Mama Im Dat Man

Blazer5 remains undefeated after a wild series against Bucks Gaming

Blazer5 remains undefeated after a wild series against Bucks Gaming

Blazer5 Gaming improved to 3-0 on the season following a 2-1 victory over Bucks Gaming on Tuesday.

However, Game 1 was equal parts historic and controversial.

Nidal "Mama Im Dat Man" Nasser put on a performance for the ages. 

He scored 31 of Blazer5's 33 points in the first quarter, setting an NBA 2K League single-quarter scoring record. 

Nasser's performance gave Blazer5 a 21-point lead after the first quarter, but he was just getting started. 

Nasser scored another 13 points in the second quarter, and by the end of third quarter he had 71 points. 

With one quarter left to play, Nasser was just 14 points away from breaking the single-game NBA 2K League scoring record. To make it more impressive, the record 84 points were scored in a double-overtime game, and Nasser was about to do it in regulation.

But Bucks Gaming decided to game the game, and prevent Nasser from setting the record. 

The Bucks began to hold the ball, not trying to score at all, opting instead to willingly take shot clock violations. In doing so they limited the number of possessions Blazer5 had down the stretch, thus hurting Nassers chances of breaking the record. The tactics didn't sit well with fans or players around the 2K League.

When it was all said and done, Blazer5 picked up the 105-62 victory in Game 1, and Nasser scored 77 points, a league record for points scored in regulation.

But you gotta play an entire series, so there was still work to be done. 

Bucks Gaming, despite there unprofessional finish to Game 1, should be given credit for the way they bounced back in Game 2. 

They looked nothing like the team that lost by 43 in Game 1. Instead, they rebounded in a big way to upset Blazer5 and force a decisive Game 3.

In Game 3, Blazer5 took care of business, leading most of the way and picking up the 71-65 victory to win the series and improve to 3-0 on the season.

No matter how the series played out, no one can get past what happened in Game 1. 

History for Nasser was robbed by petty gaming tactics from Bucks Gaming. Lucky for Blazer5 and Nasser, the entire league was watching. 

Bucks Gaming may have unintentionally made itself the arch-enemy of the entire league. 

As for Blazer5, they once again showed why they are one of the best teams in the league and are nearly unstoppable when the reigning MVP gets going.

Can they keep the hot streak going and improve to 4-0?

We'll find out on Wednesday when they take on Knicks Gaming,

You can catch all the action on the NBA 2K League's Twitch and YouTube channels at 4pm.

Be sure to check out the full Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with host NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon. 

 

Blazer5 Gaming remains undefeated after a wild series against Bucks Gamings

Blazer5 Gaming remains undefeated after a wild series against Bucks Gamings

Blazer5 Gaming improved to 3-0 on the season following a 2-1 victory over Bucks Gaming on Tuesday.

However, Game 1 was equal parts historic and controversial.

Nidal "Mama Im Dat Man" Nasser put on a performance for the ages. 

He scored 31 of the Blazer5's 33 points in the first quarter, setting an NBA 2K League single-quarter scoring record. 

Nasser's performance gave Blazer5 the 21-point lead after the first quarter, but he was just getting started. 

Nasser scored another 13 points in the second quarter, and by the end of third quarter he had 71 points. 

Sitting on 71, Nasser was just 14 points away from breaking the single-game NBA 2K League scoring record. To make it more impressive, the record 84 points were scored in a double-overtime game, and he was about to do it in regulation.

But Bucks Gaming decided to game the game, and prevent Nasser from setting the record. 

The Bucks began to hold the ball, not trying to score at all, opting instead to willingly take shot clock violations. In doing so they limited the number of possessions Blazer5 had down the stretch, thus hurting Nassers chanced of breaking the record. The tactics didn't sit well with fans or players around the 2K League.

When it was all said and done, Blazer5 picked up the 105-62 victory in Game 1, and Nasser scored 77 points, a league record for points scored in regulation.

But you gotta play an entire series, so there was still work to be done. 

Bucks Gaming, despite there unprofessional finish to Game 1, has to be given credit for the way they bounced back in Game 2. 

They looked nothing like the team that lost by 43 in Game 1, Instead, they rebounded in a big way to upset Blazer5 and force a decisive Game 3.

In Game 3, Blazer5 took care of business, leading most of the way and picking up the 71-65 victory to win the series and improve the 3-0 on the season.

No matter not the series played out, no one can get past what happened in Game 1. 

