No matter if you’re in middle school hopping on with your friends after the 3:00 PM bell rings, or you’re one of the leading candidates for the NBPA Leader of the New School Award, video games give everyone an outlet to jump into a whole new world’s reality.
Whether it be playing as themselves in NBA 2K20 or running in the fields in Fortnite with their squad made up of players from all over the league, video games are a great way for Union members to spend time between intense battles on the court. Now, there is more time than ever for people to enhance their hobbies, and video games are a hobby a lot of the 450 players have developed during their time in quarantine.
We were able to see the competitive edge the union members have extend off the hardwood and into the virtual world during the NBPA Michelob Ultra Open on WGT. However, their passion for finding that feeling of competition didn’t start or end when Garrett Temple took down Danilo Gallinari in the finals.
The Timberwolves Trio of Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and Kelan Martin have spent their extra time in quarantine battling it out in Fifa. You may say they should be spending that time on the court, but the teammates have found a way to improve their game on the sticks and on the court: loser has to do 20 push-ups.
Russell took home the win in the above battle, forcing Martin to pay the price and put in the work in the “gym.” With the young trio of Towns, Russell, and Martin looking to propel the Timberwolves forward next season, their extra time off the court is being best utilized by improving their team chemistry while also using their competitive nature to build strength for the games that matter most.
While Russell is one point guard who is seeing success on the sticks, not all the Union members are winning both on the court and on the virtual courts. Ja Morant, one of the leaders for the NBPA Leader of the New School Award and a rising star in the league, has trouble translating his success on the court into success on the controller.
Good thing Morant is going to be in Orlando with the reigning NBA 2K Players Tournament champion, Devin Booker, for the season’s resumption of play - maybe Booker can give Morant some tips in the downtime from the competitive setting that is the NBA playoffs.
With the Union members heading down to Orlando for the foreseeable future to crown a 2020 NBA Champion, there will be more downtime than ever for the players in between heated battles on the court. With suitcases being packed to the brim, you can be sure to see gaming consoles as a necessity as the members go down their packing list.