With the 2K draft combine fully underway, new names have begun to sprout and established names have begun to grow. While it’s still early December and the draft isn’t projected until February, it’s not too early to get to know some of the prominent names ready to take the league by storm. Today, we were lucky enough to get an extensive interview with top tier draft prospect TimmiTHD AKA Tim Tarantino. Timmi has been featured in Forbes magazine multiple times for his standout play and is projected to be a high pick in the 2019 NBA 2K League draft.
NBA 2K League Exclusive Interview
– So tell me about yourself? Anything you’re comfortable revealing; where you’re from, where you grew up, how long you’ve been playing 2K, other game genres you enjoy?
“I was born in South Carolina but moved to North Carolina shortly after. From there, I moved all over the south for a while, and then at 12, my family and I moved to Jacksonville, FL. I’ve been playing 2K since 2K. I suppose I’m what they call an “Old Head” in the community. The first time I saw the game on Dreamcast, I was completely blown away. The game and everyone in it felt so real. My favorite 2K is a tie between 2K10 and 2K14. 2K10 was when they first introduced MyPlayer and it was EVERYTHING I wanted in a sports video game. 2K14 was Lebron’s first cover and the jump to next gen. As far as other genres, I love everything. I’m a gamer gamer. I’ve been a gamer since I was 4, it’s in my blood.”
– After watching you play a bit, key things I’ve noticed are: you make good decisions with the ball, make smart/conservative plays, and have great defensive instincts. I wanted to give my player comparison and tell me if you agree— Scottie Pippen
“It’s actually funny because I’ve been compared to Scottie Pippen before so that’s a great comparison and honor, he’s one of the greatest players to play the game and just an all-around champion. Personally, I would compare myself to LeBron James. I know that’s a bit lofty but I’m willing to work to prove the comparison. I’m very unselfish and look to facilitate first. I want my presence to alter the game entirely and have an impact across the board. No matter what needs to be done, I know I can do it. Also, I’m a very vocal leader and make my teammates better.”
– Your playstyle, from what I’ve seen, fits the mold of a versatile forward so I assume that’s what you’re going into the league as. But if you could play any other position/archetype, what would it be? Do you think you’d dominate just as much?
“I’m a Point Guard first. I play Point Guard in real life and that’s my natural position. I love to dictate the tempo of the game. With that being said, I know that there’s plenty of talent at the Point Guard position. I’m also just as comfortable playing Small Forward. I feel being at Point Guard or Small Forward would maximize my abilities, but I can find ways to be effective at any position on the court. The reason I’ll be successful anywhere is because I approach the game from a mental standpoint first. I believe in doing all the little things because they add up. The same approach I have towards life translates to my game in almost every way.”
– I really like your instincts on the defensive end and you always communicate with your teammates, which is huge. Is that a point of emphasis for you?
“Thank you and yes, definitely. Communication is the most important factor in being successful to me. If you can clearly relay your thoughts into words, and those words into actions, you will see that the results can be completely transformative to a team. Defensively, I’m a ball-hawk to a fault at times. I used to play safety in football, so I can smell the ball. I am very aggressive on the defensive end, I just want to make plays. I do, however, realize that sometimes I have to pull back and just play honest defense in order to not get beat and hurt my team.”
– As a playmaker, what’s your preferred position to create offense? Do you like having a sniper waiting for you on the perimeter or an athletic big ready to roll and finish?
“Personally, I like a versatile big that can shoot and finish as well as weapons all around me. Since I usually focus on distributing, I like to have shooters everywhere to punish bad decisions on defense. Also, I like to run a “small ball” hybrid offense with length and versatility to create mismatches. I feel as if I’m best in an up-tempo setting where we can run and gun.”
– With that in mind, are there any players in the league you could see yourself being a dynamic duo with? Or maybe even a big 3?
“There’s a lot of talent in the league and I’d be honored to play with any of them. To answer your question, going to Minnesota to pair up with Hood and Feast would be scary. Also, Brooklyn— Nate’s defense and Shockey’s versatility would complement me fully. Not to mention Brooklyn is building an amazing culture, which is big for me as well. Lastly, to give you three, I’d say Orlando. I’m a HUGE fan of Cam. I think he’s a star in the making and having played with him personally, it would be instant chemistry.”
– Would you rather hit the game winning shot, make the pass to the game winning shot, or make the game saving stop?
“Make the game saving stop, easily. The shot is all the glory, which is cool, but also means we were losing. The pass, I’d do naturally because it’s the right play and that’s just the type of player I am. That stop is everything though. That stop is all heart. That stop means I wanted it more than the other guy did. It makes me hype just thinking about it.”
– Your bio says you’re from Jacksonville; ideally, would you like to stay near home and play for the Magic or Heat? Or does it not matter to you where you go?
“I’m blessed to have not just one, but two amazing organizations in my home state. With that being said, if I’m playing the game I love for the NBA, I will go wherever I need to go. I would like to stay with whatever organization I get drafted to as well. This will allow me to move to that city permanently and lay my roots there; my dream in a nutshell. However, I’m aware that this is a business, so anything can happen.”
– Are there any players in the league right now that you admire? Have you gotten a chance to talk to any of them yet, maybe get some guidance about what’s to come?
“Man, I have a list of [th]em. Compete, JT, YEY, Marley, Nacho, Winner, and almost every other player I’ve reached out to has been completely welcoming. Not only players but organizations, staff, coaches, even the commissioner has answered any questions I’ve had. They are so engaging and helpful. Without question, the whole 102 is golden. The players I identify with the most, either for their game or style, would have to be Cam from the Magic, Idris from the Knicks, and Mama from the Blazers.”
– Ultimately, what would you like to accomplish in the league? How would you like to be remembered when it’s all said and done?
“Championships. Plain and simple. I want my name to be synonymous with winning. I want to be mentioned with the Ali’s, Jordan’s, Brady’s, Bron’s and every other transformative player in their field. The bigger goal for me, however, is to have a positive impact on the world and change lives. The league is only a small part of the story for me. I have too many goals to name; therefore, let me stop talking about it and show you.”
If you’d like to keep up with Timmi’s journey to the league, be sure to follow him on twitter @TimmiTHD
Want to talk sports and/or games with the fastest growing community in gaming? Join the conversation by registering at the official Sports Gamers Online Forums, and check out our Twitter and Facebook pages as well as our growing YouTube Channel!