History for Nasser was robbed by petty gaming tactics from Bucks Gaming. Lucky for Blazer5 and Nasser the entire league was watching. 

Bucks Gaming may have unintentionally made itself the arch-enemy of the entire league. 

As for Blazer5, they once again showed why they are one of the best team in the league and are nearly unstoppable when the reigning MVP gets going.

Can they keep the hot streak going and improve to 4-0?

We'll find out on Wednesday when they take on Knicks Gaming,

You can catch all the action on the NBA 2K League's Twitch and YouTube channels at 4pm.

Be sure to check out the full Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with host NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon. 

 

 

Nidal Nasser becomes first 2K League player to earn solo endorsement

Nidal Nasser becomes first 2K League player to earn solo endorsement

Nidal "Mama Im Dat Man" Nasser is just 22-years-old, but the NBA 2K League star is reaching heights that no other player in league history has seen before.

Nasser was one of the best players in the league in Season 1, was named league MVP in Season 2, and is averaging more than 30 points and putting together another MVP campaign in Season 3. 

All that success has not gone unnoticed.

It was announced on Friday, May 23, that basketball apparel company POINT 3 Basketball had signed Nasser to an endorsement deal. 

In doing so, Nasser becomes the first player in NBA 2K League history to sign a solo endorsement deal.  

The Blazer5 star took to social media to make the announcement and thank those that have made it all possible.

POINT 3's apparel is specifically designed to absorb sweat and keep athletes dry, something that comes in handy in eSports. The last thing a gamer wants is sweaty palms, and POINT 3 can help address the matter.

Said Nasser in an interview with ESPN, "There's moments throughout the game where your hand just becomes so moist, because you're gripping on the controller so hard, you don't realize it... The grip you have on your controller allows you to make those quicker reflexes. It's so hard to explain, but that's the biggest difference. It's kind of like a gaming edge."

The move is big for not only Nasser, but for the NBA 2K League as a whole. It could provide the framework for other players to seek solo deals as well, bringing in a revenue stream for gamers that was once thought impossible. 

Many of our parents told us otherwise, but Nasser is proving to the masses that you can make money and make a living playing video games.

Be sure to check out the full Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with host NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon.

Blazer5's "Mama Im Dat Man" named NBA 2K League Player of the Week

Blazer5's "Mama Im Dat Man" named NBA 2K League Player of the Week

Blazer5 Gaming got off to a hot start in Season 3 of the NBA 2K League. 

The squad got a Week 1 bye, making them nice a fresh to take on the league in Week 2. 

Blazer5 started action with a 2-1 series win over Pacers Gaming, then followed that up with a 2-0 sweep of Lakers Gaming.

In Season 3, teams will play a best-of-three series against each other. Winning the three-game series will count as one season win. Losing the three-game series will count as one season loss.

So with two series wins, Blazer5 improved to 2-0 on the season. 

The impressive start was thanks in large part to Nidal "Mama Im Dat Man" Nasser. 

The Season 2 MVP averaged 32.2 points and 7.2 assists over the team's five games in Week 2, while shooting nearly 63% from the field.

The hot start to the season earned Mama Im Da Man NBA 2K League Player of the Week honors. 

It's still early in the season, but Mama Im Dat Man already has his name firmly in the MVP conversation. 

"Nidal has started the season be reminding everyone why he was named league MVP in 2019, "said Cameron McAlees, Blazer5 Operation Manager. "He continues to be a  strong leader for Blazer5, not only with his stat line, but his personality and passion for the game. 

Blazer5 returns to action on Wednesday, May 20 when they take on Knicks Gaming. 

You can catch all the action on the NBA 2K League's Twitch and YouTube channels.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Fry and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon. 

Brandon "Hood" Caicedo has found his home with Blazer5 Gaming

Brandon "Hood" Caicedo has found his home with Blazer5 Gaming

Brandon "Hood" Caicedo's NBA 2K League career certainly has had its ups and downs. 

Hood was a first-round pick by Cavs Legion in the inaugural 2k league draft, and he wasted no time lighting the league on fire. By the end of Season 1, he was one of the top scorers on the virtual hardwood. 

If you were going up against Hood, you knew your defense was going to have to be ready. Scoring nearly 30 points per game, Hood was a force to be reckoned with. 

Yet, despite his success, Cavs Legion went in a different direction at the end of the season. 

Prior to Season 2, Cavs Legion traded Hood to T'Wolves Gaming. 

