The Los Angeles Lakers were announced as one of the four NBA teams that will be getting an NBA 2K League affiliate for the popular eSports league’s second season. The league will also add affiliates owned by the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves, bringing the total number of teams up to 21.
“Welcoming these four world-class organizations and their passionate fanbases to the NBA 2K League is an exciting moment not only for the league, but for the entire 2K community,” NBA 2K League Managing Director Brendan Donohue said. “From their innovative spirit to their global reach, we know each of these teams will be a tremendous addition, and we are thrilled that this growth offers the opportunity for new players, coaches and support staff to join the league.”
The Lakers released a video on Twitter announcing their involvement on Wednesday:
Coming soon… #NBA2KLeague— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) August 15, 2018
: https://t.co/0cE391LO8W pic.twitter.com/G4Bm207EBJ
The league, which tipped off its inaugural season in May, is getting ready for the start of the NBA 2K League Playoffs on Friday at the NBA 2K League Studio Powered by Intel in New York City.
Following the conclusion of the Finals on August 25, the league will start integrating the four aforementioned expansion teams starting with the league expansion draft, which is expected to take place on September 28, according to Jacob Wolf of ESPN, two weeks after the release of NBA 2K 19.
Six lucky players will have the opportunity to represent Los Angeles while living in New York City and can make up to $35,000 per season. For context, the G League’s minimum salary was just raised to $35,000 last season, while minimum contracts in the NBA start at $41,000. If there were ever a time to invest time in playing video games, it’s now.
However, being eligible for the NBA 2K League draft is no cake walk. Here’s the extensive process broken down by SB Nation’s own Kofie Yeboah:
Players interested in making the league had to win 50 games in 2K’s pro-am mode in January.
Those that qualified in that position had the opportunity to participate in the NBA 2KLeague combine. Did that combine have its kinks? Yes.
From this combine and an application, 250 players were selected by the league. After each player was interviewed by the league, it was whittled down to the 102-player draft pool that we currently have.
Expect a similar process to take place sooner rather than later, assuming it’s not already underway.
From LeBron James signing to Los Angeles to a new expansion team, it’s an exciting time to be a fan of Lakers basketball.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.