Kevin Durant is back in action! Well…not exactly. Durant will make his first appearance with the Brooklyn Nets on the virtual hardwood during a players-only 2K tournament hosted by the NBA. The tournament will consist of 16 players and take place over a 10 day period. The event will be available for fans to watch on ESPN and the date is to be determined. There are several other notable players that will be participating in the tournament, such as Donovan Mitchell, Andre Drummond, and DeMarcus Cousins.
Mitchell and Durant are two players who have tested positive for coronavirus, with Mitchell being cleared of the virus last week and Durant sending out a positive message to his fans shortly after he was diagnosed.
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Recently it was reported that the Chinese Basketball Association would further delay their return, which was originally scheduled for April 15th, to May at the earliest. Unfortunately, this is bad news for the NBA, who is watching these decisions closely in anticipation of salvaging their own season.
It is important for the NBA to stay active and connected with their fans during these troubling times, and this tournament is an excellent way to do so. Not only will we be able to hear from some of the athletes in quarantine, but we will also be able to watch them “play basketball” and candidly interact with each other, even if it is through a video game.
More leagues should come up with unique virtual events like this to engage with fans and help keep their brands active. Luckily for the NFL, they have their Draft coming up in April, so they are set content-wise for the time being. It will be intriguing to see how the MLB, a league that is often viewed not as progressive as the other leagues, stays engaged with their fans while their season is currently suspended.
My Prediction: Kevin Durant will win this tournament. Durant prides himself on being the best on the court, regardless if that court is real or animated. Being an elite scorer in real life will ABSOLUTELY translate to KD being a monster in 2k. I have the utmost faith in a guy who has probably had more practice on the sticks than anybody else in the last year.
Stay tuned for the date of the tournament to be announced. Follow @firesidenets on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for your latest Brooklyn Nets news and listen to the Fireside Nets w/ Spen & Nick podcast!