As part of Thibaut Courtois’ NBA 2K Sundays with Thibaut Courtois initiative, which sees the Real Madrid and Belgium star go up against fellow sports stars from all over the world in contests of NBA 2K.
This past week, Courtois went up against Cleveland Cavaliers Larry Nance Jr. Before the event took place, Nance took some time to take questions from the media. Nance commented on topics such as keeping in shape during this chaotic period of time, predicting the outcome of the NBA season and getting the chance to play with LeBron James and Kobe Bryant – two of the greatest players of all time.
‘I would definitely need some training.’ Nance said to questions regarding his fitness. ‘While you’re at home it’s so hard to get into game shape that I think we’d all need a little bit of time. But I’m doing the best I can.’ Nance’s response is shared in sentiment around the league. If the NBA were to reconvene following the lockdown, teams, and players, would need to go through a variety of exercises and training to get into game shape.
If the NBA were to return, which we are all hopeful for, Nance took a shot at predicting the outcome of the post-lockdown NBA; ‘I think Giannis Antetokounmpo was going to win MVP. The Bucks were going to come out of the East to play the Lakers probably.’ It would not come as a surprise to many if Giannis were to be awarded the MVP award and the Bucks and Lakers met in the Finals. The prospect of Giannis competing against LeBron and Anthony Davis in the quest for his first ring is scintillating.
Talking about LeBron James, Nance pondered on what an amazing experience it has been growing from a LeBron James fan to a teammate of LeBron, ‘Growing up I used to go to LeBron’s High School games and watch them play all the time. So I was a fan of his even before the NBA, which is really cool. Then, I got drafted into the NBA and I got to go to The Finals with him and the Cavaliers in 2018. It was just a dream come true, one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.’
Nance went on to confirm affirmations that LeBron is one of the best teammates to have in the NBA, ‘Just the kind of leader he is, it’s just so impressive. I mean he’s just from top to bottom, he’s awesome to play with.’
On the subject of LeBron and his greatness, Nance reminisces about getting to share the court with Kobe Bryant and LeBron James – two of the greatest players of all time. ‘Getting to play with two of the top five players of all time was just… I feel like I’m super fortunate to be able to have done that.’ Nance went on to gush about the legacy of the late, great Kobe Bryant, ‘Everybody knows Kobe, like he’s just the legend you know, when you shoot paper into a trash can, you say “Kobe!” That’s who we grew up watching and so, you know, getting to play with him was just so cool because when he walked in a room everybody, everybody looked at Kobe. He didn’t even have to say anything, it was just like you felt him walk in the room.’
Nance went on to reiterate the quality of James, ‘I mean LeBron was, he worked so hard. I mean he was always the first one at practice and the last one to leave. And just to see him doing that was just so crazy. There are rookies that don’t work that hard.’
Be sure to tune into NBA 2K Sundays with Thibaut Courtois, every Sunday.