ORLANDO – In each of the NBA 2K League’s first two seasons, at least one fourth round draft pick exceeded expectations and became an integral part of their respective team.
If his performance throughout the league’s first-ever Three For All Showdown was an indication of what’s to come, Daniel “djbama” Burge may prove to be that player for Magic Gaming, the team that chose him 60th overall this past February.
Djbama helped the Magic’s PS4 team, which also featured Brandon “ToXsiK” Raudenbush and Robert “May” May, reach the tournament’s semifinals with his prolific scoring, blazing speed, crafty ball handling, pick-and-roll precision and dynamic playmaking.
Earlier in the tournament against a team comprised of NBA G League players, the Birmingham, Alabama native erupted for a combined 30 points in the series’ two games, making all 11 of his shot attempts. In the closeout game of the Magic’s subsequent series against Grizz Gaming, he scored 16 points.
Two nights later it was much of the same. Not only was he eluding defenders with ease and knocking down shot after shot after shot, djbama came up big when the pressure mounted, drilling back-to-back game-winning 3-pointers against Mavs Gaming in Round 3. In the finale of the series against Bucks Gaming, djbama showed off his vision when he found ToXsiK for the winning jumper.
Even though he turned some heads with his all-around offensive excellence, djbama sees plenty of opportunity for growth before his first NBA 2K League season tips off.
“Throughout this tournament, my performance was okay. It could have been better,” he emphasized. “The defense from Robbie and Tox was phenomenal throughout the whole tournament. They gave me plenty of chances to take over games.”
Playing as well as he did against some of the league’s premier point guards, including the Mavs’ Dimez and the Sixers’ Radiant, is a big boost for djbama’s confidence. It also helps that he’s had the opportunity to learn from another great point guard – his Magic teammate and last year’s Rookie of the Year Brendan “Reizey” Hill.
Those who were previously unfamiliar with djbama before this tournament now are more aware of what he brings to the table and the difference he can make for his team.
“This tournament definitely does help show my name a little bit more and give me confidence going into the season whenever I do get the chance to play,” the rookie guard said.
Someone else who was very happy with djbama’s poise, leadership and aggressiveness throughout the tournament was his head coach, Jonah Edwards. Especially since the league will allow sixth men, djbama’s likely spot at least to begin the season, to enter into games while they are live, having someone with his capabilities is going to be a big plus for the Magic.
“DJ, the whole tournament, his scoring ability was incredible and I’m really proud of him,” Edwards said. “This has to be a confidence boost for him. It has to be.”
The Magic’s other 2020 draft pick was Alex “Profusion” Snowden, a veteran of the NBA 2K League after playing two seasons for Celtics Crossover Gaming. He played alongside Reizey and Daniel “DT” Tlais on Orlando’s Xbox team in this park mode tournament.