At this point, NBA fans will take anything that's fresh for their daily entertainment. Typically around this time, fans are able to turn their televisions on at night and catch a game of hoops on the screen. With the coronavirus pandemic in effect, though, the NBA had no choice but to suspend the season for now.
Thankfully, the league is looking for ways to bring basketball back by any means. No, the NBA hasn't decided to return to the court without fans in attendance -- but they've truly come up with the next best thing at this point.
On Monday night, Yahoo Sports NBA Insider Chris Haynes reported that there would be an NBA 2K20 tournament, which will feature a handful of notable names from within the NBA. According to Haynes, the competition will be streamed and broadcasted on ESPN so all NBA fans can enjoy the entertainment.
Initially, it sounded like the league was leaning towards implementing one player to participate from each team. However, that doesn't seem to be the case. Instead, there will reportedly be 16 players, and the tournament is expected to last ten days.
Aside from Donovan Mitchell and DeMarcus Cousins, there's no word yet on the 14 other players who will participate from around the league. However, if the NBA asked for a player to represent the Sixers, who should they choose?
Which Player Would Represent the Sixers Well?
Many teams around the NBA have a notable handful of players who are tapped into the video game world. The 76ers are no different in this case. The league should try and convince somebody from Philly's squad to be involved, but which Sixer should they use?
The first player to come to mind is Ben Simmons. The young All-Star might be one of the hardest workers on the Sixers, but he doesn't put his other talents strictly on hold for basketball.
Simmons can compete with the best of them in video games, and he now shows it every week as he's been involved in some tough SLAM tournaments, which are streamed for all to see on Twitch. You can see Simmons' virtual talent on display quite often. However, Simmons seems to only really dabble in shooting games (hold the jokes).
Plus, during an interview with SLAM a couple of months back, Simmons mentioned playing some 2K with other gamers last summer, and the results weren't all that pretty, according to Simmons. The young guard could probably hold his own against NBA competition, but another Sixers player could also be a good fit for the tournament.
Sixers center Joel Embiid might not be a video game streamer, but he has made it known numerous times that he loves games. Before his basketball career even got started, the NBA All-Star was looking to skip basketball camps so he could stay home and play.
While Embiid seems more interested in playing FIFA on his system nowadays, he's no stranger to the NBA 2K series. Oh, and to no surprise, Embiid is extremely competitive when it comes to video games, and his trash-talking isn't limited to just the basketball court. Knowing that Embiid literally almost caused his former teammate, T.J. McConnell, to cry because Embiid was beating him so bad at games, that probably makes Embiid the best bet to represent the Sixers for this tournament if he's willing to participate.
Regardless of whether the NBA chooses Simmons or Embiid, the Sixers should probably just hope the rookie Matisse Thybulle doesn't get the invite -- because his 2K performance last week against Mikal Bridges was not too promising.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_