If Michael Porter Jr. is as good on the basketball court as he is at the video game NBA 2K, the Nuggets are in good shape.
Porter sent out a tweet from his official Twitter account at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night asking if anyone in Denver wanted to play the popular NBA video game for money. Royal Gomez, an 18-year-old Nuggets fan, responded. A few minutes later, Porter hopped in Gomez’s Direct Messages. Eventually, Porter told him to meet downtown at his apartment.
“I thought he was serious about playing,” said Gomez, who spoke with BSN Denver Tuesday afternoon. “But I thought we were going to play over the internet. Not at his house on his Xbox. He was like, ‘Come downtown.'”
When Gomez arrived, Porter was in the middle of a game against one of his brothers for $20. But Gomez and Porter weren’t about to play for money. Hoping to catch his attention on Twitter, Gomez, a self-described “Shoe Entrepreneur/HypeBeast” according to his Twitter bio, offered to play for his ‘UNC’ Off-White Air Jordan 1s valued at around $1000.
“I got the shoes with my graduation money,” said Gomez, who was only set to receive $100 if he won. “Those were pretty important to me, but I think it was worth it.”
The limited kicks caught Porter’s eye even though the Nuggets’ first-round pick can’t wear Nike’s because of the multi-year shoe deal he signed with Puma in June.
“I play a lot of 2K, I haven’t played much recently because it’s the dead season, but I was still expecting to win,” Gomez said. “At my peak, I probably put in over 100 hours per week.”
Gomez, who played with the Celtics and Porter, who used the Wizards, were tied at 12 after one quarter. The game remained close through three quarters, Gomez said. Porter pulled away in the fourth to win 69-59.
— Michael Porter Jr (@MPJr) August 1, 2018
“It was pretty serious. I made a few (Nikola) Jokic jokes, but he didn’t respond to any of them,” said Gomez describing the mood in the room. “He got pretty emotional. He got up and was screaming at the TV. I thought he was going to break it for a second.”
The ordeal only lasted around one hour. Gomez, who’s enrolling at Red Rocks Community College this fall, left the downtown apartment just in time for another Nuggets fan to fall to Porter in NBA 2K around 30 minutes later.
According to videos posted to his Twitter account, Porter played two other Nuggets fans that night at his apartment for money and won both matchups. One of those fans was Dylan Pine, who said he lost in back-to-back games (the second of which was a double-or-nothing wager) to Porter but called the experience “a blessing” and “life-changing.” Pine said the two played Fortnite afterward.
“It was pretty insane,” said Gomez. “I can’t even believe it happened.”