It's a new era for Blazer5 Gaming.
After a disappointing season in 2020, the squad decided to hit the reset button.
One of the most successful teams in the early history of the NBA 2K League flipped the entire roster. Former league MVPs "Mama Im Dat Man" and "OneWildWalnut" are gone and the squad has been rebuilt from the ground up.
It's now up to Rashan "Scretty" Petty, Christopher "BreawinnerLA" Lafanette, Matthew "Bash" Robles, Marquize "Randomz" Gill, Joel "JoelLazu" Lazu, and Dayvon "G O O F Y 7 5 7" Curry to lead the charge.
The team may be new faces to Blazer5, but they aren't new to the league. Petty and Lafanette both played for 76ers gaming last season. While the 76ers went just 7-9 last year, the duo did help the team become first in league history to reach 50 all-time wins. Lafanette was top 15 in steals and blocks, earning 2K League All-Defensive Team and All-Rookie Team honors while Petty averaged 12.6 points, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals.
Gill, played for Nets GC last season averaging 11.3 points, 1.1 assists and 2.3 steals.
Robles was the league's 15th leading scorer last season, averaging 26.2 points for Kings Guard Gaming. He also averaged 7.1 assists, the 11th most in the league.
Lazu averaged 15.8 points, 4.2 assists and 1.0 steals with Grizz Gaming in 2019 and brings a real versatile playing style to the Blazer5 lineup.
But perhaps the biggest get of the offseason was the man in the paint, Dayvon "G O O F Y 7 5 7" Curry. Curry was the ninth overall pick in the inaugural 2K League Draft. He led the league in rebounding in 2019, was No.9 in rebounding in 2020, and helped Knicks Gaming with the first-ever championship in 2K League history.
He hopes to use that championship experience to take Blazer5 to the next level.
"That just comes with me being myself. When I'm myself I'm bringing my teammates together, I'm giving my teammates confidence," said Curry. "I'm a champion. I never forget how I got there and the No.1 thing I can say got me there is chemistry. I wanna come in here, I wanna gel with all my guys... have good vibes, good energy, because when you got that good energy, it's unmatchable."
Blazer5 Gaming has had lofty goals every season, but a fresh start for the franchise means that the team can play loose and free of expectations. "It's very exciting cause we're starting from scratch," said Curry. "It's a new organization. They have nobody on that team, it's just a whole brand new roster. "
That roster may take time gel, but it has the pieces to bring the hardware to Portland. With so much roster turnover, people may be sleeping in Blazers5 this season. The external expectations may be lowered, but for Curry and Co., the bar for success is still set high.
"The thing about this group of guys here, we're coming to win. We got expectations of our own. We know what we want to do. Everybody got the same mindset. We got the same goal and we wanna get that championship. That's it."
The team hasn't even played games together but they are already on the same page.
It may not be championship or bust like it was in the past, but a title is still the goal. The difference from seasons past is this B5 squad isn't a title favorite out of the gate.
Like their NBA brothers across the Rose Quarter, Blazer5 is an underdog. The Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard have always thrived as underdogs. They have always excelled with a chip on their shoulder.
Hopefully, that chip leads Blazer5 to the 'ship. It will if Curry has his way. Really, he summed up what he wants to do with Blazer5 in six simple words...