Similar to the current Memphis Grizzlies Front Office, Grizz Gaming General Manager Lang Whitaker is not looking to rush a rebuild. Instead, he wants to capitalize on what he has while building through the draft. An element that could evolve the way the 2K League views their future prospects, along with how teams let players progress throughout their 2K careers.
Guiding the ship for Grizz Gaming, Lang Whitaker brings a different element to the current state of the NBA 2K League that is entering its fourth season. A league that is trying to find it’s own identity. Whitaker, with no initial background in ESports, brings an element that the league will need - patience with player development.
Patience with the rush that comes with the very young NBA 2K League. Following an offseason that Whitaker gave up their 2021 First Round Pick in order to obtain a 2K League Champion in G O O F Y 7 5 7. Whitaker then flipped the 2K League Champion Center in the league’s first ever three team trade for two first round picks in the upcoming 2K League Draft.
Retaining Authentic African, whom made the Canadian ESports Olympic team and is arguably the most versatile player in the 2K League, is key. Bringing back Point Guard Vandi, whom will look to build on a season where he doubled his points per game from his rookie season to his sophomore season. Entering his fourth 2K League season, you are starting to see Whitaker’s influence not only with Grizz Gaming, but the 2K league as a whole.
Shawn Coleman wrote a fantastic article regarding the Grizzlies Front Office, and there was a quote that made me think of Lang Whitaker’s situation in Memphis...“This variety and flexibility is certainly an ideal position to operate from for a creative front office leading a rebuild in a small market.” A variety of positions available at the current time, and having two guys that are flexible, Whitaker continues to make competitive moves to progress his organization.
In Grizz Gaming’s scenario, it’s not a rebuild, but finding the missing puzzle pieces to complete the picture. The Grizz already have the corners to this puzzle that is a hopeful 2021 season, but are now in search of the pieces that connect the frame.
Whitaker has Grizz Gaming sitting in arguably the best position in four seasons. Four draft picks (two first rounders), two top tier guys at their respective positions, and an opportunity to surround them with guys that can shoot the ball in the upcoming 2021 2K League Draft.
Give Whitaker his roses - with no experience, he drafted the most versatile player in the league in season one. In season two found his point guard, and now he has obtained assets to continue progressing Grizz Gaming heading into season four.