Here are some things you should know heading into the inaugural NBA 2K League draft:
- The NBA 2K League includes 17 teams, all owned by NBA franchises, including Utah’s Jazz Gaming.
- The draft takes place Wednesday at 11 a.m. MDT at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
- The first round will be televised live on NBA TV, and the entire draft will be streamed on Twitch (www.twitch.tv/nba2kleague).
- Each team will draft six players from a pool of 102 players, who went through tryouts and a combine. The player pool began with 72,000 players, which was whittled down to 250 after the combine. The final 102 players were selected after live, one-on-one interviews with every player.
- The six-round draft will use a snake format, meaning the second round will go in reverse order of the first round. Jazz Gaming has the third, 32nd, 37th, 66th, 71st and 100th selections.
- Mavs Gaming will pick first and last.
- Teams (in draft order) include: Mavs Gaming, Celtics Crossover Gaming, Jazz Gaming, Kings Guard Gaming, Pistons GT, Blazer5 Gaming, Heat Check Gaming, Magic Gaming, Knicks Gaming, Bucks Gaming, Raptors Uprising GC, Wizards District Gaming, Pacers Gaming, 76ers GC, Grizz Gaming, Cavs Legion GC and Warriors Gaming Squad.
- The season begins in May.
- Teams will select one player from each position (point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center) in the first five rounds and can then pick a player from any position in the sixth round.
- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver became interested in pursuing an e-sports league — he calls it the NBA's "fourth league" — three summers ago when he attended the North American League of Legends Championship Series Finals at MSG. Silver will be at the NBA 2K Draft on Wednesday to announce the first pick. "I remember thinking, it was a hot summer night in August, who in the world would be at Madison Square Garden for this competition?" Silver told ESPN.com. "I knew it had sold out (22,000), but I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of an audience."
- Jazz forward Jonas Jerebko owns a professional e-sports team called the Detroit Renegades, as Deseret News writer Eric Woodyard chronicled in a recent story, "Game of Life: Jazz forward Jonas Jerebko juggles hoops, family and e-sports ownership."
- The Jazz have been working behind the scenes on building their e-sports franchise for more than a year. “We are proud to be one of the original teams in this new league, which will offer unprecedented access and opportunity to all gamers based on their playing skills,” Larry HD Miller Sports & Entertainment chief information officer BJ Vander Linden said. “And we look forward to connecting with a new audience through NBA 2K.”
- Shaquille O'Neal announced earlier this week that he's the general manager of the Kings' NBA 2K team. Longtime Jazz IT employee Josh Barney is Utah’s director of e-sports.
- Jazz Gaming’s logos pay tribute to the state of Utah as well as the Beehive State’s favorite NBA team. The primary logo is a 3D shape of Utah, with a white U and gold J outlined in navy blue. The secondary logo features the team’s name and includes a pair of eighth notes in place of the A in Jazz.
Available players include: