Kevin Knox, a 6-9, small forward from the University of Kentucky, was taken by the New York Knicks with the ninth pick of Thursday’s NBA Draft. To celebrate the occasion, he wore a suit jacket with a Fortnite-themed liner.
Knox evidently is a bigtime fan of the game. I asked an Epic rep if they had anything to do with this, and they said nope, this was all him. So Knox is 19 years old and commissioning custom apparel to show off his fandom, before he even makes his first NBA basket (to be followed, inevitably, with a victory dance from the game.)
The Fortnite/sports name-checking love affair has endured well past the fad stage. Just this week, the Boston Red Sox’ David Price tried to get out of pitching in the All-Star Game by joking he’d “play a lot of Fortnite the night before.” (A carpal tunnel diagnosis earlier this season was rumored to be linked to his Fortnite playing.) Deandre Ayton, the first overall pick at the NBA Draft, said he chilled out with the game the night before the draft to calm his nerves.
This of course, follows the manifold Fortnite-themed celebrations in world football. That phenomenon seemed to land on North American soil with a name-drop for the ages after an historic upset in the NCAA Tournament. Since then, Major League Baseball players have referenced it in their celebrations. The Milwaukee Brewers played it on their stadium scoreboard during batting practice back in May.
What’s next? C’mon. Logically, the next step is a Fortnite-themed celebration in NBA 2K19. Someone should lock Epic and 2K Sports in a conference room until they come up with a deal.