NBA fans stand up! Even with the season on hold, get ready to bet on NBA action when the pros hit the virtual hard-court this weekend. The NBA has joined forces with 2K Sports to announce on Tuesday the formation of a players-only NBA2K tournament to benefit charity. Click here for live Players-Only NBA2K odds.
The event will feature 16 current NBA players in a 10-day, bracket-styled tournament that will kick off on Friday April 11 and air on ESPN and ESPN2. The first two rounds are set up to be single elimination while the semis and finals will both be a best-of-three series. The winner of the entire event will receive $100,000, which will be donated to a charity of his choice to support ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts.
“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,” Josh Goodstadt, a representative of the players union’s commercial arm, said in a statement. “We are excited to work with 2K and the NBA to bring this experience to life for the entire NBA community.”
The participating players are seeded No. 1 to No. 16, based on their player ratings in NBA 2K20. Each player will select eight current NBA teams from which they will choose their team each round. Each player can use a team only once, and if two opponents select the same team, the away team gets the first choice of team.
NBA Player Seeds (with NBA 2K20 rank in parentheses)
- Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets (96)
- Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (90)
- Hassan Whiteside, Portland Trail Blazers (87)
- Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz (87)
- Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (86)
- Andre Drummond, Cleveland Cavaliers (85)
- Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (85)
- Montrezl Harrell, LA Clippers (85)
- Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers (85)
- Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns (85)
- DeMarcus Cousins (81)
- Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets (81)
- Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards (79)
- Patrick Beverley, LA Clippers (78)
- Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings (78)
- Derrick Jones Jr., Miami Heat (78)
NBA 2K20 Players-Only Tournament Schedule
- Friday, April 3, ESPN, 7-8:30 p.m. ET
- Friday, April 3, ESPN2, 8:30-11:30 p.m. ET
- Sunday, April 5, ESPN2, 12-4 p.m. ET
- Quarterfinals: Tuesday, April 7, ESPN2, 7-11 p.m. ET
- Semifinals/Finals: Saturday, April 11, ESPN, Time TBD
Players-Only NBA 2K R1 Odds
- Kevin Durant -2½
- Derrick Jones
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant is the No. 1 seed, and he selected the Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz as his eight teams. KD will go up against Miami Heat forward and 16th-seeded Derrick Jones Jr. in the opener on Friday at 7:30 PM ET. Jones has selected the Boston Celtics, the Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers as his teams.
- Trae Young -2
- Harrison Barnes
Atlanta Hawks 21-year-old second-year point guard Trae Young will be going up against Sacramento Kings 27-year-old veteran forward Harrison Barnes. Will Young look to use the three-point shot in this one like he does in real life? Will Barnes be able to keep up with the generation Xer in this one?
- Hassan Whiteside -3
- Pat Beverly
30-year-old Portland Trail Blazers 7-footer Hassan Whiteside will go up against 31-year-old LA Clippers point guard Patrick Beverly in this matchup. Personally, I’m thinking Beverly will get up under Whiteside’s skin, much like he does every opponent in real life!
- Donovan Mitchell -2½
- Rui Hachimura
Fourth seeded 23-year-old Utah Jazz superstar shooting guard Donovan ‘Spyda’ Mitchell will square off against 22-year-old Washington Wizards rookie forward Rui Hachimura in a pairing of two young Gen X’ers that likely know all about NBA 2K.
- Devin Booker -3½
- Michael Porter Jr.
Prohibitive favorite and 23-year-0old Phoenix Suns star shooting guard Devin Booker will look to take down 21-year-old Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter in the opening round. Will the multi-faceted Porter Jr. be able to pull off the upset over the sweet-shooting Booker? I’m expecting a thriller here simply based on the youthful ways of both players in this affair.
- Andre Drummond
- DeMarcus Cousins -1½
26-year-old Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond will go at it against 29-year-old free agent center DeMarcus Cousins in a battle of big men. While this is only a video game, I’m holding out hope for a fight seeing as how Boogie Cousins is one of the most mercurial professional athletes in the world today.
- Zach LaVine
- DeAndre Ayton -4
25-year-old high-flying Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine could try to use his impressive dunking skills to throw down some jams on the Phoenix Suns young, 21-year-old, 7-foot center DeAndre Ayton, but the big man will be lying in wait for the opportunity to swat some of those!
- Montrezl Harrell -1½
- Domantas Sabonis
Last, but not least, two of the game’s best power forwards will square off when the Clippers’ bruising 26-year-old Montrezl Harrell tries to put a stranglehold on Indiana Pacers versatile, 23-year-old forward Domantas Sabonis.