This series must be prefaced with the two simplest facts I’ve ever stated:
1. A few weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of congress, and he sat upon a chair with an extra cushion to make him appear taller. As a man of relatively average height, I don’t understand his pain, but I’ve got my host of aesthetic flaws (acne, bad hair) and I hope that this was his decision out of genuine insecurity and not something done for him to appear taller out of a desire for better optics on Facebook’s behalf. Mark Zuckerberg is 5’7″ tall
2. NBA 2K16, which I bought two years ago, has a delightfully earnest but relatively sloppy story mode written and directed by Spike Lee.
I like a lot about this mode, and we couldn’t have the excellent similar story modes that came in later Madden and FIFA games (I know this from hearsay, I haven’t played them) were it not for the sloppy steps taken in NBA 2K16.
Anyway, this all prompted the question: What if Mark Zuckerberg pursued a different career?
It’s known that he’s a basketball fan. He was spotted at a New York Knicks game in 2012:
And he’s played on a big time college court before:
The story takes place in Harlem, which is not too far from Zuck’s hometown, Dobbs Ferry, New York. I think it’s entirely feasible that, in a different timeline, where he was adopted by this family only twenty miles down the road and grew up as their son, he became a basketball prospect:
Our Digital Zuck:
My only major debate is whether or not I could get Zuck’s haircut accurate, and the closest that I could get was this:
So this is our Digital Zuck. Digital Zuck’s story begins on a playground court with his sister, Cee-Cee, and his wild ‘n crazy adopted brother, Vic. He, and Vic, and Cee-Cee, are all seniors in high school, and they’re all aware of Zuck’s status as a highly-touted basketball prospect.
Digital Zuck goes to Midtown High School, and he plays for the Bulldogs’ basketball team. Midtown High School apparently has this nice-ass gym with a couch and TV and 2K Sports Drink Machine where he hangs out.
He practices day-in and day-out on shooting basketballs. When he misses more than four shots in a row, he self-disciplines himself and goes to the Shame Corner
His intensive workouts pay off come game-time, though:
Much in the way that Zuck revolutionized the MySpace model with his “Face Book”, 2K Zuck (Zu2K) revolutionized basketball on offense and defense.
His offensive schemes were about two-fold. First, I used his size and general evasiveness to camouflage himself behind the referee. When opposing players lost sight of him, he’d jump out, seemingly out of nowhere, take a pass, and launch a jumper.
If that wasn’t working, he’d initiate the “One-Corners” offensive scheme. This scheme takes the idea of Dean Smith’s famous “Four-Corners” scheme, where his players would hold the ball at each of the four corners of their half of the court. I took this and minimized it to only include Zuck and Zuck’s One Corner.
The One-Corners offense involves Zuck taking the ball past half-court, holding the ball in one corner, milking time off of the shot clock, and then taking a shot from said corner. It worked at about a once in every eight shot rate, but when the ball went in the hoop, it was worth generally three points.
His defense was two-fold as well. First, there’s the “stand back and don’t get hurt” initiative:
And the second, which I think has a few similarities to his recent controversies at Facebook, is the ol’ coverup:
What really resounded with me regarding Zuck was his heart and soul. He appreciates the game of basketball on a level higher and more heartfelt than most. For instance, against the Dragons, a cross-town rival, he saw a grieving opponent and made sure to quickly show sympathy for him, making quick but meaningful physical contact much in the way that Face Book allows for people to make quick but effective emotional contact.
He shows a keen eye for the game, too, conversing frequently, even in-game, with referees.
Zuck averaged about 3 points, one assist, and maybe a few rebounds and steals in his high school career. His high school team made it all the way to the New York State Championship game, but lost by a score of 17-5. His crowning moment came in the third quarter, as he worked the One-Corners offense to perfection.
Though the team around him failed, Zuck was able to parlay his high school career into a sure-fire college scholarship. The next episode of the Mark Zuckerberg NBA 2K Experience covers his recruiting process, his choice of college, and the year of NCAA Success sure to follow.
Joe is on Twitter @joebush_joebush, and on Facebook at The Post Hole until Mark reads this and kicks him off of Facebook, at which point Joe will return to watching VHS tapes in the dark