The Nets announced in August that they’ll be joining the league’s NBA 2k competition, one of four new teams along with the Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Minnesota Timberwolves, bringing the number of NBA teams in the esports league to 21.
Now, after hiring top esports figures as special advisers — and making their first two picks in the league expansion draft on September 27, the NetsGC is getting ready for their first season, which begins next spring and before that the league’s annual draft. Ivan Curtiss, one of the Nets consultants, tells NetsDaily the organization is ready to compete.
“Oh yes definitely, said Curtiss.” “We are committed to this league…
“Goals for the upcoming season are to go into the 2019 Draft and select players that we can continue to build with in hopes to form a competitive team that will gel and compete for a NBA2K League Championship.”
Curtiss worked with the Bucks team last season. The Nets hired him and Nick Gartelle, a local gamer, to help them with the expansion draft, then the build-up to the NBA2k season which begins in the spring. As evidence of the Nets commitment, the organization paid out a $750,000 fee to join the NBA2K League.
And after the Expansion Draft, held last month, so far so good. Nets GC were granted the second overall pick and the seventh pick. With the No. 2 overall pick, they selected Nate Kahl, a member of the Knicks NBA 2k championship squad, and oShockey of the Pacers with the seventh pick.
Kahl with his championship experience was a particularly solid pick, as Forbes noted…
Finals MVP and NBA 2K League swiss army knife, Nate Kahl doesn’t even have to move out of the state. After helping to lead Knicks Gaming to an improbable championship, Kahl will now be the man looked to for leadership at the outset of the Nets Gaming Club journey.
oShockey’s pick, Forbes said, was a bit of a surprise, but he had one thing going for him.
Almost to a man, people vouch for the Shockey’s character. If you consider he’s teaming with another of the most high-character guys in the league in Nate Kahl, it’s clear Nets Gaming placed mental makeup high on its priority list.
The expansion draft consisted of eight picks giving each of the four teams two picks.
Curtiss talked in particular about what Kahl brings to this new NetsGC team and the main motive behind his selection.
“Nate Kahl brings championship DNA as well as great leadership. He is a great teammate and a high character individual. We are more than pleased to have him at Nets GC!”
Kahl is coming off a great season with Knicks Gaming. Now with Nets GC, Kahl will have a different role of being a leader and the cornerstone player for the franchise.
During the regular season, Kahl averaged 8.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 0.9 assists as a small forward with Knicks Gaming. His tournament stats is what is even more impressive averaging 10.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game leading to a NBA2K League Championship. Kahl was selected with the 9th pick in the second round of the 2018 Draft.
Curtiss talked about what oShockey brings to Nets GC and the surprise behind the selection.
“It was pretty surprising for many people when we selected him, said Curtiss.” “He can play multiple positions for our team and we felt he is a player that can really help us win.”
He spent the 2018 season with Pacers Gaming and was not expected to be apart of the Expansion Draft. Many think oShockey was taken a little early on the board but he made the right impression on Nets GC.
Both Kahl and Shockey have great character as well as talent, according to many league experts and other NBA2K League gamers so it is clear Nets GC wants to build a team around character and talent.
Another common theme within Nets GC is great relationships. Nets GC special advisors Curtiss and Gartrelle have known each other for a while and Curtiss believes this will be a valuable tool for success.
“I have known Nick (Gartrelle) for about three years so we already have a great relationship, said Curtiss.” “He is a great addition to this team and I know we will work great together.”
Curtiss also discussed other reports that Nets GC will be using the Barclays Center practice court as their gaming teams “studio space.” According to Curtis, those reports are not official but there will be a decision soon.
“I know there was some talk about us using the Barclays Center practice court for our studio space but nothing has been confirmed.”
The Nets rarely use the small practice court other than on game nights when it becomes an extension of the team’s nearby family room.
The NBA2K season is short, running from early May to mid-August, but its first season proved popular. All NBA2K League games are live streamed on Twitch under their NBA2KLeague channel. The Twitch channel also provides viewers podcasts and highlights from previous games.
Viewership for the startup league increased throughout last season with big games peaking at 28,000 concurrent viewers. The Nets television broadcasts on YES Network average around 30,000 viewers.
With the Long Island Nets in the G League and now Nets Gaming Crew in NBA2K, the organization has expanded beyond the 82 games (plus playoffs) of the NBA season.
The NBA 2K League, a joint venture between the NBA and Take-Two Interactive, is a professional esports league featuring the best NBA 2K players in the world. It’s also the first official esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league.