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Tommy Sheppard will have challenges running Wizards District Gaming and e-sports

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The Wizards General Manager will learn how running a team of video gamers is similar and not similar to a team of professional basketball players

Monumental Basketball Portraits
Tommy Sheppard is great with real-life basketball. Learning video game basketball is a different world though.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Last week, the Monumental Sports & Entertainment basketball teams united their shared services together into Monumental Basketball. It’s an interesting concept that other teams with NBA, WNBA and G-League franchises may do soon.

Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard is getting used to his new role, not only running the NBA team and overseeing the Capital City Go-Go. He’s also responsible for Wizards District Gaming, Monumental’s esports franchise.

Candace Buckner of The Washington Post wrote a column on July 26 on the challenges Sheppard face running Wizards District Gaming. The NBA 2K League is still a new concept, and it isn’t exactly clear what strategy works best for a group of NBA2K players like it would for the NBA

In Buckner’s interview, she spoke to Jamie “DirK” Diaz ruiz, an NBA 2K League commentator about the differences between the NBA and its virtual counterpart. This quote says it best:

“I’d say a lot of these guys working in this front office thing know so much about the normal basketball, but 2K is just so different, as weird as that is to say,” Diaz Ruiz said. “It’s two completely different things. It’s still basketball, but the dynamic with how the game is played, the people that are using the players, the whole strategy element that goes into it. You can’t run a play out of a [San Antonio Spurs Coach] Gregg Popovich playbook as they use in real-life NBA in 2K. It just wouldn’t work out.”

Sheppard also acknowledged that his biggest focus would be on the Wizards and Go-Go. That’s obvious, but the 2K League team will also want to make sure that they aren’t left out in the shuffle. It will be interesting to see how he can lend a hand to the Wizards District Gaming squad in the weeks and months ahead.