Hood was poised to impress with his hew squad, but they, too, would end up trading the prolific scorer. This time to Heat Check Gaming midway through Season 2. 

Heat Check didn't protect Hood going into the Season 3 draft, and the former first-round pick found himself in limbo. 

But as the old saying goes, "One man's trash is another man's treasure."

Blazer5 Gaming, one of the most successful teams in the NBA 2K League, was in need of a scorer and quickly swooped up Hood. 

Why has Hood bounced around? He is as good as they come on the court, so it had to be off-the-court issues, right?

Here Hood sits, on his fourth team in three seasons, with possible questions about his character. But I wouldn't be so quick to judge. 

“He’s been on the short end of the stick a lot. I would just say there were a lot of rumors, a lot of B.S that went with his name, that wasn’t true," said Blazer5 Gaming star Nidal “Mama Im Dat Man” Nasser. "When you don’t understand somebody, you’re quick to just throw some B.S on ‘em and everyone’s gonna believe you. That’s just how it is. It’s always just a misconception, that’s what it is.”

The story on Hood reminds me of the story on Trail Blazers starting center Jusuf Nurkic just a few seasons ago. 

Back in 2017, the Trail Blazers pulled off a trade with the Denver Nuggets that landed Nurkic in Rip City. At the time, there were plenty of questions about Nurkic's character. Reports we were hearing from Denver and on social media were that he was a poor teammate, he didn't give full effort, he had a bad attitude, etc.

However, the chapter he wrote in Rip City has been nothing but stellar. Nurkic has been praised for the effort, has been nothing but a perfect teammate, has put up career-best numbers, and has quickly become a fan favorite in Portland. 

Hood has the chance to do the same thing with Blazer5. 

That’s all it is. It’s about fit, culture, personality, all that good stuff. Hood found his home. This is where he was supposed to be since Season 1. - Mama Im Dat Man on Hood

In Portland, Hood doesn't have to be anything but himself. He doesn't have to press the issue. He doesn't have to do too much. He just has to play his role. 

"(Against the Lakers) I was struggling a little bit towards the end of a game and he took it home for us." said Mama Im Dat Man. "I’ve never had that. That’s huge for me. If me and him and keep getting that chemistry, we’re gonna be really scary. "

That player that can take over when Blazer5 needs them the most is something this team hasn't had through its first two seasons. Hood gives Mama Im Dat Man the best shooting threat the team has ever had. Mama Im Dat Man runs an efficient pick and roll with starting center Dayne "OneWildWalnut" Downey, but now he finally has a deadeye shooter he can kick out to. The threat of Hood on the perimeter adds an entirely new dimension to the Blazer5 offense. 

Everything happens for a reason and he’s in the perfect situation now. He has no excuses. He knows that. We know that. He’s been nothing short of excellent. - Mama Im Dat Man on Hood

Mt. Hood. Rodney Hood. Brandon "Hood" Caicedo. Hoods and Portland go hand in hand. As Mama Im Dat Man said, "Hood found his home."

Blazer5 returns to action on May 20 when they take on Knicks Gaming. 

You can catch all the action on the NBA 2K League's Twitch and YouTube channels.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Fry and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon. 

Blazer5 Gaming revamps, retools, & resets for championship run

Blazer5 Gaming revamps, retools, & resets for championship run

Over the first two seasons of the NBA 2K League, there has been no better team than Blazer5 Gaming. 

Portland's eSports team was 12-2 in Season 1, the best record in the league, and they repeated as the No.1 seed in Season 2 after posting a 14-2 record. 

However, all the regular-season success has failed to translate to the postseason, with Blazer5 being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs two seasons in a row. 

Now, with a revamped lineup, Blazer5 once again has its sights set on a championship. "Expectation is always a championship," said starting point guard Nidal “Mama Im Dat Man” Nasser. "I just feel like we have so much talent on our team, if we don't win a championship it's wasted, to be honest." 

But why did the regular season's best team stumble and fall in the postseason? Were they just not as good as we thought? Of course not, the ball just didn't bounce their way. However, Nasser says there may have been some other issues at hand. 

I feel like the last two seasons we've had so many obstacles, not even on the game, more off the game. Solving problems off the game that we just couldn't solve, or dealing with personalities that we couldn't deal with. Stuff like that, whatever the case may be, and I think that took a big toll once the season went on." Nidal Nasser on postseason struggles.

