Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) have always held a special place in my heart. They aren’t very different from sports in my honest opinion. You spend countless hours practicing and working on your craft to beat someone at a basketball, football, baseball, etc. In video games, you spend time doing quests, gaining experience, finding better gear so that you can essentially win at the end. Whether you are fighting against other real life players or virtual ones.
You are constantly being challenged as your progress and you receive rewards for each achievement you earn. Psychologically, it keeps you coming back for more and more.
But why would a NBA player, who is already working towards goals on the court, spend their time playing a video game? MMOs give the player a sense of community while playing and celebrities are able to play without people knowing who their true identity is. I firmly believe this is a huge appeal for celebs. It can be difficult for them to go places and be themselves without fans screaming and staring at them but inside a virtual world they are free.
For the Horde!
I’ve done my homework and found FIVE NBA players that play or have played World of Warcraft! First is the Big Fundamental, Tim Duncan. On Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye’s Podcast, Road Trippin, they discussed how Tim spent some time in Azeroth.
“Fun fact… me and Tim Duncan used to be in the same guild on World of Warcraft”, said Channing Frye, “we were serious… but how serious was Andrei Kirilenko?”
Duncan and Frye credited Kirilenko for having 4 to 5 maximum level toons on his account. They joke about how they don’t understand why his game on the court went downhill while his presence in the World of Warcraft increased. “When I played for CSKA and we had two days off I could spend 36 hours in a row playing World of Warcraft and ordering food from time to time,” said Kirilenko in an interview with Sport-Express. Kirilenko has a rather large tattoo on his back speculated to be his Paladin riding a dragon.
Channing Frye played a Tauren Hunter named Dookiedrawls. We have no idea what Tim Duncan played but I would be willing to guess he was a Tauren Druid.
Ganked Just Like Us
Rockets legendary center Yao Ming played a hunter for the Alliance faction. He talked about being ganked by a Tauren Warrior in an interview. Yao was not happy about the experience. Ganking in a video game can be defined as using underhand means to defeat or kill (a less experienced opponent). The warrior was a higher level than Yao Ming’s hunter so he stood no chance in the fight.
The 5th NBA player discovered to play World of Warcraft is a current member of the Sacramento Kings, Bogdon Bogdanovic. The Serbians Twitter handle is literally “@LeaderOfHorde”. “I played a lot of World of Warcraft when I first joined Twitter. I chose the username LeaderOfHorde, and honestly, I don’t want to change it anymore,” said Bogdanovic in an interview with FIBA.
Do you know of any other NBA players in the World of Warcraft? Let me know below!
Be sure to check out my list of Must Have Supplements for Basketball Players!