Hawks Talon GC coach: I think the future is bright for the NBA 2K League

Kyle Hess Photography
Kyle Hess Photography /

The NBA 2K League is quickly expanding, and Hawks Talon GC is one of the newest squads to join in, as we talk to their coach, Wesley Acuff about having a young team in a young league.

The NBA 2K League has entered its second season, and quickly the roster of teams continues to rise with the additions of Brooklyn, Los Angeles (Lakers), Minnesota and Atlanta. Charlotte was also a squad that was announced recently, as they will participate next season.

We had a chance to talk to Wesley Acuff, who is the Team Manager and Head Coach of Hawks Talon GC (Atlanta Hawks), about being a new team in a sprouting league. We also asked a bit about life in the league, being a Head Coach.

Among other topics include the NBA 2K League Draft, and bringing returning 2K League players onto the roster. We thank Acuff and Hawks Talon GC for being gracious with their time.

App Trigger: How does it feel to be a part of the NBA 2K League?

Wesley Acuff: It feels amazing. It’s a really cool experience being part of such a great league built around a game that I loved playing myself.

CM: How special is it to introduce Atlanta Hawks fans to the world of esports?

WA: Anytime you can be involved in a new experience like this it’s always special. I’ve been in Atlanta for 10 years now, and it’s just really exciting to see a new generation of fans grow as we build our esports team.”

CM: With the team being new, what was the process like building up Hawks Talon?

WA: It’s a lot of work that goes into it, but it’s fun work. We have to build an identity, scout and draft players and grow a fan base. Every day, there is a new challenge, but it’s exciting to build everything from the ground up.

CM: What was the NBA 2K League Draft experience like for you guys?

WA: It was a great experience. I spent a lot of time scouting players with the help of our special advisor Lawrence West and our two rostered players that we acquired in the expansion draft. We spent months preparing for the draft and then used the real draft war room at the Emory Sports Medicine Complex, so it was the real deal. It was special building out the first roster for our first season in the league.

CM: What inspired you guys to create an NBA 2K League team?

WA: The world of esports is on the rise, and we wanted to grow a new generation of Hawks fans while also being part of a new cool product.

CM: Are there players on the Hawks roster who are gamers?

WA: I’ve read that a lot of the guys play video games, everything from Fortnite to FIFA. No idea if they’re any good but I know we have some players.

CM: What are some of the challenges that go into building and coaching a 2K League team?

WA: It’s much like building and coaching any other professional sports team. There’s the business side and the strategy side. Then, there’s personality management, of course, dealing with six different athletes from different walks of life. You have to have real basketball knowledge, understand the game of basketball as well as NBA 2K. Then, you have to be able to draw up plays and deal with in-game strategy.

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  • CM: What are some of the best parts about working with Hawks Talon and being in the esports world?

    WA: First and foremost, we’re all working with the game we all love, which is a bonus. Not many people can say they truly love the product that they work on. Then, there’s the travel, which is pretty cool, visiting new markets and seeing how different arenas are set up is pretty cool.

    CM: You guys have a couple of players on the team who were in the league last year. How important is it to have veteran players on such a new team in such a new, evolving league?

    WA: It’s extremely important. Anytime you can build a squad around some veteran leadership in sports, it’s usually a positive situation.

    CM: How quickly did they adjust, moving to Atlanta and playing for a brand new team?

    WA: It happened pretty quickly. Most of these players can’t wait to get into the market so they come in ready to get to work.

    CM: Finally, how big do you think the NBA 2K League can be?

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    WA: I think the future is bright for the NBA 2K League. Pretty soon, I expect all NBA teams will be in the league and then, I think we’ll see some overseas expansion teams.