NBA players set to play in a televised NBA 2K Tournament on Friday

Kevin Durant in the number one seed in the 2K tournament. Photo from

André González Rodríguez, Contributor

The NBA plans to hold a players-only NBA 2K tournament set to be broadcasted on ESPN this Friday. NBA 2K is the official NBA basketball game that is developed annually to mirror the league’s current landscape. 

The 16-player tournament will last 10 days and include the likes of Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant, Devin Booker from the Phoenix Suns, former Los Angeles Laker DeMarcus Cousins, and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Andre Drummond. 

This tournament will be single-elimination and is set to be played on the Xbox One. The winner will be crowned NBA 2K20 champion and a select charity beneficiary that will receive $100,000 from the NBA and the NBPA in support of the ongoing COVID-19 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,” Jason Argent who is the 2K senior Vice President, Sports Strategy and Licensing stated in the official press release. “Entertainment, especially sports, has the ability to bring the community together — including athletes, fans, and families — and we hope that everyone will enjoy the tournament.” 

With the NBA being postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19, this will be the NBA players’ first taste of esports. Esports leagues such as the Overwatch League, have been able to continue their play online. 

Players are seeded based on their NBA 2K rating and by their tenure. Prior to the tournament’s start, every player will choose eight of today’s NBA teams, only being able to use each team once. If there were to be a mirror match, the away team is awarded the first choice of team. The first two rounds of the tournament will be single elimination, with the semifinals and finals being a best of three. 

The tournament will begin this Friday, April 3, at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN, with the first matchup of 16th seeded Derrick Jones Jr. of the Miami Heat facing off against 1st seeded Durant. Additional matchups will air through April 12 with every match on either ESPN or ESPN2, while also streaming on and NBA’s social channels, including Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook.