As Justin “JRod” Rodriguez heads into an action packed week four with Grizz Gaming, his journey to season four of the 2K League was quite the roller coaster. The 22 year old 2K League wing attacked the offseason in a variety of ways. Going unretained by the Grizz following last season, dominating the PS4 Pro-Am scene, then going undrafted - JRod is back helping Grizz Gaming as their Sixth Man.
Winning four offseason rings with RDG2K on PS4, and looking like the virtual Golden State Warriors, JRod played Small Forward, along with a pivotal role in RDG’s offseason success. “It took some time (years) for us to come together as one, but our chemistry is why we were so successful,” JRod discussed RDG’s dominating offseason with GBB.
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All Pre draft, Greatest Pro-AM TEAM ever assembled.
Following their dominating offseason on current gen, JRod took a different approach to Next Gen on the PlayStation 5. “I asked myself, what can I do to keep myself in the league as long as possible,” JRod talk about his unique approach to grinding next gen. “To be the first player to reach first legend, that boosts your name up so much,” JRod discussed building a brand, while working on his draft stock in the offseason.
While plenty of draft boards had JRod as a lock for a second round draft pick, he went undrafted. “It was disappointing,” JRod reflects on the feeling of not hearing his name called. “It was more disappointed in myself, verses blaming other teams,” JRod explained.
This is to be expected from a guy like JRod that holds himself accountable, and always puts others before himself. Those aren’t completely my words, but his teammates words when asked about him. “He is the best teammate,” Grizz Gaming Point Guard Vandi told me this offseason.
“That’s the one thing I take pride in,” JRod talked about his goals of being a teammate. “Whatever I can do (on or off the court) to help my teammates, and help the team win, I take pride in that.”
In terms of transitioning from a Grizz Gaming starter his last three seasons to the sixth man role this season is something that JRod is embracing.
Being the Grizz Gaming sixth man, JRod is tasked with looking at how the opponent is reacting to certain plays, and rotations. Communicating what he is seeing with Grizz Gaming Head Coach Lang Whitaker, along with the starting five during timeouts, and at the half of games.
“One thing I realized about myself is that how well I can analyze the game when I take a step back, and watch scrimmages,” JRod said as he shared how he’s helped the Grizz from a different role.
As far as how different this team is from ones in the past, “The hot start, and the vibes.” “I feel like we are all on the same page.” “To be a signature team, you have to have a really good defense, and we have one of the best point differentials in the League,” JRod continued.
Broadening his resume, and continuing his longevity in the 2K League, JRod can add Sixth Man to his accomplishments. Hopefully, JRod can add more to that very extensive resume as season four continues for Grizz Gaming.