Welcome to the arena! Gen.G joins the NBA 2K League as the first non-NBA affiliated franchise and the first international team! The Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai will have a ton of eyes on them this season and so far, have aired on the side of 2K IQ. They picked up Turnupdefense, one of the smartest players in the league, in the Expansion Draft and hired Len Griffey, former senior analyst for Dimer 2K, to be their first head coach. This translated over to the draft as they ended up with an extremely talented group of players, yet one that will need some nurturing and time to acclimate to the league. We’re excited to have them along for the ride, but they are about to enter a gauntlet of a summer.
Coach: Len Griffey
Len Griffey is a great hire. He qualified for the draft pool before Season 2 and after not getting drafted, became a Senior Analyst for Dimer 2K, a publication that covers the 2K League. He showed off his incredible high basketball and 2K IQ and was a go-to resource for in-depth info about the league. That translated to a coaching opportunity with Gen.G and a chance for him to make his mark on the league. He’s given himself a heck of a challenge for Season 3 with a ton of young players to mesh with a Season 2 champion, but as a former player himself, handling personalities isn’t new to him.
Expansion Draftee: Turnupdefense
They don’t have a Season 2 MVP, obviously, so let’s talk about the excellent player they picked in the Expansion Draft. Turnupdefense cemented himself as not just one of the best locks in the league, but one of the best players in NBA 2K with his performance during last year’s playoffs. Holding Radiant to 12.8 PPG and 44% shooting from the field during the Finals while also being one of the best shooting locks all through Season 2 has put him in an elite tier of players. He is also the perfect player for Gen.G to build around. He’ll bring a ton of maturity to the table that the Tigers will need to rely on and his defensive instincts will be a game-changer.
- 76ers GC
- Acquired: 2020 1st + 2nd Round pick
- Traded Away: ZDS + 2020 3rd Round pick
- Raptors Uprising
- Acquired: 2020 2nd + 2020 2nd
- Traded Away: 2020 2nd +2020 2nd
32. x I Kno Killeyy
This excerpt from our Draft Recap piece puts their draft class into the proper context: “Wow! From a talent perspective, first-year coach Len Griffey seemingly aced his test with his five picks. A backcourt of ShiftyKaii and Killeyy should be an instant offensive force in the league and a combination of Gen and Deadeye in the frontcourt is a great combo. Gen usually plays at the sharp spot, but he’s one of the best pure shooters in the Draft and seems eager to make it work. Alongside them is the first player ever to be drafted from China, Lucky_Yi_Wesley! All 5 join Season 2 champion Turnupdefense for a roster that will be one to keep an eye on this season.”
6th Man: Luck_Yi_Wesley
The entire team and their Season 3 success revolves around the success of Kaii in the backcourt. He’ll have Gen to bail him out on the perimeter and Killeyy is going to hold down the corner as we saw in the Spring 16 tournament. It’s a bit of a surprise to see Killeyy at PF, but if anything, it just shows how good of a prospect Gen has proven to be already in practice. Down low is the old reliable Deadeye. A fixture in the 2K pro-am scene for a long time, he finally gets his chance in the league and should serve as a fine defensive anchor. Where Luck_Yi plays in the league remains to be seen, but if the APAC tournament proved anything, he’s going to be a problem for the team to guard in practice. This team will run a typical pick-and-roll offense based around the lightning-esque skills of ShiftyKaii. The offense will run through him from Day 1, but the rest of this team supports him quite well. Turnupdefense proved to be one of the best corner shooters in the league last season and Killeyy has been a great shooter in the comp scene for a while now. Defensively, this team might be a work in progress as Killeyy and Deadeye work up some chemistry in the paint. Good thing they have a former champ at lock leading the way.
Season 3 Breakout Candidate: ShiftyKaii
We’ll go with the easy pick here and focus on the #5 overall pick. ShiftyKaii has as much talent as anyone in this draft class. He’s a player with superstar-level potential who comes into the league as the best two-way guard in the class. He feels like the kind of player who is going to get on the stage and feed off the intensity and bright lights. If he’s able to translate his skill set to the league meta and start taking over games by mid-season, he could run away with the Rookie of the Year award.
Season Outlook: Fun Team, Maybe Playoffs!
This team may not be able to replicate what expansion team T-Wolves Gaming did a year ago. It’s not every day that you start the season off 3-6, go on an insane win streak, have your lock hit a 3 to send you to the playoffs, make a miraculous run to the Finals, and beat the winningest team in league history to win the championship. But… if a couple things break their way, the chance for a season like that is there. The Tigers will be a hard team to predict, so we’re best off not making a definitive statement. We do know that this team is going to be a TON of fun. The Kaii-Gen combo is a riveting storyline for an expansion team and the talented prospect that is Killeyy at the 4 has massive upside. All this mixed in with the quiet and serious demeanor of Deadeye and Turnupdefense and that’s must-watch TV. We haven’t even mentioned Luck_Yi_Wesley, who should be a really fun player to have around and hopefully get on stage a few times this season. Will this team win a ton of games? No clue. Will this team be entertaining all season? Oh yes.