NBA Player Says Pro Gamers "Train Just as Rigorously" as Professional Athletes

"This isn't a fad. It's the future."

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Utah Jazz small forward Gordon Hayward averaged 19.3 points per game last season, but most people wouldn't know that he's also an avid gamer. He says there's an incredible thing happening in gaming right now, and he wants non-gamers to recognize it.

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Hayward wrote an article for The Players' Tribune about video games in an attempt to convince non-gamers that it's the real deal.

Hayward talks about playing games like Halo and Ocarina of Time growing up and says that his passion for gaming "probably made [him] better" at basketball.

He also touches on professional gaming, saying it isn't "a fringe culture."

"You can either acknowledge this fact, or you can be wrong," Hayward proclaimed.

The small forward says that professional gamers train just as hard as pro athletes when working towards mastering their craft.

"And while they probably couldn't be distinguished in a crowd of people, when they log in under their usernames — whether it be Doublelift, Faker, or Snip3down (who actually grew up down the street from me; really good tennis player) — there are hundreds of thousands of people who want to watch them do their thing," says Hayward.

You can read the full article over at The Players' Tribune.

GameSpot talked to Hayward about his love for gaming last year. The NBA player stood up for esports and gamers after former ESPN host Colin Cowherd slammed competitive gaming.

Another professional athlete who loves video games and streams them at least 15 hours a week is UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. He even wants to become a full-time streamer once his fighting career winds down.

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