With the NBA season suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, the league has concocted an interesting way to keep the fans entertained with something resembling live basketball. Last month, it was announced that some of the NBA’s best and brightest will participate in the NBA 2K Players Tournament, which tipped off with its first round last week.
The final four is all set, and only two NBA teams are left represented in the field. The Phoenix Suns have both Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton, while the Los Angeles Clippers’ Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell still remain in the tournament. On Saturday, Booker will battle Harrell in the semifinals, while Ayton will match up with Beverley. These matchups are followed up with the winners facing off for the NBA 2K tourney championship.
The tournament is being played on the Xbox One console and the winner will be crowned the ultimate NBA 2K20 champion and receive a $100,000 charity donation in their name to support coronavirus relief efforts. The seeding was determined by the player’s 2K rating and tenure. The first slate of games was played last week, with No. 1 overall seed Kevin Durant losing to 16-seeded Derrick Jones Jr., while third-seed Hassan Whiteside lost to No. 14 Patrick Beverley. On Sunday, the first round concluded, and we saw Rui Hachimura score an upset over Donovan Mitchell, and Andre Drummond destroy DeMarcus Cousins by 51 points.
Before the tournament got underway, each player chose eight of today’s NBA teams, which can only be used once during the tournament. If both players in a given matchup select the same teams, the away team is awarded the first choice of the team. While the first two rounds were single elimination, the semifinals and finals will be a best-of-three series.
Players still alive (overall rating):
5. Devin Booker, Suns (86)8. Montrezl Harrell, Clippers (85)10. Deandre Ayton, Suns (85) 14. Patrick Beverley, Clippers (78)
1. Kevin Durant, Nets (96)2. Trae Young, Hawks (90)3. Hassan Whiteside, Trail Blazers (87) 4. Donovan Mitchell, Jazz (87) 6. Andre Drummond, Cavaliers (85)7. Zach LaVine, Bulls (85) 9. Domantas Sabonis, Pacers (85)11. DeMarcus Cousins (81) 12. Michael Porter Jr., Nuggets (81) 13. Rui Hachimura, Wizards (79)15. Harrison Barnes, Kings (78)16. Derrick Jones Jr., Heat (78)
NBA 2K Players Tournament schedule
Games will air on ESPN or ESPN2, and will be available to stream on the ESPN app, NBA.com, the NBA app, and on social media channels including Twitter (@NBA2K and @NBA), Twitch (@NBA2K and @NBA), YouTube (NBA2K and NBA) and Facebook (NBA2K and NBA).
All times are U.S./Eastern; matchups and times are subject to change
Saturday, April 11 (3-7 p.m.)Devin Booker vs. Montrezl Harrell — ESPNDeandre Ayton vs. Patrick Beverley — ESPNSemifinal winner 1 vs. Semifinal winner 2 — ESPN Friday, April 3 (Round 1 results) Derrick Jones Jr (16) beat Kevin Durant (1), 78-62Deandre Ayton (10) beat Zach Lavine (7), 57-41Trae Young (2) beat Harrison Barnes (15), 101-59Patrick Beverley (14) beat Hassan Whiteside (3), 84-54 Sunday, April 5 (Round 1 continued) Thursday, April 9 (Quarterfinals) Devin Booker (5) beat Rui Hachimura (13), 71-55Montrezl Harrell (8) beat Derrick Jones Jr. (16), 71-66DeAndre Ayton (10) beat Trae Young (2), 73-66Patrick Beverley (14) beat Andre Drummond (6), 69-62