The NBA Is Starting An NBA2k Esports League Next Year, and 17 Teams Are Already In

We already knew the NBA and its franchises were going to back an NBA2K Esports league, but now we know just how many teams were grabbing a controller and jumping in.

The NBA announced Thursday that 17 of its 30 franchises have signed on to back an NBA2k eSports league it’s developing in a partnership with Take-Two, the developer that makes its NBA2K games.
“Our teams have expressed tremendous enthusiasm for eSports,” league managing director Brendan Donogue said in a release. “We are looking forward to forming something truly unique for basketball and gaming fans around the globe.”

The NBA2k community is huge, and the game is consistently one of the best sports titles of the year. Making this whole thing professional seemed like a matter of time, and the Association is very serious about getting in on the ground floor.

Here’s the full list of pro franchises that are backing the endeavor, in case you want to start sharpening your skills now to prepare for a tryout for your hometown team:
– Boston Celtics
– Cleveland Cavaliers
– Dallas Mavericks
– Detroit Pistons
– Golden State Warriors
– Indiana Pacers
– Memphis Grizzlies
– Miami Heat
– Milwaukee Bucks
– New York Knicks
– Orlando Magic
– Philadelphia 76ers
– Portland Trail Blazers
– Sacramento Kings
– Toronto Raptors
– Utah Jazz
– Washington Wizards

Notable inclusions here are the 76ers, who last fall became the first North American pro sports team to invest in an Esports team. Memphis Grizzlies owner Stephen Kalpan has a stake in a group that’s also involved with Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis and Warriors co-owner Peter Gruber, who both see their teams make the list.

As the influence of Esports grows and the league takes shape, one wonders if other neophyte owners get their teams involved. There’s lots of money to be made in gaming these days, and we know how much sports owners like that.

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