MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Unlike many sports with players who are stuck at home without all the necessary equipment to stay in shape, the Grizz Gaming team is back to their roots.
“In some ways I think all these guys are uniquely prepared for this situation,” general manager Lang Whitaker said.
In order to make the 3rd NBA 2K League season work, the first six weeks will be played remotely. Typically, the team would make weekly trips to play in Manhattan, New York, at the league studio.
“Being on the stage, being under the lights, having to get on airplanes twice a week and go back and forth and all of that stuff, that was the hard part about it,” Whitaker said.
For 2nd year player, Zach Vandivier, or Vandi, the hardest adjustment he had to make his rookie season was the pressure of playing on stage.
“I started playing 2K in 2K11 when I was 10 or 11 years old, so I’m just kind of used to playing at home,” Vandi said. “Last year when I had to make that jump playing in that environment with everyone screaming and stuff was a little bit different of a feeling.”
According to Grizz Gaming veteran, Daniel Davis, or DDouble he deals with more distractions when he plays at home.
“When I walk on that stage, everything else drops. I don’t pay attention to my phone, I don’t pay attention to anything, it’s just that game and you’re super locked in on that stage,” DDouble added. “So I think the only difference now is playing at home we could be in the second quarter and I can still hear the ice machine.”
The league was supposed to start March 24th. After a month and a half delay because of the coronavirus, teams have had more time to improve.
“It’s definitely helped us out, I mean you can’t go anywhere, what are you going to do? We just scrimmage all day so I mean if you get 4-5 every day, this pandemic has elevated some people’s games,” he said.
Without regular sports programming, the NBA 2K League will be broadcasted on ESPN2. Otherwise games are streamed on Twitch.