Kevin Durant to headline televised NBA 2k20 esports tournament

Mar 31 2020, 4:40 pm

In an effort to stem some of their fans’ isolation-induced boredom and combat the postponement of the 19-20 NBA Regular Season, NBA players will battle it out on the digital court for a chance to win $100,000 to donate to a charity of their choice.

In partnership with 2K Sports, ESPN, and the Players Association, the NBA gaming tournament will see 16 professional basketball franchises elect a single contracted player to represent their franchise.

โ€œWe are excited to tip off the first โ€˜NBA 2K Players Tournamentโ€™ in partnership with the NBPA and 2K, continuing an ongoing effort to stay connected with NBA fans around the world, while also giving back in this time of need,โ€ said Matt Holt, NBA SVP of Global Partnerships.

Participating gamers in the “Players-Only” tournament will take part from the comfort of their own homes, and seeding for the bracket was decided by the player’s NBA 2K rating while the league tenure was used as a tie-breaker.

The full participant list includes Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets), Hassan Whiteside (Portland Trail Blazers), Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), and Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns).

According to ESPN, the tournament will air on national TV starting this Friday, April 3.

“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,” said Jason Argent, 2K senior vice president, sports strategy and licensing. “Entertainment, especially sports, has the ability to bring communities together — including athletes, fans, and families — and we hope that everyone will enjoy the tournament.”

Coverage of the tournament will begin on Friday, airing on ESPN and ESPN2, alongside social media channels for @NBA2K and @NBA.

Full broadcast schedule:

Round 1

  • Friday, April 3: ESPN
    • 4 pm โ€“ 4:30 pm PT: NBA 2K Players Tournament Preview Show
    • 4:30 pm โ€“ 5:30 pm PT: Derrick Jones Jr. (16) vs. Kevin Durant (1)
  • Friday, April 3: ESPN2
    • 5:30 pm โ€“ 8:30 pm PT
  • Sunday, April 5: ESPN2
    • 9 am โ€“ 1 pm PT

Quarterfinals

  • Tuesday, April 7: ESPN2
    • 4 pm โ€“ 8 pm PT

Semifinals & Finals

  • Saturday, April 11: ESPN, timing to be announced