Rookies Make Digital Debut
Eric Patten (@ericpatten), Clippers.com | 1/27/12

It took more than three months, but Clippers rookies Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie finally made their NBA video game debut.

NBA 2K12, the only officially licensed NBA simulation, was released Oct. 4 for Xbox 360, PC, and Playstation 3 with incomplete and out-dated rosters, due in large part to the uncertainty of the league’s labor situation. Effectively any draft picks or players that were not on rosters before July 1 could not be included in the game’s “out of the box” roster.

Once the lockout was officially over, 2K Sports gradually added rookies, beginning with players like Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams. Even as the first-round picks were slowly appearing via online updates a litany of second rounders were for the most part neglected.

That was until last weekend.

Leslie said he received several Tweets telling him his digital character was in the game.

“I went home and got the update and there it was,” Leslie said.

Thompkins made sure to check out how the 2K artists depicted his likeness as well.

“It was cool,” Thompkins said. “I’m a rookie, so I’m not going to be too pin-point about it. It’s just crazy to see myself on an NBA video game.”

As for how his buddy Leslie looked?

“I like him,” Thompkins said. “Obviously, he’s a dunker. He can high fly on the video game, knock down some shots, and he’s a good defender. It’s Travis.”

Leslie thought the game did a better job with Thompkins than with himself, but admitted it was still fun to see his own picture on the screen.

Although it’s the first time either rookie has been in an NBA game, Thompkins said both of them were featured in NCAA Basketball 2010 from EA Sports, which had a certain former Oklahoma star (Blake Griffin) on the cover.

Still, it was different this time around. In the college game the University of Georgia teammates were only freshman and were hardly recognizable outside of their vital stats and jersey numbers and according to Thompkins, they “weren’t really showcase players.”

CLIPPER GAMERS

Thompkins and Leslie are far from the only Clippers who frequent NBA 2K12. Solomon Jones, Eric Bledsoe, and Mo Williams are among the current group who play basketball with their thumbs. A few days before the season opener, Williams Tweeted his frustration over the lack of an accurate roster. And several updates later, the wait is over; he can finally throw down a lob or two with Leslie or knock down a corner 3-pointer with Thompkins, among other things.

Take a look at the following photos of some Clippers players in the game as compared to their media guide portrait. And of course take note of a young Vinny Del Negro, who is featured in the game as a member of the 1997-98 San Antonio Spurs.




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