SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Some of the NBA's biggest stars will return to competition in an unconventional way this week.
The NBA's regular season remains suspended as the country continues to battle the coronavirus crisis, but the league is getting creative to give sports fans their fix even while live events are halted for the foreseeable future.
Beginning this Friday, 16 NBA players will compete head-to-head in a players-only NBA 2K video game tournament to be broadcast on ESPN with the winner earning $100,000 to put toward a coronavirus relief effort of his choice.
Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes is among those competing in The NBA 2K Players Tournament headlined by two-time NBA Champion Kevin Durant who earned the top seed in the event.
Players were seeded based on their NBA 2K20 ratings and their tenure in the league with the first two rounds set to be single elimination.
The semifinals and finals, set to air April 11 on ESPN, will be best-of-three. Each player selects eight teams to play with throughout the tournament but they can only use each team once.
Barnes, the 15th seed, will face second-seeded Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the first-of-its-kind tournament.
The NBA 2K Players Tournament features All-Stars like Phoenix’s Devin Booker, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and former Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins.
Here is a look at the field and seeding for the NBA 2K20 Players 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, Los Angeles Clippers (85)
9. Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers (85)
10. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns (85)
11. DeMarcus Cousins, FA (81)
12. Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets (81)
13. Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards (79)
14. Patrick Beverley, Los Angeles Clippers (78)
15. Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings (78)
16. Derrick Jones Jr., Miami Heat (78)
Here's how you can watch the NBA 2K20 Players Tournament:
- Friday, April 3, ESPN, 4 p.m. — 5:30 p.m. PT
- Friday, April 3, ESPN2, 5:30 p.m. — 5:30 p.m. PT
- Sunday, April 5, ESPN2, 9 a.m. — 1 p.m. PT
Quarterfinals: Tuesday, April 7, ESPN2, 4 — 8 p.m. PT
Semifinals & Finals: Saturday, April 11, ESPN, Time TBD
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