Some might think that, under the Governor's imposed New York State Coronavirus Pause, the New York Metro area is a sports
ghost town. Yes, the N.Y. Knicks season was postponed exactly two months ago on March 13th and the Nets on March 12th, the Yankees and Mets season failed to open as scheduled on March 26th, the NY Islanders and Rangers have been on hiatus since March 12th and 14th respectively, the Ringmasters boxing tournament was postponed and there have been no spring collegiate sports including the scheduled Big East basketball championships at the Garden.
But on Wednesday, May 13th, a different kind of sport, an exciting game of basketball played not on the hardwood court but on a
court of electrons and photons, had New York sports fans excited and cheering for a professional league home team. The NBA2K league had kicked off its COVID-delayed 2020 season on March 11 with the New York Knicks franchise, the KNX, taking to the ether in their season opener on Wednesday, May 13th.
In front of a packed house of both virtual fans (above) and live viewers watching the action via streaming video on Twitch, the Knicks got off to a quick start and never looked back taking the season opener by the final score of 66 - 56. The high scorer for the game was the Knicks player, Duck, with 28 points, tied for that honor with the Heat's GlennRatty. The Knicks had three players in double digits as opposed to the Heat's two, with OriginalMalik pumping in 20 for the KNX the appropriately named CantGuardRob sinking in 10. The Knicks also out-rebounded the Heat with CantGuardRob pulling in 17, high for the game, and HazzaUK snatching 7 away from Miami.The night progressed in this opening two game series. the Knicks again bested the Heat Check with a dominant 84-62 win in game two, sweeping the season opening series.
This was MetroSports Magazine's first experience covering the growing phenomenon of eSports and we found this to be a much more engaging and exciting experience than we expected. To get a more informed opinion, MetroSports asked fellow sportswriter and social media site owner, Kurt Social Network, @Kurt_Social_Network for his thoughts. Kurt's take on this is that, " The NBA2K is not only the best NBA video Game, it’s also an NBA virtual experience. Why I love it so much is that it’s the closest thing to the actual real live NBA. With no live NBA at the moment, this will be something close to realistic to watch in their season. I think they have some good talented players on the team, Malik averaging 15 points per game and shooting 47% last season and HazzaUK, averaging 9 points per game and shooting the ball at 54% last season."
Harry Hurst, playing under the name HazzaUK, the Knicks center hails from Reading, England and is currently the only European player in the NBA2K league. He was picked up by the Knicks in the 4th round of the 2019 NBA2K draft. MetroSports Magazine spoke with HazzaUk who told us that, "being part of the Knicks is really special, living in the greatest city in the world, playing for a team with a championship already under their belt. I’m enjoying every minute out here so far and hope to have great success within the following months".
The Knicks KNX Gaming team brought the NBA2K inaugural season championship to New York in 2018 and is looking to repeat in this, the league and the team's third season. MetroSports will surely be there to provide more coverage as the season unfolds. Look for a more comprehensive view of the NBA2K New York Knicks in our next full issue of MetroSports Magazine, due out in the second week of June.