"News broke Monday that the NBA will hold a players-only NBA 2K tournament with representatives from every team. So, who will represent the Houston Rockets?"
It’s not exactly the scenario we are all waiting for, but at least one Houston Rocket will make a return to the court on Friday — virtually. As the world continues to remain on hold amid coronavirus concerns, the NBA announced an innovative way to keep some of its players and fans entertained on Monday night.
As Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports originally reported, the NBA will be holding an NBA 2K tournament that hopes to launch this Friday featuring all NBA players, including some big names.
Shortly after, Haynes gave some more details on the event.
Sources: Clarity, it will be a 16-player NBA 2K tournament lasting 10 days. 4-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins among the participants. https://t.co/0V1LfU9pnI
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) March 31, 2020
There are multiple gamers on every team in the league, so there should be some interesting choices made in the coming days.
So, given what we know about the team, who will likely represent H-Town in the nationally-televised tournament if they participate? Well, there are a few options.
Admittedly, the frequency with which NBA players turn to video games is sort of a blind spot to me. If the league wants to have as many high-profile players in this tournament as possible, however, there’s a good chance James Harden will be repping the Rockets on the broadcasted tournament.
Let’s face it, with everyone quarantined at home, there’s definitely more free time to brush up on NBA 2K, even for one of the hardest-working players in the league.
To put it quite simply, see above. Russell Westbrook is another name that would add superstar power to the tournament. If he can bring even a fraction of the intensity to the virtual world as he brings in real life, that would also make for some great TV.
Can you imagine Westbrook ending up in a battle with Patrick Beverley or Kevin Durant with pride on the line? That said, Westbrook has been busy donating to Los Angeles families and enjoying family time at home, so it’s likely he’ll let a teammate take this one.
If the Houston Rockets want to have a chance at winning the NBA 2K tournament, they would be wise to turn to Austin Rivers — at least according to him. In an Instagram Live interview with theScore earlier on Monday, Rivers was asked about NBA 2K.
While Rivers responded that most of the team doesn’t play or talk much about the game, he did say he plays the most often and is the best on the team, if he had to choose. While it wouldn’t give the tournament star power, showcasing a player with such self-proclaimed skills could also work just as well.
Update: Per The Boardroom on Twitter, former Rocket Patrick Beverley will participate in the tournament, but no one on the current team will be playing.
— The Boardroom (@boardroom) March 31, 2020
While Houston won’t be represented Friday, it will at least be entertaining to see some of these players go at it, even if it’s not on the hardwood.