In an attempt to fix those minor personality and chemistry issues, Blazer5 made some major changes. The squad completely revamped its roster, building around its Big Three of  Mama Im Dat Man, Dayne "OneWildWalnut" Downey, and Andron "LavishPhenom" Thomas.

Added to that equation were Stanley "MaJes7ic" Lebron, Brandon “Hood” Caicedo, and Georgio “OOC Slim” Bonte - A trio of players that know how to score. 

Hood was the leading scorer in Season 1, averaging nearly 30 points per contest for Cavs Legion. MaJes7ic averaged 10.3 points last season while shooting 53.9% from the field. While OOC Slim dropped 11.1 points per contest in his rookie season with Raptors Gaming. 

Hood and MaJes7ic bring a nice wrinkle to the Blazer5 starting lineup. The two played together last season with Heat Check Gaming, and both are good friends with OneWildWalbut and Mama Im Dat Man. The relationship is something Nasser knows will benefit the team.

Majes7ic, I’ve known him countless years. That’s been a really close friend of mine, I consider him a brother. Same with Hood. So when we got those two guys we finally felt like this five is a group that not only that we can dominate with, but we can speak our mind to and that’s a huge thing that people don’t understand. If players are holding in their emotions during the game or in practice, you’re never gonna excel. You’re never gonna get to that next level. That was our downfall the last two years. - Nidal Nasser 

But don't sleep on OOC Slim. While he may not have the same relationship with the guys that Hood or MaJes7ic does, he is still a perfect addition to play the sixth-man role for the team. 

"Adding Slim… he knows what B5 is all about," said Nasser. "He’s adjusted seamlessly, giving us input day in and day out. I appreciate all those guys. We’re putting in the work this year and we’re gonna make it happen."

If Blazer5 does make it happen, they won't do it without a captain behind the wheel. 

For the past two seasons, Blazer5 didn't have a true head coach. Instead, the six guys just relied on each other to get the job done. While it had success, it still felt like something was missing. 

Enter Andrew Maxie. Back in January, Blazer5 announced the hiring of the first coach in team history. Maxie, a former college basketball player who won MAC Conference MVP at Eastfield College and NAIA All-American at Lindenwood-Belleville University, gives the team someone to rely on to make those key crunch time decisions. 

"I wasn’t fond of a coach Season 1 and Season 2, I felt like I could take that load. That’s just the person I am, I wanna lead from the front," said Nasser. 

But having a true coach allows Nasser to focus on his game, while Maxie worries about the Xs and Os. 

When we got Andrew (Maxie), he’s been a big help. We’re talking advanced stats. We’re talking scouting. In the Lakers game he put out a gameplan knowing what they like to do in shot clock situations, what they like to do when he goes left and right… Majes7ic was just telling me that one of the big stops, key stops in the game around the fourth quarter, he had Andrew in his head when he was reading the script. This is what he does. Right when he made the move, he plucked him and took it for two… Stuff like that. Priceless. - Nidal Nasser on the hiring of Andrew Maxie 

Early in Season 3, the new additions have already looked like game-changers. Blazer5 is 2-0 and hasn't even worked out all the kinks yet. 

Once they do, the league will certainly take notice... or maybe they would be wise to just start paying attention now. 

Blazer5 returns to action on May 20 when they take on Knicks Gaming. 

You can catch all the action on the NBA 2K League's Twitch and YouTube channels.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Fry and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon. 

Not everyone can be like Blazer5's Nidal "Mama Im Dat Man" Nasser

Not everyone can be like Blazer5's Nidal "Mama Im Dat Man" Nasser

February 9th, 2017 is a very important date for fans of the NBA 2K franchise. That was the day it was announced that the popular sports video would be featured in a new professional eSports league. 

One year later, 17 teams, each one associated with an NBA franchise, would start the inaugural NBA 2K League season.

One of those founding members was the Portland Trail Blazers owned squad, Blazer5 Gaming. 

During the very first league draft, Blazer5 Gaming used the 29th overall pick to select Nidal "Mama Im Dat Man" Nasser to run the point on the virtual hardwood. Two seasons later, Mama Im Dat Man was named NBA 2K League Most Valuable Player. 

He may have earned MVP honors after just two seasons in the league, but the road to get there actually began a decade earlier. 

"I started playing video games probably when I was eight or nine. I started on the PS2 and all I would play was Madden and Call of Duty. I would play those things day and night. I wouldn't care. That's what I played," said Nasser. 

While those two tried and true titles were the go-to for Nasser, one special game made him make the transition to the virtual hardwood.

