NEW YORK — Artreyo Boyd, better known to some by his video-gaming handle “Dimez,” made history as the top overall pick in the NBA 2K League’s draft here at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday afternoon. Boyd, like the league’s 101 other draftees, will be competing in the NBA-backed esports league, using a digital character built to try to mimic the attributes of the pros who normally play at MSG.
After his name was called, Boyd spent a few minutes with The Washington Post discussing how he decided to craft his in-game character, what it’s like being from Cleveland and getting compared to LeBron James, and how confident he was that he would be the first pick. (Spoiler: very)
The Post: So obviously your name [in the game], Dimez, signifies that you are a point guard [in the 2K League]. But what is the height/weight/build of the character you created to play in the game, and how did you settle on it?
Boyd: I’m a 6-foot-5 point guard, shotmaker. That’s the build. Shot creator, playmaker. And he’s 215 pounds.
The Post: Did you try to model your player off anyone in the NBA? I know you aren’t actually using NBA players, but being an NBA fan, did it impact how you built your player?
Boyd: Not particularly, but if you’re asking about my game style and game play, it’s like a combination of Kyrie Irving, with the dribbling, flashiness and scoring, and Chris Paul in terms of the passing and getting my teammates the ball, the pick and roll and everything like that.
The Post: Since you’re from Cleveland, I assume you’re a Cavaliers fan?
Boyd: Yes, sir. I have to be!
The Post: With LeBron James, I assume, being your favorite player, how cool is it to be hearing comparisons to him as you become the first pick in the history of this league?
Boyd: Of course. It’s just an honor, man, to be honest. It’s an honor just to be here, and to be considered for something like that. To be considered in the same sentence, and to be referred to as LeBron James, it’s amazing.
The Post: Was your outfit [a blue suit, blue bow tie, black shirt] inspired by anticipating being the first pick [by the Mavericks]?
Boyd: This right here? There was a little confidence in being the first pick [smiles]. Yes, sir.
The Post: What do you expect this whole experience to be like, going through the first season for the league?
Boyd: I expect it to be amazing. I’m looking forward to getting that championship. That’s what my goal is centered on right now. Seeing who the rest of my teammates are, building a bond with them on and off the court, and doing whatever we can to get to that championship.
The Post: How many of these other guys here do you know?
Boyd: Just about all of them. . . . A lot of them are people that I played against for years, so I know all of them. I know their tendencies. I know what they like to do. I know who they like to play with and everything.
The Post: So will you be on the phone with Mark Cuban hoping to get them to draft certain guys?
Boyd: If they allow me to, of course. [Smiles]
The Post: You said you play a lot. Did you have a day job?
Boyd: No. NBA 2K was everything. I’m 23 years old, and NBA 2K was everything. Like I said, I had no vision. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I knew what I wanted to do, which was something in the NBA 2K field.
The Post: What have these last few months been like as the NBA 2K player pool has been whittled down to 102 players from the initial 72,000?
Boyd: It’s been crazy. The combine was crazy. The qualifications, I could breeze through that. The combine I was confident in. It was a little tough, playing with people you’d never met, don’t know how good they are, don’t know if they are good at all. But I always was confident in the process. I always was confident. I always knew I’d get here, and that I deserved to get here.
The Post: Was there ever a point you doubted yourself?
Boyd: No, sir. I was always confident.
The Post: As an NBA fan, and someone who has played 2K for a long time, what was it like to be up there with Adam Silver just like all of the top picks in the NBA draft?
Boyd: Unreal. It was unreal. That really best describes it. Surreal, unreal. I know I keep saying it, but that’s really how I feel, man. I feel like I’m dreaming right now talking to you.
The Post: You have to leave for Dallas tomorrow, right?
Boyd: I’m actually flying back to Cleveland, and then flying to Dallas.
The Post: I imagine that’s going to take a while to sink in, the idea of moving to a new place?
Boyd: Obviously everything is still sinking in at the moment. But I’m ready for it. I’m ready. I’m going to go home, [and] I’m going to pack up and get on to Dallas.
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