BROOKLYN — Nets Gaming Crew head coach Ivan Curtiss is like any basketball coach trying to put together a winning team. He goes through practices and game film with his players, sets a schedule for them each week, and is responsible for scouting the top talent that will fit his club.
The only difference is his basketball team is competing on virtual hardwood instead of an actual court. Curtiss leads the Nets NBA 2K League team, which competes in an organization comprised of 22 NBA-affiliated teams and three non-affiliated clubs that face one another in a more sophisticated version of the popular video game NBA 2K.
The league is entering its sixth season of existence and listening to Curtiss and the players talk, their day-to-day routine mimics what an NBA player might go through.
“For the players, they pretty much practice anywhere from four to six hours a day, sometimes eight in the preseason,” Curtiss told amNewYork inside the NetsGC’s Barclays Center facility. “But right now, it’s just a 12-6, Monday through Friday. Maybe come in 12-4 p.m. on Saturdays, but I give them Sundays off. I’m a big believer in just resting. Your mental health is important.
“Playing the game is great, but if you’re not good then you won’t be good in the game and therefore we won’t be good.”
Similar to their NBA counterparts, Nets Gaming Crew’s roster of players has their routines and rituals they do on a given game day. For instance, Veteran Shun “Streetz” Brown won’t eat on the day of a game because he said that he plays better on an empty stomach and it was something that worked well for him last season.
Then there’s Glennratty Wilkerson who won’t eat anything other than Whole Foods on game day.
“For some reason every time I ate Whole Foods I had a good game, so I just started doing that in the middle of (the last season),” he said.
And when it comes to preparing, Wilkerson spends his game day focusing on things away from 2K. He’ll spend the day listening to music or going to the gym.
NetsGC’s second overall pick in this year’s 2K League draft, Tariq “Greens” Reed, doesn’t have much of a routine yet.
Reed, a Brooklyn native and a rookie this year, arrived in Kings County by a sheer hand of luck when the draft lottery balls fell NetsGC’s way giving them the second overall pick. A big believer in manifesting his own destiny, Reed wasn’t surprised he was selected by Nets Gaming Crew.
“It means a lot to me,” Reed said about going second overall. “I wanted to be here. I wanted to put on for my city. I know I can do what I do best, which is score the ball and play make. It was just a blessing in disguise.”
Nets Gaming Crew opens their season on March 8.