Warriors Gaming Squad's new head coach Jordan Ross chats with DNHQ
It's time to guide the defending NBA 2K champs to another title!
We’re back with another smoking Dub Nation HQ interview with the undisputed champions of the video game world, Warriors Gaming Squad! They won the 2023 NBA 2K League championship and etched their name in eSports lore forever.
Now they’re gearing up to defend their championship with a brand new coach Jordan Ross, per NBA.com:
Warriors Gaming Squad (WGS), the NBA 2K League affiliate team of the Golden State Warriors, has hired Jordan Ross as head coach, the team announced today. Ross replaces Mike Newton who spent four seasons with Warriors Gaming Squad and led the team to two finals appearances, a 99-49 record, and a 2023 NBA 2K League Championship.
Ross enters his fifth season as a NBA 2K League head coach after serving as the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai’s coach for four seasons. During his tenure with Gen.G, he obtained a 71-57 career record and led the Tigers of Shanghai to the playoffs in 2022 and 2023.
We sat down with Coach Ross and talked about his journey from gamer to coach of a potential dynasty in the Bay.
Can you describe your journey from a 2K player, analyst, and to the Gen G Tigers coach?
For sure. So about 2k17 I also look, you know, if you talk to the competitive guys, a lot of them, Jumped in from the start when the, my player mode started like 2K15 sort of era. I was more around the 2K 17 era. It took me a while to to get back on the, the 2K train. I, I had stopped about 2K 10 and then once like the my player stuff came back around, I think it enticed me a lot bit more.
I had quit playing in around NBA 2K 10, and it took me a while to get back to it. So 2K 17 is what I really started to get back, playing MyPark competitively. And I noticed a 250K tournament, where Kenny Got Work (who is on WGS currently) was actually a part of that championship team. And during that time won that 250K tournament. And from that point on the 2K League and all those certain things started to become announced.
The 5v5 game mode would become more of the standardized competitive mode. And so from that point on I was really like engulfing myself into the competitive scene. That 2K 19 year is when I had qualified for the draft pool.
I forget what the draft pool was at that point. Like top 250 or something like that. I ended up going undrafted, but I was so enamored with the 2K League and the competitive scene in general.
There was this publication Dimer 2K that actually Josiah from from our front office was a part of that publication.
I was the senior analyst there. Pretty much all things analysis wise for the 2K League I was doing for that publication.
My dream was always to be a part of a team though, so even within being an analyst I really wanted to showcase my skill set as far the understandings of the game. And then the following year, I was interviewing for teams and stuff. I ended up landing with the Gen. G Tigers at about end of 2019, early 2020.
It was the third season of the 2K League, and that was my first season, the COVID year. I don't want to say it was a blur, but for this to be my fifth year coaching in the league? It feels like just yesterday I was just starting out.
When you were growing up, who was your like childhood favorite team to watch?
Yeah, I’m from Vegas. Everyone from Vegas likes all the California teams, and I think I've always just had a mentality of going against the grain. So I didn't like the Lakers, obviously nobody liked the Clippers, but even like once the Warriors started getting good with Steph and Monta Ellis? Monta leaves and then Mark Jackson too.
I didn't really like the Warriors at that time either, as I was actually a Sonics fan. I liked Kevin Durant in high school in college, and then I'm a UCLA fan. And so once they drafted Russell Westbrook prior to moving to OKC, I just followed them to OKC. So I've been an OKC fan since then.
Wait, so you must have been hella mad when they lost after being up 3-1 to the Warriors?
Oh yeah, no, that was that was a… a definite heartbreaker for me. I remember that series, I watched every minute of that series! I thought that was the year because that OKC team faced so many injuries, and it was finally the year where all of them were healthy.
It looked like it was gonna work out, and then it didn't. It's unfortunate because then KD joined the Warriors and it kinda had fell off from there. But now it's looking like, hey, we're back on track with a potential big three now.
In terms of your long term vision, what do you want to accomplish as head coach of Warriors Gaming Squad for you to say, hey, I was successful at this job?
A lot of teams, they really count on one person in the front office to be a catch all, do everything. Which I was, was what I was over at Gen. G. There's some joy in being able to do every sort of role and ensuring that you it's going the way that you want it to. But I'm huge on collaboration, and I think that's a big thing over here.
We have Rustin, Josiah, Fox, and we have the five players that we have here who we really believe are top of the chain at their positions. And so, collaborating all those certain ideologies is like an extreme excitement for me because when I was at Gen. G, a big challenge for me was how do I balance being the GM and the coach.
But as a coach, you're understanding the ins and outs of, okay, maybe this personal problem is why this player is not necessarily reaching their potential right now. And it's a lot more emotionally invested. And whereas GM is a lot more business oriented where it's like, okay, this isn't working for us.
I guess I got kind of got caught in the fire sometimes where I held on to, you know, a certain direction too long. Whereas now I can really balance being the coach and I can really get emotionally invested with the guys and understand the ins and outs of their progressions and their developments or lack thereof.
As a one man band, it was really hard to stretch myself to have all these resources, you know? And so I think that was my biggest challenge and a big reason why this was such an exciting opportunity for me because they already have the things where I kind of was having that epiphany like, hey, these are the things I need.
For more information on Warriors Gaming Squad, check out their social media @WarriorsGaming and visit their website at WarriorsGamingSquad.com. For more info on the 2K League, head over to NBA2KLeague.com.