Jesse Riedel is on top of the YouTube hoops scene . The man known as Jesser has won countless pickup games as one member of the 2HYPE crew, and he’s collaborated with NBA stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo. After gaining all that experience, Riedel got a chance to step up from YouTube to the big league. He earned a tryout for the Santa Cruz Warriors, an affiliate of the Golden State Warriors.
The Santa Cruz Warriors represent the reigning NBA champions in the G-League, where teams develop young talent. While anybody off street can (theoretically) try out for the G-League Warriors, Riedel didn’t need to explore that option. Instead, he received an invite to a closed tryout, where his competition included one-time NBA draft picks.
Riedel’s NBA dreams faced long odds, but he still had the support of his YouTube buddies. “Respectfully, are the best hooper in 2HYPE,” fellow group member Kris London told him, “and I believe in you, bro.”
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London’s support provided Riedel with a nice boost, but at the end of the day, no words of encouragement can prepare an amateur player for the speed and intensity of pro ball. Riedel went up against the strongest competition he’d ever faced, and he managed to avoid total embarrassment. That said, he didn’t mince words when evaluating his performance. “I’m gonna stop gaslighting myself,” he said, “I was ass out there.”
Though Riedel didn’t do enough to earn a spot next to Steph Curry, he did manage to score a single layup against his superior opponents. On the next play, he hurt his shoulder, and his NBA journey ended before it could even begin.
Moral of the story: YouTube stars can make it as professional boxers, but it will be a minute before any of them step onto an NBA court. Pro athletes may use YouTube to learn new skills, but watching videos can only get you so far.
Although Riedel is unlikely to get a call from the Santa Cruz Warriors, his first career is going great. His analysis of his NBA tryout got more than one million views in its first day of activity.