CHICAGO – With the NBA seasons on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic and no return in sight, the league is getting creative with ideas to keep competition going amongst the players.
Their latest idea will include a member of the Bulls, who will take part in a 16-player tournament online.
Guard Zach LaVine is among the group chosen to take part in the league’s “NBA 2K Players Tournament.” They will face off playing the video game “NBA 2K20” for Xbox One starting on April 3rd, with the tournament being televised on ESPN and ESPN2. The winner will select a charity to donate $100,000 towards their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first two rounds will be played that Friday and Sunday, April 5th, with the quarterfinal round on Tuesday, April 7th. Both the semifinals and finals will take place on Saturday, April 11th.
LaVine was given a seventh-seed in the tournament based on two factors: His rating in the game and his tenure. This tournament will follow a traditional bracket, so seventh-seeded LaVine will facing tenth-seed Deandre Ayton of the Suns in the first round.
Here’s the entire seeding for the tournament:
1. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets (96)
2. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (90)
3. Hassan Whiteside, Portland Trail Blazers (87)
4. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz (87)
5. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (86)
6. Andre Drummond, Cleveland Cavaliers (85)
7. Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (85)
8. Montrezl Harrell, LA Clippers (85)
9. Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers (85)
10. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns (85)
11. DeMarcus Cousins (81)
12. Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets (81)
13. Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards (79)
14. Patrick Beverley, LA Clippers (78)
15. Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings (78)
16. Derrick Jones Jr., Miami Heat (78)
LaVine is no stranger to video game tournaments, having taken part in Slam Online’s “Call of Duty” Tournament shortly after the NBA season was put on hold.
In an interview Monday with Sam Smith of Bulls.com, LaVine talked about his passion for gaming and that he was going to start his own Twitch account to play more online.
Now he’ll get the chance to show off his skills for a national audience who is in need of some distraction during a difficult time in our country’s history.