We at DIMER coerced Devillon, who played in the NBA 2K League’s inaugural season with Mavs Gaming, to sit down and tell us a few things about his season one experience. He dishes on the overall experience, travel problems, exciting comebacks, and one unfortunate wardrobe mishap.
Here’s the full interview.
- Walk us through first season.
“As corny as it sounds, our season was basically a roller coaster, filled with ups and downs. You know how a rollercoaster is filled with ups and downs? At the beginning of the season, no one really knew how our team was going to do. Obviously we had Dimez, the No. 1 pick, but no one really believed in it until the first tournament, the Tipoff tournament, where we actually did surprisingly well.
In rollercoasters, you start to go up. Third seed, second seed. Up, up, up. Then, once you get there, you go right back down. Coming off the Tipoff tournament, we were doing really well, in the season, but one drop—obviously there are ups and downs, flashes of how good we could be, only to be let down, in the very end, like a rollercoaster. Sad.
To be honest, it was a great season. It not only taught myself but every member of our organization, from teammates to staff, a lot, and we all grew as people. It’s been an amazing ride that none of us took for granted.”
- What was your best moment of the year?
“It honestly comes down to about two or three moments. One probably being the first moment we all stepped on that stage. It’s kind of weird, because that’s one of the first few moments my team actually sat down and talked and played together.
As many people know, three of six players were from international countries, so it took longer for guys to get there. That involved a lot of things like late-night talking on group chats; we had to have a player flown out from New York all the way to Texas, because we didn’t have enough players to practice.
It went from just talking strategy in group chats to actually playing together, and playing well, enough to win against a really good team, the Heat [Check Gaming], who were in the Finals. Don’t know what that feels like.
Another moment would probably be against the Celtics [Crossover Gaming]. A 22-point comeback game that was filled with a great audience, great studio, great atmosphere, but it was also a great team fight. So much in that game that it was honestly really cool to see the score get slowly smaller and smaller. I remember being one of the only positive guys on the team at that moment; literally everyone had their heads down. Dimez, Dayfri, pissed at each other, trying to figure out what to do, Seem and JLB a little lost. I was kind of the one like (in a querulous voice) “Hey guys, we got this, let’s go, it’s only down to 18 now, yay!”
But to be honest, that Mavs team had some good times. Honestly the entire experience from the moment I got drafted, the moment the whole team got drafted, the moment we even got the phone call from the NBA. It was an amazing experience from the get-go, to the point where we even dropped each other off at the airport to say ‘bye’ as teammates.
There’s nothing I regret, and I’m honestly just thankful for everything.”
- If you could go back to the beginning of the season and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
“NO. Don’t do it. Do not listen. This isn’t Pro-Am. NO FIVE-OUT! Don’t do it.”
- If you were commissioner, what would you do?
“Honestly, living in Texas, one of the most annoying parts of the entire league process was the travel. And obviously I can’t speak for the further West teams, but I know they agree that a more central studio, or even if there were enough allocation in the budget for even a West-coast studio as well. Obviously I’m thinking way down the line here, money-wise and budget-wise, but maybe fly us out there for more than one game a week? Who knows, it might work.”
- Any funny stories from the first season that you want to share?
“To be honest, I could say a bunch of game-related things, like travel violations in the final minute or layups that hit the backboard. But I’ll stay away from that so I don’t get fined.
One funny story from early on toward the beginning of the season. Technically the league had emailed us in regards to our team never consistently matching uniform, like pants we wore, like Seem’s designer, thousand-dollar ripped jeans. We agreed that there was no way we were going to lose money over a pair of sweatpants. And we decided that everyone’s going to wear these pants, every time, so we don’t get fined.
That same weekend, against the Heat, I actually forgot my jersey. And we were already at the airport before I realized. So when we got to New York I had the brilliant idea of asking Harry, who was our sixth man at the time, if I could use his jersey.
Now, most people who have seen Harry and myself know that we are NOT the same size. I am an extra large, and he is a medium. So let’s just say in the game against the Heat I didn’t do a lot of screaming. Or breathing. Or getting up. Mostly just calm winning.”