You've seen them dribble on the court, but can their basketball skills translate to the sticks? The NBA 2K Players Tournament starting Friday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) will feature 16 NBA players competing in another medium: video games.
With the NBA season suspended, No. 1 seed Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets will lead players competing in the NBA 2K20 tournament. The group, which includes No. 2 seed Trae Young, Andre Drummond, DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Beverley -- will play to earn bragging rights and a $100,000 donation from 2K, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association to the winner's charity of choice for coronavirus relief efforts.
The competition will take place over five days, concluding with the finals on April 11 on ESPN. Each player will use a simulated NBA team, from a group selected in advance by the player, in the standard Play Now mode. Once a player has used one of his eight pre-selected teams, he cannot use it again in the tournament. The players are seeded 1 through 16 based on their virtual counterpart's 2K ranking and by their tenure within the NBA.
Ahead of the big showdown, we polled 18 NBA and esports experts to make their first-round and championship picks.
(8) Montrezl Harrell vs. (9) Domantas Sabonis
Sunday, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN2 | Picks: Harrell 10-8
(4) Donovan Mitchell vs. (13) Rui Hachimura
Sunday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2 | Picks: Mitchell 13-5
(5) Devin Booker vs. (12) Michael Porter Jr.
Sunday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2 | Picks: Booker 13-5
(6) Andre Drummond vs. (11) DeMarcus Cousins
Sunday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2 | Picks: Drummond 10-8
(1) Kevin Durant vs. (16) Derrick Jones Jr.
Winner: Jones Jr. | Picks: Durant 12-6
Malika Andrews: Durant
Nick DePaula: Durant
Tyler Erzberger: Jones
Chris Herring: Jones
Baxter Holmes: Durant
Andrew Lopez: Jones
Bobby Marks: Durant
Tim MacMahon: Jones
Jackie MacMullan: Durant
Dave McMenamin: Jones
Arda Ocal: Durant
Emily Rand: Durant
Jorge Sedano: Jones
Andre Snellings: Durant
Jacob Wolf: Durant
Eric Woodyard: Durant
Royce Young: Durant
Ohm Youngmisuk: Durant
(7) Zach LaVine vs. (10) Deandre Ayton
Winner: Ayton | Picks: LaVine 13-5
(2) Trae Young vs. (15) Harrison Barnes
Winner: Young | Picks: Young 16-2
(3) Hassan Whiteside vs. (14) Patrick Beverley
Winner: Beverley | Picks: Whiteside 11-7
Saturday, April 11