Updated: 11:06 p.m.
NBA fans are desperate for entertainment.
With the season on hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, the league is still aiming to provide some sort of distraction. According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, the NBA is planning to have a players-only NBA2K tournament, and hopes to launch the event on Friday. Haynes reports the tournament will include 16 players and last 10 days.
This report leads us to consider who might represent the Sixers if they have a player participating.
Let’s rank the 15 players on the roster based on what we know about them as people, athletes and gamers. (This ranking is highly unscientific.)
15. Al Horford — The oldest on the roster and a family man. Video games don’t seem like Horford’s cup of tea.
14. Kyle O’Quinn — He prefers yoga.
13. Zhaire Smith — Smith doesn’t often have a lot of downtime. “When I have an off day or something and I’m not doing anything, I’ll watch the Sixers. I try my best to watch them, but usually I’m busy,” he said in January.
12. Tobias Harris — You might remember what Mike Scott said about Harris in October: “He reads books.” That’s not to say reading and 2K are mutually exclusive, but Harris doesn't appear a likely candidate to be a great gamer.
11. Furkan Korkmaz — Korkmaz spent a large chunk of this summer playing for Turkey in the FIBA World Cup and working on his game and conditioning. He can’t have taken much time sharpening whatever 2K abilities he has.
10. Raul Neto — Neto’s a fashionable, polished guy. He could very well be an excellent gamer, but he doesn’t fit the stereotype.
9. Norvel Pelle — He found out that he was going to be converted to an NBA deal while watching a movie in his bed. Make of that what you will.
8. Josh Richardson — As of two years ago, Richardson said he was “trash” at 2K. He at least plays and would probably have an idea of what he was doing.
7. Matisse Thybulle — We saw Thybulle lose to the Suns’ Mikal Bridges on Friday night. Defense was, ironically, his Achilles heel.
6. Glenn Robinson III — It’s a big stretch, but Robinson was on a young Warriors team for the first half of the season and might have some relatively recent reps against solid, young competition.
5. Alec Burks — Ditto with Burks.
4. Shake Milton — This is mostly gut feel (not that the other rankings are much different). Whatever the competition, Milton's poise can’t hurt.
3. Joel Embiid — Embiid was apparently good enough to crush Markelle Fultz. We’re not sure exactly how good that is, but it’s something.
2. Mike Scott — Back in 2011, he claimed to sport a 21-3 online record in 2K. Though he said last year that he quit on the game because “they made me so trash up there,” he can’t have entirely lost those skills.
1. Ben Simmons — Simmons is the Sixers’ most accomplished gamer by far and says he “can play any game.” He’s the clear pick unless there’s someone out there with a hidden talent.
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