SAN ANTONIO — T-Wolves Gaming won their second-consecutive TIPOFF tournament beating the 76ers GC, 2-0.
And it is the perfect way to start the team's 2022 season, says NBA 2K League veteran, Malik “Slaughter” Leisinger.
"The momentum we get from this is huge," Slaughter said. "Like I told my teammates after, this isn't the peak of our season. We got plenty of things to work on and we all know that."
Slaughter did his part to secure the tournament win for the T-Wolves.
He was named THE TIPOFF tournament MVP after averaging 20.2 points, 12.5 rebounds, and shooting 85% from the field across the tournament.
And it is that kind of performance he will need to give the team the needed push to take the franchise back to the title after winning it all in 2019.
"We're going to use this. Learn from this but ultimately we know we got to get better," he said. "That championship is worth a lot more money. That's our goal."
The league veteran understands emotions have to be tempered. The league's fifth season is still in its infancy and there are plenty more games, team adjustments, wins and losses, and in-season tournaments ahead.
"We just got to fine-tune some things," Slaughter added. "Just keep working and keep improving. This is a long season. We're going to lose a lot. We're going to win a lot."
Slaughter points out that the team has to be locked in following the TIPOFF tournament win.
He says the team will lean on its experience to carry them throughout the season.
"We know what it takes," Slaughter said. "This is a great achievement, but it's just a stepping stone."
Slaughter said, "I won't worry about our focus wavering. We have a bunch of veterans. Our rookies are hungry. We're all hungry and ultimately know what we want to do."
Drafted in 2018, Slaughter may have seen it all on the pro level, but there are still lessons he soaks in to make him a better player.
And this will be key for the team chasing their title goals.
"I put in so much preparation before every game and into my opponent," he said. "I been playing at this level for a long time, at the highest level, and just playing my ball."
Slaughter's confidence, and a TIPOFF win, make the T-Wolves a dangerous team as the 2022 season is about to get ramped up.
"Nobody had us winning this tournament," Slaughter said. "But when it's tournament time and in person, we're here to play no matter if we're the first seed, the eighth seed; it doesn't matter. We're ready to rock!"
San Antonio Spurs fans can follow T-Wolves Gaming and Slaughter by visiting the official team website.
Twitter: @KENS5, @JeffGSpursKENS5