It’s no secret NBA players LOVE video games. And the holy grail of gaming (at least this generation) has to include the Call Of Duty series. Call Of Duty: Black Ops is the latest in the series, and the latest map pack called “Annihilation”, which dropped yesterday, includes four brand new playable multiplayer and zombie maps.
Yesterday at Treyarch Studios in Santa Monica, California, the designers brought out two NBA players, new champion Jason Terry as well as Memphis’ Rudy Gay, to wage war on the sticks and test out the new maps. The results? The JET’s squad got it done 4-2, the veteran once again winning in six and backing up the tough talk (maybe another tattoo is in order?)
But before all that, I got the chance to chat with them on everything from Black Ops to the lockout to who’s the best NBA player on the sticks.
(Back in May for Part 1 in this series, I caught up with Tyreke Evans and Deron Williams while they played the map pack “Escalation” when it first dropped.)
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Dime: How did you guys get involved with the Call of Duty team?
Jason Terry: Well they know we play a lot of video games. A lot of NBA players historically have been huge video gamers and this is nothing different. I could give all the credit to my agent, Byron Irvin, but I think they knew we played video games and they’re excited to have us.
Rudy Gay: Same thing. Nah, just kiddin’ (laughs). I’ve just always been a fan of Call of Duty. I’ve tweeted about it, talked about it. I’ve done all the things. I dunno. I guess they just found out that I’m a little bit better than Jet (laughs).
Dime: Have you guys checked out the new maps yet or are you doing that later?
JT: Well, we actually went in for a little practice round and now we are going back for the real thing.
Dime: Okay. What do you think about the new maps?
JT: The new maps are crazy.
RG: I’ve pretty much played all the other ones and worn that out so anytime they come up with something new, something unfamiliar to you, you get addicted to it.
Dime: For both of you, how often would you say you play Call of Duty and then video games in general?
RG: Aw man. I said this before, it’s a good way to kind of get our mind off of things and strictly focus on the game. We have a stressful schedule. We have stressful lives. In the game, you can’t think about anything but that.
JT: I’m very superstitious so it’s a part of my every-game ritual. So after shootaround or something, I go right to the house, get my two or three games in and I’m good for the day. So it’s an every day thing for me.
Dime: Okay. As far as Call of Duty goes, any specific weapons you like or any perks?
RG: The only weapon I like is the one you don’t gotta be close to them ‘cus I’ll get shook (laughs).
JT: For me, I’m more of a hand-to-hand combat guy so I like all the sneaky tactics, the bombs, the grenades. Anything where I can sneak up on you and then kinda surprise you. The element of surprise.
Dime: What about on your separate teams? Is there anyone that kinda obsesses over video games? Who’s the best NBA player you’ve seen on the sticks?
RG: I say Mike Conley.
JT: Ah…It’s hard to say in my locker room because if you play guys for a month and then they don’t wanna play you anymore, then you really already know who’s the best.
Dime: Now to get to basketball, Jet I gotta ask you: what’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you since you guys won the title? I saw Dirk got a parade in his hometown. Can you top that?
JT: Ah man, it’s really been low key for me. The craziest thing is probably…man, I can’t really say. I mean the parade was really crazy, 250,000 people flooded out throughout the streets. People on parking garages, on top of buildings. I mean that was crazy for me. It was an unreal feeling being on a float with Dirk, Jason Kidd and then my family. It was real tight. That was nice.
Dime: And then for Rudy, talk about your summer a little bit. In Memphis, you guys have really turned it around in the last 18 months or so. Did you always expect all of this to work out?
RG: Yeah, I mean the whole plan was when they broke the team up a while ago was just to break the team up to make it better. So we made the right steps to try to get to the point where we can be a contender.
Dime: Now what was that like watching that whole playoff run from the sidelines?
RG: Aw man, it was terrible. I can’t explain how I felt. My hands were sweaty, I really didn’t know how to sit. But you know what? It made me better for the future. You know because I can’t say I’ve played in the playoffs but I can say I watched them up close and personal, watched the preparation and now I know what to get into.