RONNIE SINGH is the digital marketing director for 2K; among NBA fans, he's simply known as Ronnie 2K. As the public face of the wildly popular video game series, he's a target for players who disagree with the ratings that are assigned to them each season—and there are many who do. (After the September release of NBA 2K18, John Wall tweeted at Singh: @Ronnie2K u a joke !!!) SI's Andy Gray recently caught up with Singh, 34.
SI: How did you end up at 2K?
R2K: I've played 2K since the original, but I really started picking up with 2K5. I went on the message boards and wrote about the game. The people at 2K noticed and asked me to come in for an interview. The job was to run their forum. Over time, social media developed, and I got my first big break. It was 2K11, and we had Michael Jordan on the cover. This was a major cultural move for us. We had a launch party and actually had legitimate celebs there. My bosses knew we needed content and were like, "Hey, Ronnie, go interview these celebs." I guess I was the most logical person to cover it. So I went, got a bunch of cool athlete and celebrity interviews, and from there it grew.
SI: It seems as if you're a bit of a celebrity now. Do you ever get recognized?
R2K: A few months ago this group of kids found out where [Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes's] wedding was happening and followed the wedding party. But they weren't looking for Steph [Curry] or Kyrie [Irving]. The security guard told them they couldn't be there, and they said they were looking for Ronnie. The security guard was like, "I don't know who that is."
SI: So you must get noticed exclusively by guys. Correct?
R2K: I'd say 90, 95%. There are girls who come up and say, "Hey, my boyfriend loves your game." And they joke, "I wish your game didn't exist."
THEY SAID IT
"IN FAIRNESS IT [HAD] NOTHING TO DO WITH THE LION.... WHEN YOU PUT YOUR HAND IN A FENCE WHERE THERE IS A LION, THEN YOU WILL GET BITTEN."
Coach of the Ospreys, a rugby team from Swansea, Wales, explaining the absence of hooker Scott Baldwin (left) from a game last week.
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Four soccer referees in Malawi were banned for life after they collectively took $20 from a team to fix a game, $15 of which they paid back to the team after it still lost.