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eSports hits treasure trove with NBA 2K Draft

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Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is an absolute must-follow for NBA fans.

An insider with a Rolodex of contacts and league sources, his “Woj Bombs” — breaking news and scoops — have become a staple on Twitter.

On Wednesday, Wojnarowski dropped a bombshell and earned his usual quadruple figures via retweets and favorites alike.

The centerpiece to that tweet would be Artreyo Boyd; no, not a big-time small forward, or player who has just inked a 10-day contract.

That would be the Artreyo “Dimez” Boyd: the “LeBron James of NBA 2K.”

Fittingly, NBA commissioner Adam Silver took to the podium on Wednesday, announcing the Dallas Mavericks had selected the 23-year-old gamer who hails from Cleveland.

The NBA-backed eSports league just had the commissioner of the association announce picks as if players out of college were hearing their names called. Think about that. T

That in itself is absolutely monumental for eSports, which is only on the incline of becoming a fixture in both sports and entertainment.

Wednesday was the official launching off for the league, a draft comprised of 17 NBA teams and 102 players readily available to be selected. Get this: The draft had two broadcast streams — NBA TV and Twitch. The live NBA All-Star Game selection show, well, you can’t even call it a show. It wasn’t televised.

Players will also be compensated salaries — $35,000 for those selected in Round 1 and $32,000 for players drafted afterward.

It’s as close to real-life sports as you can get with Adam Silver dressed to the nines and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban delivering a personal call to the Boyd. eSports has been officially billed as a branch off the NBA, in which Silver called it “our fourth league.”

And in terms of longevity, eSports — slowly but surely — will become even more entrenched in the NBA waters.

“We view this in the same way as those other leagues, as something that we’re going to develop over a very long time,” Silver said, per The Washington Post. “We’re building this as a league that’s going to be around forever.”

How clutch is that for the gaming community? For those who separate eSports from professional sports or discredit the nature of its authenticity, they were hit with a reality check: eSports has become a new staple in the sporting world.

Alex joined FanRag Sports in October 2014 as a college football columnist and breaking news writer. A graduate from Eastern Illinois, he enjoys long walks to the fridge and alternate jerseys. He doesn't trust anyone that likes yellow Starburst and swears that he will be reincarnated as an NHL third-line winger.

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