LT Fairley Named New Head Coach Of Mavs Gaming
The Dallas Mavericks have hired a new head coach for Mavs Gaming. Latoijuin Fairley, who goes by LT, takes the reigns of the Mavericks’ affiliate team for the second season of the NBA 2K League. He replaces Jonah Edwards, who coached Mavs Gaming during its inaugural season. Last season, Fairley was the player analyst for Bucks Gaming.
“We are ecstatic to have LT join Mavs Gaming,” Trey Christensen, Mavs Director of Esports, said in a press release. “He is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about 2K and the League. His ability to see every angle and evaluate players really makes for an exciting draft heading into NBA 2K League Season 2. I’m pumped to see what we can do together!”
Prior to joining Mavs Gaming, Fairley, a Navy veteran, formed the My Player Basketball Association (MPBA) for NBA 2K. The MPBA is a league that features matches and tournaments for the game’s top players. He served as the Xbox commissioner for the first 10 seasons of the MPBA.
Mavs Gaming making moves
Acquiring Fairley isn’t the only move Mavs Gaming has made this fall. In September, the team traded Ryan Conger, who goes by the moniker Dayfri, to Wizards District Gaming, the NBA 2K League affiliate of the Washington Wizards. In return, Mavs Gaming received the 14th overall pick in the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft.
Conger was the 34th overall pick in the inaugural NBA 2K League Draft and was initially one of two players, along with Artreyo Boyd aka Dimez, the team retained after its first season. Boyd was the number one overall pick in the 2018 draft.
Co-founded by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. and launched in 2018, the NBA 2K League is the first official esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league. All of its games are broadcast on the streaming platform Twitch and next season the league expands to 21 teams, up from 17.
Beyond the league, the games, and the business side of things, though, Mavs Gaming has made a priority of contributing to the community and promoting positive lifestyle choices. Those messages were on display earlier this year when Mavs Gaming unveiled its new gaming pavilion and they’re something that Fairley also emphasizes.
“I just want to help players understand that it’s a lot more than video games that the 2K League is offering and you can just be better as a person in general,” Fairley said. “There’s a lot of stuff that I learned at a young age and I feel like I can help gamers improve their life.”
Last season, Mavs Gaming struggled to win games after finding success early. Those setbacks caused the team to miss the playoffs. Fairley wants those losses to remain in the past. As he overhauls the program, he wants to create a new culture—one that’s synonymous with success.
“You can definitely expect a better program moving forward and just a winning mentality in general,” Fairley said. “We’re going to win a lot of games and we’re going to do a lot of great things.”
I have covered the NBA for over eight years for various outlets, both online and in print. For the past seven seasons, I have primarily covered the Dallas Mavericks. I am a Dallas-based writer. Follow me on Twitter @TheKobeBeef.
This article originally appeared in Forbes.