"It got to a point when 2K10 came out, I believe Kobe was on the cover, when I made that transition to 2k. I was always in love with basketball, played my whole life, so that is what I fell in love with."

This story to this point sounds relatable. Many of us, myself included, have spent many hours in front of the TV with a console controller in our hands. Whether it was the PS2 like Nasser, or the Super Nintendo like myself, we all remember our first experience with video games. 

But, while millions of people play video games for fun, only a select few are good enough to say they play them professionally. Nasser is one of them.

When I started playing, I was just playing casually, just having a good time. Then I started playing with my friends. When I started playing with my friends, I used to beat them by 20, 30, and 40, it got to the point where they would look at me like, 'Bro, are you being serious right now? This is crazy. You're much better than everybody else and it's not even close.' So I used to play small money matches for $10 here, $15, $20, versus people at my school or just people that I knew would want to play me because they knew I was good. So that's where it kicked off. As the years passed, I played more and more competitively and it got to this point. - Nidal Nasser on his road to the 2K League

Here's the thing, as with any sport, there is always someone who thinks they can do it too. We all know that one person who thinks if they got 15 minutes a night they could average 10 points and hit threes with ease in the NBA. That one person who thinks they could thow a 99mph fastball and get a few base hits in MLB. That one person who watches an NFL player drop a pass and says out loud, "put me out there, I would have caught that!"

Well, no. No, you can't. Even the worst professional athlete is leaps and bounds above the average Joe, but that won't silence the naysayers. 

eSports are no different. 

Millions of people play these video games online, and a lot of them think they should be on top of the mountain. They question why Player A was able to make it in the league while they sit at home.

"I see it a lot," said Nasser. "People be like, 'Oh, why is he in there? I should be in there. The league is a fluke. He's only in there because he knows people. He has connections,' all the good stuff."

Even Nasser, the reigning MVP, heard it a time or two on his way up. "I'm not gonna lie. In the beginning... I saw it a lot towards me. Now, in general, now that I've won MVP and I've kinda established myself, I don't really get that anymore. Almost never..." 

Nasser's skills have more than done the talking for him, but he still has something to say to those that try to bring him or anyone else in the league down:

My thing to them is that there's so many outlets for you to get your name out there. There's so many outlets for you to perform and show who you are. And people don't want to take the time out of their day to do it. It's just like any other job. You have to put the hours in. You're not just gonna come in and be like, 'Oh, I'm here. Now I'm gonna get drafted because..." and make B.S. excuses. Are you gonna do that for a real job? No. So why would you do it for the NBA 2K League, which is kind of like a blessing, to be honest. You're playing video games for money! So, you gotta put that extra work in. - Nidal Nasser

Those people that believe they should have a spot in the league could have their chance sooner, rather than later. The NBA 2K league started with just 17 teams, but entered Season 3 with 23. One of those teams is the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai, the only team not affiliated with an NBA team. This means that as the league expands they could have more than just the 30 NBA team affiliates. 

The league could continue to expand in the future, and Nasser sees it having a global impact. 

"I hope it blows up, I really do," said Nasser. "The fact that we've gotten up to this point, I didn't even believe, and now my expectations are out the roof... I feel like we can only get better. I feel like the broadcast can get better. I feel like when trash-talking really is implemented when we go back to the stage, I feel like that's when people are really gonna dive into it."

If you do decide to dive into this league, you will realize it's more than just a video game. It's entertainment. Just like you watch your favorite reality TV show because of the personalities, or you watch your favorite movies because you fall in love with certain characters, you do the same with eSports. 

Some people have that thought process of, 'It's just video games. I can't get into it.' But then they're going to watch a drama series that is completely scripted. Just give it a shot. If you give it a shot you might like it. You might like a personality like me, like Walnut, like Brandon, doesn't matter who it is. Once you fall in love with somebody, once you just like their personality and just enjoy watching them, you're gonna tune back in. - Nidal Nasser on the NBA 2K League

Nasser has built off of last season's MVP season, averaging 30 points per game this season and leading Blazer5 to an undefeated record. Can they remain undefeated? You can find out for yourself next Wednesday when Blazer5 Gaming returns to the virtual court to take on Knicks Gaming. 

If you haven't seen Mama Im Dat Man do his thing, now is the perfect time to take the dive and see the entertaining league for yourself. 

You can catch all the action on the NBA 2K League's Twitch and YouTube channels.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Fry and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon.