TORONTO, Canada—Leadership, consistency, and energy.
Three of the NBA 2K League’s elite are returning to Toronto in 2021 as Raptors Uprising GC announced today that the team has retained reigning MVP Kenneth “Kenny Got Work” Hailey, Defensive Player of the Year Eric “Timelycook” Donald, and All-NBA 2K League First-Team centre Gerald “Sick One” Knapp heading into Season 4.
All three played significant roles during Raptors Uprising’s record-breaking 2020 campaign, which saw the franchise earn back-to-back tournament banners and record the NBA 2K League’s first undefeated regular season.
“Our protections will probably come as a surprise to no one,” said Shane Talbot, Esports Manager, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE). “Our lineup this past season featured five extremely talented players but the retained trio’s accolades speak for themselves. We believe that in Kenny, Timely and Jerry, we have the best point guard, lock and centre in the league, and I know they all feel like we have unfinished business.”
Season 3 MVP Kenny Got Work has led by example since day one and will once again return to lead the charge in 2021. Originally selected 11th overall in 2018, the franchise’s inaugural draft pick led the league in scoring in his first full season at point guard, averaging 35.3 points to go along with 8.3 assists and 3.5 steals in 36 regular season games in 2020. In total, the Memphis native amassed 12 individual accolades dating back to May, including spots on the All-NBA 2K League First Team and All-NBA 2K League Defensive Team.
Alongside the Raptors Uprising leader returns fellow Season 2 retained player: the ever-consistent Sick One, who enjoyed a ton of success in his first full season North of the border. In 36 games, the do-it-all centre averaged 14.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 2.7 blocks en route to being named to the All-NBA 2K League First Team. Last season, the New Jersey native ranked seventh overall in rebounds, seventh in blocks, 11th in field-goal percentage, and top-25 in assists.
And finally, the energy: Timelycook. Drafted 11th overall by Raptors Uprising last season, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year becomes the fourth player to ever be retained by the franchise after leading the NBA 2K League in steals, averaging 4.2 per game last season. In 36 contests, he also notched averages of 15.7 points, 3.1 assists, and 0.8 turnovers. The Cincinnati native ranked fifth in field-goal percentage (71.7) and second in three-point percentage (68.8). For his efforts last season, Timely was also awarded All-NBA 2K League Second-Team and All-NBA 2K League Defensive Team honours and will be looking to add to his resume in 2021.
With all three players in the lineup, Raptors Uprising own a 96.6 per cent winning percentage, boasting a 28-1 record in all competitions.
For retaining three players, Raptors Uprising will forfeit a 2021 fourth-round pick. Teams will have the option to retain additional players (for a total of four) during a later retainment period at the cost of additional 2021 draft picks.