ORLANDO – Magic Gaming shocked the NBA 2K League world this season when they rallied back from a slow start to the season and made the playoffs in both game modes.
The main catalyst for that successful turnaround was the acquisition of Joshua “unguardable” Hunter from Blazer5 Gaming as part of a massive four-team midseason trade.
The dynamic rookie point guard instantly turned the tide of Magic Gaming’s season and helped them win the STEAL OPEN, which clinched them a spot in the 3v3 playoffs and brought home Orlando’s first banner title. He followed that up by leading Magic Gaming to the finals of THE TICKET, which also punched their pass to the 5v5 postseason.
As a result of his immense impact in Orlando, unguardable was named to the 2022 NBA 2KL All-Rookie Team.
“All rookie first team,” unguardable tweeted after the announcement. “Expected more this season but thankful nonetheless.. more to come.”
As a finalist for the league’s Rookie of the Year award, a spot on the all-rookie squad should come as no surprise. In fact, the No. 5 overall pick made such a huge difference in Orlando’s turnaround that you could make an MVP argument for unguardable if only the second half of the season was taken into consideration.
His phenomenal performances in 3v3 seed week action earned him NBA 2K League Player of the Week honors, after a three-series stretch where he put up 10.5 points and 3.4 assists per contest. That momentum then ultimately led to Orlando’s success in the STEAL OPEN.
“He made such an immense impact,” said Magic Gaming Head Coach Jonah Edwards, who was a finalist for the league’s Coach of the Year award. “Josh surprised us greatly with his personality and his work ethic and these things that when you trade for a player who you know is very, very talented, but you know the other team who his trading him is doing so because he lacks in other areas. Instead, we got a guy who came in with work ethic and intangibles and the ability to still call the game and do these things from a position he hadn’t even played yet. What he did just blew out our expectations.”
In a head-to-head matchup with the eventual Rookie of the Year, No. 1 overall pick Jaiden “OTTR” Frank, unguardable outshined Gen.G’s floor general during the STEAL OPEN, leading to Magic Gaming’s 3-0 series sweep. While Gen.G would later get the best of Orlando in the 5v5 playoffs, unguardable’s impact on Magic Gaming was arguably larger than any rookie’s contributions to their respective club.
After all, he not only took an organization to the playoffs that had previously never been to the postseason, but he did so in both game modes and after joining a struggling squad via a midseason trade. And he did it after switching from shooting guard to point guard upon arriving in Orlando.
“He’s this great talent, of course, but he’s also someone you want to play with,” said Magic Gaming center Robbie “May” May of unguardable. “That’s not always the case that a great player is also someone people want to play with. I feel like playing with him made me a better player. He’s someone I genuinely want to play with. … That was something that impressed me. … He completely exceeded my expectations. We got so lucky obtaining him.”
As unguardable tweeted, there’s definitely more to come.