No. 16 seed Derrick Jones Jr. upset No. 1 seed Kevin Durant 78-62 to lead the evening. Jones and Durant faced off in a tense game – this time not on the field, but on the sticks – as players stood in line for an NBA 2K20 game in which Jones selected the Milwaukee Bucks and Durant the LA Clippers. Sitting at their homes in Miami and New York, respectively, Jones and Durant participated in a 24-minute match that ended with Jones’ loss to the Brooklyn Nets superstar.
Evan Turner was not at all surprised that Jones was upset.
@ KDTrey5 you know very well that you can’t play these 90s babies in video games. Every child born after 95 is a great chef
– Evan Turner (@thekidet) April 4, 2020
It was an appropriate kickoff for the NBA 2K Players Tournament, in which 16 players compete in NBA 2K20 for bragging rights and a $ 100,000 donation from the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association and 2K to a coronavirus relief charity of their choice. Participants on Friday included Jones and Durant as well as NBA notables Trae Young, Zach LaVine, Hassan Whiteside and Patrick Beverley.
Throughout the night, players discussed their lives amid the coronavirus pandemic which has left many Americans, including these players, following orders to stay at home to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. . Durant, who is recovering from an Achilles tendon injury in the 2019 NBA Finals, said he hadn’t touched a ball “for some time”, while Jones said that he had tried to keep his basketball skills sharp by shooting the roof of his Florida home.
In Friday’s most lopsided game, the Atlanta Young Hawks’ goaltender dominated Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes 101-59.
Young, who in an Instagram post said he had just started playing seriously, used the Bucks, who would become a favorite choice over the course of four games. The Bucks have been selected for three of four games, and players who use them have averaged 87.7 points per game and maintained their opponents at an average of 58.3 points, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. During their confrontation, Barnes and Young discussed their favorite confrontations on the field, Young saying he liked facing Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard. Barnes picked LeBron James, whom he defeated in the 2015 NBA Finals while a member of the Golden State Warriors.
The other two clashes of the night were Chicago Bulls LaVine goalkeeper against Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, and Portland Trail Blazers Whiteside big man against Clippers keeper Beverley. Ayton, using the Houston Rockets, beat LaVine’s Miami Heat 57-41 while the two joked back and forth over the microphone.
During the Whiteside-Beverley match, Beverley broke out after a virtual monster snap from Giannis Antetokounmpo. “Stop playing with me, man! Beverley yelled at Whiteside as she got up from her chair. “I am the best of all time!” Beverley would win 84-54 using the Bucks against Whiteside on the Los Angeles Lakers.
Action in the NBA 2K Players Tournament will resume Sunday at noon ET on ESPN2 as part of ESPN Esports Day, which will also feature gameplay from Madden NFL 20, Formula 1, Rocket League and Apex Legends. Sunday’s NBA 2K games will pit Domantas Sabonis against Montrezl Harrell; Donovan Mitchell against Rui Hachimura; Devin Booker vs. Michael Porter Jr .; and Andre Drummond against DeMarcus Cousins.