So much speculation surrounded the NBA 2K League on Saturday night. So many rumors ran rampant around teams that were trying to adapt to the new normal. With a new season five format for the NBA 2K League, this was the busiest offseason in league history.
Teams often were moving on from players for young and promising draft picks. 2K League front offices focused of looking for guys that not only could compete on the 5v5 stage, but could hold their own on the 3v3 stage as well. Grizz Gaming was certainly being 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 told his 38th pick in the Draft, JRod.
It was a wild night that started out with Grizz Gaming taking Michael Diaz (BP) out of Bridgeport, Connecticut with the 12th pick in the 2K League Draft. BP is a veteran that 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 unbelieveable...For us it came down to a player that would fit with JMoney in the frontcourt,” Whitaker talked about the 12th pick in the draft. “Someone whom is versatile, we were stressing versatility with the way the NBA 2K League is now with the 3v3...BP played both guard positions in the league...I don’t think you find someone that is as good as BP at 3v3,” Whitaker said.
Pick 38 for Grizz Gaming had analyst scratching their heads around the league, when Justin Rodriguez (JRod) name was called by Grizz Gaming. JRod, whom has been in Memphis for the last three seasons, returns as a starter in Memphis’ back-court. If you dig deep enough, the JRod pick makes plenty of sense for Grizz Gaming.
“I don’t think I know a guy that fits our culture better than JRod...He’s been here since season two, he’s worked his tail off, and has done everything we’ve asked him to do at a high level,” Whitaker brought insight into the 38th pick in the 2K League Draft.
JRod provides Memphis with even more versatility and a veteran presence in the back court defensively. “He is one of the best corner three-point shooters I’ve seen,” Whitaker discussed what JRod brings to this current roster.
Could care less what anybody thinks. @JRODTHEGOAT is easily the best and most versatile teammate I ever had. Welcome back fam Couldn't be happier to get you back— AuthenticAfrican (@AuthenticAfr) February 27, 2022
Of course these two picks weren’t going to be cornerstone priority anyway you broke it down. The two picks were to push Memphis further than a first round exit last season. Their new core is Authentic African, Spartan, and JMoney. These two picks were to complement and alleviate some pressure off of their stars.
When discussing the defensive identity that this roster has Whitaker praised his back court, “I don’t think you can get better than those two (Authentic African and Spartan) as the back half of your front line...Having those guys makes everyone else feel more comfortable (defensively) knowing those guys have your back…”
As far as the new floor general in Memphis, Whitaker had high praise for the addition of JMoney. “Having watched him play, Jmoney is one of those guys that can control a game...have a guard that can control a game like that means a lot in this league...” Whitaker also discussed JMoney’s playmaking at Point Guard, “He led the league in assists per game last year...he is going to maximize (the players) around him...”
A Sneaky Good Team in Memphis...
You just get the vibe ahead of season five that the more versatile teams will win more money given the 3v3 tournament. The only question surrounding Grizz Gaming will be - how quickly will this starting five gel with one another? All have played together at some point, but face to face and in person will be different.
Every player on this Grizz Gaming roster has stage experience, which definitely helps. A seasoned group entering a season with a brand new format has its benefits. There is a lot of potential, along with a lot of questions, surrounding this Grizz Gaming roster. Should be a fun build up to season five!