“My name is Gordon Hayward, spelled with a G. And I am the best player in the game today.”
One on one versus LeBron James? He would get crushed. We would all be witnesses to a straight up annihilation.
The reigning MVP, Kevin Durant? I’m LOLing. Go ahead and put him with Russell Westbrook. Throw Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard in there, just for kicks. They’d still have no chance.
Honestly, take any five NBA players you want and put them on the same squad. It doesn’t really matter. I’d beat them all. It would be like playing a bunch of kindergartners.
I repeat: I’m the best in the game. And probably in all the other major sports, too.
No athlete on earth is as good at League of Legends as I am.
Hayward, along with the Heat, believes in the future of esports.
I’m not writing this to defend gaming. It doesn’t need defending. I just want non-gamers to recognize this incredible thing that’s happening right now. Video game culture has now gone mainstream — and we’re only scratching the surface. Because whether you acknowledge or not, you’re probably a gamer. Have you ever felt a certain rush when a perfect candy arrives and takes out multiple rows? You’re a gamer. Have you killed some time by flinging a bird into a rudimentary structure? Gamer. Have you moved even numbers around to make them add up to 2048? That’s gaming, bro.
The Miami Heat, through their partnership with esports organization The Misfits recently invested in another esports team, Fates Zero, that participates in League of Legends: “Miami Heat deepens NBA’s dive into esports with acquisition of Vainglory team.”
Misfits competes in League of Legends, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Super Smash Bros, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Hearthstone. Those disciplines give the esports company a presence on consoles and PC, but now Vainglory will give it a dedicated route to accessing mobile-gaming fans, which is a market that could continue to grow as emerging nations come alone through their smartphones instead of through personal computers.
From a Miami Heat press release, Hayward might advise Ben Spoont:
Misfits, formed in June 2016 by Miami-native Ben Spoont, has made an immediate impact in the multi-billion dollar world of esports. The expansion franchise won the inaugural ELeague Overwatch Open, is ranked top five in the world in the game Heroes of the Storm, competes in the highest division (Legends Championship Series) in esports’ most popular game, League of Legends, and participates in Super Smash Brothers. Misfits recently announced they have added a team to compete in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.
Erik Spoelstra and Dan Craig started as video coordinators in the video room of the Miami Heat. Instant laptop bonding between Hayward and video-oriented coaching approach of the Heat staff. And remember, Spoelstra was an AAU point guard.
I know what you’re thinking. If I had to pick and train an all-NBA League of Legends team, who would be on it?
Point guards have to think quickly, and they have to think ahead. So I’d take Chris Paul, Jeremy Lin, Rajon Rondo, Ricky Rubio, and me. We’d be tough to beat.
Who to get in room together after the meeting: Gordon Hayward, Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, Ben Spoont for a video challenge.
Hayward can practice basketball on Tyler Johnson’s outdoor basketball court year-round in South Florida.
The reason why was simple: It was the only other thing I did in high school. I didn’t have a girlfriend. I didn’t go to dances. Literally all I did was play sports, then come home and play Xbox. I was logging two or three hours a day because my parents put a limit on it, and I always went right up to the max on that. When you play at least 20 hours a week, you improve. The beauty of Halo was that when you won, your rank improved, and when you lost, your rank would go down. It didn’t reward people for just playing the game for 100 hours. It rewarded people for how good they were.
South Beach isn’t Hayward’s style.