followed by semi-final and final rounds.
- Semi-final and final rounds will be in best-of-three format.
- Additional details, including the full tournament bracket and ESPN/ESPN 2’s full broadcast schedule of the event, can be found here.