Delayed NBA 2K League season will start May 5

Lakers NBA 2K league players scrimmage last year.
Lakers NBA 2K league players, seated from left, Mitchell Franklin, Christopher Doyle, Jordan Gates, Kevin Alvarado and Christopher Cantrell scrimmage last year against the Miami Heat 2K team.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

As the NBA decides on the fate of its season, the NBA 2K League has announced the start of its 2020 regular season will begin May 5 with at least six weeks of remote game play.

The NBA 2K League had postponed the start of its season, which had been scheduled to tip off March 24, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the record:

5:44 p.m. Aug. 14, 2020An earlier version of this story included, without attribution, material concerning simulcast games directly from an NBA 2K League news release. Attribution has been added.

All 23 NBA 2K League teams will participate in regular-season play from their local markets with games simulcast live on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels, according to an NBA 2K League news release.

The NBA 2K League is a professional gaming circuit cofounded by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, the parent company of 2K Sports. It’s the first official esports league operated by a U.S. pro sports league and there are currently 22 NBA teams that have a 2K team. The 23rd team is the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai.

The Lakers’ 2K team — Lakers Gaming — usually practices out of the same El Segundo training facility as the Lakers and the South Bay Lakers of the G League. As with all teams, it has been unable to access the facility because the NBA directed teams to close their facilities until further notice.

Visitors to the Lakers’ posh training center in El Segundo enter through oversized glass doors and are greeted by large rotating photos on three vertical flat screens framed in gold.

July 15, 2019


Lakers Gaming players have been staying at a nearby hotel in El Segundo, practicing for the start of the season, and will play this season remotely from the hotel. The Clippers do not have an NBA 2K team.

Each NBA 2K team has a roster of six players (five starters and a reserve) and each player earns about as much, and in some cases more, than G League players. All NBA 2K players who competed in the 2019 season and were retained by their teams receive a base salary of $37,500 for the six-month season. First-round selections in the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft collect a base of $35,000; players selected in the second round or later receive a $33,000 base salary.

G League players earned a base of $35,000 during the last regular season. The 2K players also receive free housing in their home-team market during the season, plus relocation expenses, medical insurance and a retirement plan. Players on good teams can potentially earn six figures because the league awards $1.4 million in prize money throughout the season — with $420,000 awarded to the league champion.