By Jimmy Carlton Sportswriter Published Dec 14, 2017 at 6:01 AM

The Milwaukee Bucks are one of 17 professional basketball franchises that will have a team competing in the NBA 2K league during its inaugural season next year, and now that team has a name and look.

Their affiliated esports squad is called Bucks Gaming, and its new-but-familiar logo is inspired by Milwaukee’s existing globally recognized branding, with a graphical, video-game style. Bucks Gaming will begin play in May 2018.

"The NBA 2K League provides a great opportunity for the Bucks to further engage the global basketball and gaming audience," said Wes Edens, Bucks co-owner and chairman of the NBA’s esports committee. "The way fans experience and interact with sports is rapidly evolving and esports are at the forefront of innovation.

"We are excited to be one of the founding teams of the 2K League as we enhance our organization by adding another team."

Edens first dived into the rapidly expanding virtual gaming industry almost a year ago, when his investment group purchased and created FlyQuest, a United States-based "League of Legends" squad. The NBA 2K League is a professional esports league co-founded by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., and Bucks Gaming is separate from FlyQuest.

The NBA 2K League team’s primary image features a stag – according to the Bucks, portrayed in mythology as the king of the forest – and, "with distinct lines and sharp edges creating a buck ready to strike, the Bucks Gaming logo represents the organization’s fierce independence and bold confidence." Additionally, negative space in the buck’s head creates both a "B" that stands for Bucks Gaming, as well as subtle imagery suggesting forward movement.

The Bucks say the logo represents "the idea of genuine nobility, with the buck’s antlers creating a figurative crown declaring his place at the front of the pack with a deep sense of pride."

No word on whether the team’s straightforward name received as much brainstorming.

"The reveal of our team names and logos is an exciting milestone as we move toward the NBA 2K League’s inaugural season in 2018," said NBA 2K League Managing Director Brendan Donohue, "and we can’t wait for the NBA 2K community and fans to see them."

What’s next for Bucks Gaming? The 2K League Qualifier runs from Jan. 1-31 and is the initial step for hopeful players to be a part of the first season. All prospective players need to win 50 games in NBA 2K18’s Pro-Am mode and complete an online application by Jan. 31 to receive an invitation to the next round of tryouts in February. The NBA 2K League Qualifier is available to anyone in the world who has a copy of NBA 2K18 (XboxOne or PS4) and is 18 or older.

The NBA esports league will feature the best 2K players in the world. Each of the league’s 17 teams will draft gamers to compete as unique characters in 5-on-5 play against the other teams in a mix of regular-season games, tournaments and playoffs. The league will host tryouts in early 2018, followed by a draft in March and the season tip-off in May.

For more information on Bucks Gaming, click here.

Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.

After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.

Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.