As far as trades in the NBA 2K League go, this was a BIG one!
After being protected by Knicks Gaming this fall, it was assumed that we’d be watching G O O F Y 7 5 7 take the sticks for the team he won a championship with in 2018. But Grizz Gaming, looking to fortify their lineup, had other plans.
In blockbuster fashion, the Grizz packaged up their 2020 1st & 2nd Round draft picks and 2021 1st Round pick and sent them to Knicks Gaming in exchange for the Season 2-leader in RPG (14.9), who also finished third in the League in FG%. Not too shabby. The Grizz, understandably, have big expectations for Season 3.
We caught up with Memphis’s newest baller about his move south, hopes for Season 3 and personal expectations heading into a new environment.
Question: First things first: Congratulations! You’re now a member of the Memphis Grizzlies franchise. What was the first thing you thought of when you saw you were going to the Grizz?
Goofy: The first thing that I thought of was that I get to play with Vandi and AuthenticAfrican. Two great players, I was very excited about that.
Q: What is it about those two that makes you think you’re going to mesh well with them? I saw you tweet the Miami Heat Big 3 gif after the trade was announced.
G: Authentic is a great player, I’ve known him for years. He’s a versatile player, he can literally play 1-5 and he’s a great guy. Vandi is a cool kid. Towards the end of the season or the second half of the season, he was getting more comfortable with the game. You could tell he was more comfortable at point guard as he played the game more. I feel like me and him are going to mesh well with each other.
Q: Besides the two guys and of course playing for Lang, what are you pumped about when it comes to Memphis, I know you’re a midwest kid from Houston.
G: I was born in Virginia originally, but I keep hearing about the BBQ, that’s what I’m excited for.
Q: There is always a backside to getting traded. You spent two years with Knicks Gaming, you were their first-ever draft pick, won a championship in Season 1, is there anything you are going to particularly miss about playing for the Knicks?
G: One thing I am going to miss is the home-court advantage. That was really a real thing (playing in front of a crowd at the New York City studio).
Q: Let’s talk Season 2, you didn’t play during THE TICKET, you were sat for a couple of key games as well. How did you handle last season from a mental standpoint being in and out of the lineup?
G: Mentally … it wasn’t about me, it was about the team. Whatever was going to help the team, that’s pretty much what I wanted to do. Statistics don’t mean anything to me, I just want to win. We didn’t have the best season we could have, but that was pretty much it.
Q: Even with stats not being too important to you, you’re with the Grizz now. Is there anything for Season 3 that you are improving going into next season?
G: You can always improve your game no matter what. Each season I’m looking to improve the same things… leadership, passing, defense, offense, pretty much being a vocal leader and understanding my teammates.
Q: Where do you see yourself over the next few years?
G: Hopefully in Memphis. I don’t plan on retiring anytime soon, I’m very competitive. As long as the league is around, I plan on being around.
Q: Hey, it’s good from a content standpoint as well, we’re happy to have you! The two years you had with Knicks Gaming, we saw you as an extremely passionate guy. You were the emotional backbone of that team. From a team chemistry standpoint, how pivotal is it to a team’s success? Is that something in Memphis you think will be better overall?
G: Chemistry is big for me. Chemistry starts off the court, before the games on the court. Once you and your teammates get cool off the court, you get to know each other, it gets easier when you play with them on the court.
Q: Do you have any pre-existing relationships with AuthenticAfrican or Vandi? Have you ever played with them before?
G: No, the funny thing about it is, me and Vandi have been playing against each other for the last two or three years. We’ve gone back and forth and I’ve been playing against Bennett (AA) since like 2K16. I’ve known Authentic for years.
Q: What are your Top 3 goals for you in Season 3?
G: 1. Get Grizz Gaming a tournament win. 2. I wanna get 3 banners at LEAST! 3. I wanna win the championship.
Q: What’s it going to be like for you traveling to New York now? In past years, you were right across the river in Jersey City. You’ll have a flight to take every week now!
G: The thing about it? I like flying! I always tell people that, I love flying. The other good thing; it’s only like a 2-hour plane ride to New York, so it’s really not that big of a deal to me.
Q: Tell us the origin story of your gamertag? Where did G O O F Y 7 5 7 come from?
G: G O O F Y 7 5 7 came from the NBA 2K15 days. We had these teams, Sunset, Rivets and Fliers, and they had the rip system ‘Legend 3.’ I had a Legend 3 account, and he was for Sunset Ballers. His name was Smack__. My team, they wanted to go to the Fliers. I didn’t want to be Sunset because I was already Legend 3 and you get the mascots with that, all the good stuff. So my teammate at the time was like, why don’t you just make a different account? I was like, I never thought of that! So I’m up in my room, thinking, I’m asking my teammates, what name should I pick? Next thing I know, a dude named Funny 812 joined the party. I seen his name and instantly I just thought about Goofy. I liked the area code at the end of his name so I just put 757 into my tag. I’ve been sticking with it ever since.
Q: What advice do you have for prospects going through the Combine for the first time?
G: One: Go out there and be a great teammate first. Two: Just go out there and play your game. Don’t go out there trying to be like Kobe Bryant and chuck up 80 shots. Get yourself involved and get your teammates involved. Do the little things. Get rebounds, steals, help your teammates out, make call-outs, stuff like that.
Q: What was your Draft Day like? Tell us about the experiences you had.
G: Draft Day, man I had a feeling I’ll never forget. I’m in New York, I don’t know what’s going to happen, I don’t know where I’m gonna go, I’m nervous, I’m just thinking, man this is really what I worked my entire life for. I’ve been playing the game for years, and [playing in the 2K League] is actually about to come true. I was excited! I was at a loss for words that day. I didn’t expect to go 1st round, I didn’t expect to go Number 9, so there was just a lot of happiness for me that day.
Q: What kind of player do you want to see fill in the 5th and 6th man spots on the Grizz Gaming roster for Season 3 from a skills and personality standpoint?
G: Grizz Gaming is a family-oriented type of team, so I just wanna have someone on the team that’s gonna come in and put the team first. Everyone here gets along very well, so I want someone who’ll come in and be for the team and be a great teammate.
Q: Does it ever floor you that, given the rise of esports all around us, you get to be a part of this amazing experience with the 2K League? You get to play games for a living!
G: Sometimes I even tweet about it, like, I really get paid to play video games every day. I remember just yesterday my dad was telling me ‘get off the game, you’ve been on the game ALL night.’ And now, I get to do that from sun up to sun down if I want to. Literally. Nobody can say nothin’ to me. I’m just thankful to be in a position like this. The League is only gonna grow. Walmart wasn’t Walmart before it was Walmart. That’s what I tell people all the time.
Q: What does your father say to you now that you’re an accomplished player in the League?
G: I brought him to Draft Day and he was like… still to this day he’s shocked. ‘I remember you just yesterday playing the game and I remember telling you to go get a job. Go to the military. Now you actually believe in yourself, and I’m just happy for you. I’m proud that you are doing what you’ve always wanted to do.’