While Danny Ainge looks towards finalizing his roster after a long, eventful offseason, Jonas Jerebko is doing the same. Instead of mulling over shot charts, mental intangibles, and athleticism, he’s looking at kill/death ratios in Call of Duty.
Whether or not you think it’s a sport eSports keeps growing and Boston’s stretch four is the latest to buy in as Darren Rovell reports that Jerebko bought the Renegade team from a man named Christopher Mykles. The organization has different sections for several video games, including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, C.O.D., Halo, Overwatch, and soon League of Legends. All of these sections hold rosters of elite gamers with funky nicknames. (also see: Rift Herald)
The terms are difficult to navigate, but what is clear is that Jerebko isn’t a first for basketball players in this venture. Rick Fox and Shaquille O’Neal both own portions of eSports teams, and apparently the Cs big man has already been hard at work organizing the franchise.
In true Ainge fashion, Jerebko immediately moved to re-sign four C.O.D. players for one-year contracts with team options on the second years. His plan was to originally purchase the team in 2017, but having the ability to negotiate those contracts and begin steering the team towards his long-term plan reportedly changed that timeline.
Along with that purchase, Jerebko has organized a house in Rochester, MI for his C.O.D. “Ground Zero” team. The team members will live there with a coach and manager as they prepare to shoot imaginary assailants in September’s World Championship.
For all his financial support, it seems as though Jerebko will be rather uninvolved organizationally. This purchase figures to be more of a long-term investment for when his basketball days end, but there is some level of moral obligation as Jerebko sees it. He stated that the four players he re-signed weren’t paid at all for three to five months last season and that, with him as owner, paychecks will be delivered on time.
The best part of this story is easily the nicknames, ranging from “peekay” to “GoMeZ” to “KiLLa.” Hopefully this fall all we have to know Jerebko as is “DrAinEr.”