Sports just like most everything else in the world, are always changing and evolving over time. And though the shifts may seem strange at first, we shouldn't jump to discredit them.
Just think, the NBA didn't even introduce the 3-point line until the 1979-80 season, and now it's the focal point of just about every offense in the league.
The newest shift in the world of sports isn't on the court, however. Esports are becoming bigger and bigger, with tournaments broadcast on ESPN and prize money going through the roof. Now the NBA is getting in on the action, as the league announced that 17 teams will be participating in a brand new NBA 2K League, which will start in 2018. Via ESPN:
The NBA has enlisted 17 of its 30 teams to participate in the upcoming NBA 2K League, a joint project between the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, it was announced Thursday morning.
The NBA 2K league will debut in 2018, and will feature the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards.
The NBA is going to be the first pro sports league to really dive into the esports arena.
In February, the NBA and Take-Two announced they would pursue the creation of the league, making the NBA the first traditional sports league to move into the esports space directly. The two parties then named [Brendan] Donohue, the former NBA senior vice president of marketing and business operations, as its managing director.
As ESPN's report notes, many teams and owners are already involved in the esports world, with ownership groups from the Bucks, Grizzlies, and Kings, just to name a few, already owning esports teams. Even the Boston Celtics' Jonas Jerebko has taken the plunge, purchasing his own esports squad earlier this year.