Note: DIMER is hosting the NAPX Player Spotlight interviews, written and contributed by NAPX staff. The opinions expressed do not reflect the views of DIMER.
In an attempt to shine a light on some of the better players in the NBA2K community, the NAPX staff has decided to choose an exceptional player from one of the various Pro-Am teams. For today, the NAPX staff had the opportunity to sit down with DymeBoyPio, who shared his incredible backstory and his hopes for an NBA 2K League future.
NAPX: Let’s get started. A love for gaming is the one thing that everyone in the NBA 2K community has in common. What were some of the games that developed your love for gaming, and why?
PIO: To be honest, I was never really a gamer. Growing up I was always outside running around; it was when I got my first apartment, I was looking for something to keep me busy in the house and my friend told me to buy a PS4, get NBA 2K15 and play with him in the Rec Center! 2K16 was actually just around the corner. So, I went and bought both things. Thus I started playing 2K with my real-life friends and immediately fell in love with the game. Then 2K16 came out and it was announced that they were having a $250,000 tournament, and I wanted to compete for it! So, ever since I started playing video games it’s always been 2K and nothing else!
NAPX: And your competitive nature brought you to the NBA 2K Pro-Am community. How did you get here? How did you and your teammates meet?
PIO: So, going into 2K16, my real-life friends and I jumped immediately into Pro-Am. We would play every single day for at least 13 hours a day, just trying to get better. We wanted that $250,000 because to us that’s life changing. We didn’t qualify that year, but we played a lot, and during the process of us trying to qualify for Road to the Finals (RTTF, the $250,000 tournament) we played a lot of good teams, and players would add my PSN and tell me to come run with them sometimes. So I started to branch off because I knew I could get better, and I started getting into match ups with comp players and even some of them would add me. So towards the end of the 2K16 cycle I created a pick-up matchup chat and added everybody I played with or against on a daily basis. We would get 10 players and select two captains, then both captains would draft their team and play each other. Sometimes we had 20 people ready to play so we would select 4 captains and draft from the 20. addicted2winnin was the team owner for “Always Open”; they were the second team to qualify for the RTTF tournament on 2K16. He was also in this pick-up chat. It just happened to be that he and I were ALWAYS selected for the same team. I thought then and still think now that he is the best point guard in the game, so I tried my hardest every time we were on the same team just to prove myself, and we won most of the time. We got really cool after hooping so much with each other every day. Since 2K17 was about to release and I knew him and his team had a good chance of making the next tournament and winning it, I asked him if I could play with him on 2K17 as their 6th man, and he said yes. But when 2K17 dropped addicted2winnin sent me a party invite, just me and him in it, and he tells me “Pio, I’m making my own team from scratch, you want to be down ?” I immediately told him yes! And we’ve been a duo ever since. Every couple of months we find new players and maybe switch up our 5 for some reason, but it’s always been me and him. On 2K17 towards the end of the season we started making a bigger name for ourselves. We made it to the finals of MPBA season 3 and played Space Jam and made the championship in 2k tournaments against Lethal. That’s when I finally started getting recognized as a good player and it’s all thanks to addicted2winnin. He helped me out with my game so much, he goes back and watches film with me from past broadcasts, tells me what I need to do better and work on. If you ask me how I got here today, I will say it’s all because of him.
NAPX: Tell us a little about yourself.
PIO: I’m 29 years old. I’m Puerto Rican. I grew up in New York. Lived here my whole life. Living in New York is really tough, especially without a dad; mine passed away when I was 8. He was murdered in his neighborhood. So my mom was left to raise five kids by herself, and me being the middle child I couldn’t really do much at that moment. My mom had to work so my brother and I were always outside playing, doing the wrong things. Fighting, drinking, staying up late nights. Then 5 years ago I meant the love of my life: Jazmin Mendez, I ended up having a baby boy with her in the first 2 years being with her and that changed my whole life. The love I felt for my son when he was born was a life changing experience. Now everything I do is for my kids. Making the league and them being proud of me and laying the groundwork for their lives is everything to me, and I know 2K can help me provide that for them.
NAPX: You’ve had some big games and big wins so far already in 2K19. In which game do you feel you had your best performance?
PIO: I think the game vs SelfTaught, playing PeteBeBallin who’s considered my rival this year, I had 29 points and 4 steals.
NAPX: I assume the ultimate goal is making the NBA 2K League this year. What do you feel you bring to the table for a NBA 2K League team, and why should you be drafted? What drives you to make the league and what would being drafted mean to you?
PIO: Yes, the ultimate goal is making the NBA 2K League and winning the tournaments! If a team drafts me, they will be drafting an experienced comp player, a vocal, experienced leader around whom they can build a team if necessary or who will humbly play a role position in order to win. They will be drafting somebody whose motivation is only winning. I’m very coachable and open to new ideas. I like to believe I make the people around me better, getting them involved, calling plays or just by making sure they feel comfortable on the court. I put a lot of hours into this game because I know it can change me and my kids lives, I play at least 15 hours a day trying to get better, I give it 110% every time I’m on the court!!! I deserve to be drafted not only because of my skills but also my dedication to the game. I devoted myself to being the best at my position and I won’t stop until I prove it—not only to myself and the community but to also to my kids!! Making the league is everything to me, I can show my kids something I’m really proud of and hopefully they can be proud of as well.
NAPX: Who is your favorite player and team to matchup against, and why?
PIO: My favorite NBA player is Russell Westbrook. My favorite team to match up against in 2K is Disregarded (DRG). Their lineup is Bpfinest (PG), Mrstylez (SG), Underratedgoat (SF), Aboutthatgame (PF), Prince Prodigy (C)! I love to play against them because I respect them so much as individual players and as a team. I think Prodigy is one of the best centers in the game and it’s always a tough battle when playing him. On top of all that I’m in the party chat with them every day when my team’s not on. They’re like my brothers, so every time I run into them, I make sure I go all out because I’m not trying to hear them brag when I join the party later!!
NAPX: Man, it’s been a great pleasure interviewing you, what would you tell that 16- or 17-year-old teenager who has the dream of making it into the NBA 2K League? How do you feel about being top prospect in this draft and that your dreams are only a few months away from becoming a reality?
PIO: I would tell that teenager to go for it! The NBA 2K League is just beginning, it’s about to blow up like crazy and it offers a life-changing experience, spots are going to be available every year! Work hard, put the dedication into the game and everything will work out fine!!
To be considered a top prospect is a true honor and privilege! Feels like all my hard work isn’t going unnoticed. I know there’s a lot of good talent going into season two; I just really hope I get drafted. I’m going to keep working hard until I hear my name called on that!! In a few months if I get selected to represent the NBA 2K League it would be life changing, it would totally change my family’s life. It’s still a dream until it’s reality so I’m going to keep chasing it.
I would be happy to get selected for any teams that picks me and would give it 110% to make sure we win.
NAPX: Perfect! Thank you so much for your time. It was really great getting to know you.
PIO: Thank you, and I really appreciate you selecting me and giving me this opportunity to tell my story.