So much speculation has surrounded the NBA 2K League Saturday evening. So many rumors swirled around teams trying to adapt to the new normal. With a new season five format for the NBA 2K League, it was the busiest offseason in league history.
Teams often transitioned from players to young and promising draft picks. The 2K League offices focused on finding guys who not only could compete in the 5v5 arena, but who could also hold their own in the 3v3 arena. Grizz Gaming was definitely one of those teams. “I think we have one of the most versatile teams in the 2K League,” Grizz Gaming general manager and head coach Lang Whitaker said of his 38th draft pick. JRod.
It was a crazy night that started with Grizz Gaming taking Michael Diaz (BP) of Bridgeport, Connecticut with the 12th pick in the 2K League Draft. BP is a veteran who adds versatility to an already versatile Grizz Gaming Front-Court that includes JMoney. BP appeared in 18 games for Hawks Talon GC last season.
“As a player, (BP) is amazing… For us, he was a player that would suit JMoney in the frontcourt,” Whitaker said of the 12th pick in the draft. “Someone who is versatile, we were emphasizing versatility with how the NBA 2K League is now with 3v3…BP played both guard positions in the league…I don’t think that you find someone as good as BP at 3-3,” Whitaker said.
Pick 38 for Grizz Gaming had analysts scratching their heads around the league, when the name of Justin Rodriguez (JRod) was called out by Grizz Gaming. JRod, who has been in Memphis for three seasons, returns as a starter in the Memphis backyard. If you dig deep enough, the JRod choice makes a lot of sense for Grizz Gaming.
“I don’t think I know a guy who fits our culture better than JRod…He’s been here since season two, he’s worked hard and done everything we asked him to do at a level high,” Whitaker previewed the 38th pick in the 2K League draft.
JRod gives Memphis even more versatility and a veteran backyard presence defensively. “He’s one of the best three-point corner shooters I’ve seen,” Whitaker explained of what JRod brings to this current roster.
It doesn’t matter what everyone thinks. @JRODTHEGOAT is by far the best and most versatile teammate I have ever had. Welcome fam Couldn’t be happier to have you back
— Authentic African (@AuthenticAfr) February 27, 2022
Of course, those two choices weren’t going to be the fundamental priority anyway, you broke it. Both picks were expected to push Memphis further than a first-round exit last season. Their new nucleus is Authentic African, Spartan, and JMoney. These two choices were to complement each other and ease the pressure on their stars.
When discussing this roster’s defensive identity, Whitaker praised his backyard: “I don’t think you can do better than these two (authentic African and Spartan) as the back half of your front line…Having these guys makes everyone else feel more comfortable (defensively) knowing these guys have your back…”
As for the new floor general in Memphis, Whitaker praised the addition of JMoney. “Having seen him play, Jmoney is one of those guys who can control a game…to have a guard who can control a game like that means a lot in this league…” Whitaker also discussed the game of JMoney at Point Guard, “He led the league in assists per game last year…he’s going to maximize (the players) around him…”
A good sneaky team in Memphis…
You just get the vibe ahead of season five that the more versatile teams will earn more money given the 3v3 tournament. The only question surrounding Grizz Gaming will be – how quickly will these five starts sync? All of them have played together at some point, but face-to-face and in-person will be different.
Every player on this list from Grizz Gaming has stage experience, which certainly helps. A seasoned group entering a season with an all-new format has its advantages. There’s a lot of potential, as well as a lot of questions surrounding this roster from Grizz Gaming. This should be fun until season five!