He's just a kid from Northeast Ohio about to live out his basketball dream in the NBA ... 2K League.

Artreyo Boyd, better known by his NBA 2K name Dimez -- he's @DatBoyDimez on social media -- is the unofficial top prospect for Wednesday's inaugural NBA 2K League Draft. The Cleveland-based 23-year-old is slotted at No. 1 in Forbes' final mock draft, and his 11,000 Twitter followers and 11,000 Twitch followers are voicing their case for Dimez to be the league's first-ever pick.

After all, they call him The King.

"Everybody in the community, fans, other competitors, all consider me the No. 1 draft prospect," Dimez says. "They call me the LeBron James of 2K because this year alone, I've been to six out of eight finals and out of the six we've been to, we've won four in a row. They call me LeBron James because he always goes to the finals, no matter what."

But if you suggest that his 4-2 mark is a better Finals record than James' 3-5, Dimez, humbled to be in a conversation with James, defends his idol.

"Chill, chill, chill, LeBron the GOAT," he says with a laugh. "But we always go to the finals, and I think that's why they gave me the title. They say you can't really bet against me because it's like betting against LeBron James. I usually come out with the win."

In the past year, Dimez's hobby became an opportunity to make a living. Last February, the NBA and Take-Two Interactive announced plans to partner and create the NBA 2K League. Dimez was fittingly in the middle of an NBA 2K game when the news broke, and uncharacteristically, he ended his stream early.

"They had to announce it at like midnight, I swear," he remembers. "I think I was streaming at the time. I think I was on Twitch streaming and my chat was going crazy. It was like, 'Yo, NBA 2K just announced this league.' I'm like, 'What you talking about?' I immediately stop streaming, got on Twitter to see what they're talking about and there it was. The NBA had announced they were going to be doing eSports. I just knew then, this is it. This is what I have to do."


Dimez's journey to NBA 2K stardom started one console generation ago, in his early teens. It began by messing around with friends, but Dimez buckled down and his team navigated up the ranks to the top of the NBA 2K mountain.

"I started playing really competitive and online in NBA2K9, so I've been playing for 10 years now," Dimez recalls.

"I would have to say NBA 2K10 and NBA 2K11 was how I really knew how good I was. When you got the No. 1-ranked crew in the world for two years, you got to say, 'Hey, I'm somewhat good.'"

Even before the NBA 2K League became a reality, Dimez used his social media activity to increase his profile. Recently, he's traveled across the country for tournaments, getting recognized by fans and opponents. He plans on keeping up his Twitch streaming while on an NBA 2K League roster, and he plans on using YouTube to give fans a glimpse into the lives of NBA 2K League players. Dimez was the only NBA 2K player included on ESPN's recent "Esports 64 Bracket."

Last year, just a week after the NBA 2K League news dropped, Dimez led a team to victory at the 2017 NBA All-Star Tournament Championship in New Orleans. His squad won the $250,000 prize, plus the priceless experience of playing against Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Paul George, Aaron Gordon and C.J. McCollum.

"Kevin Durant was asking me, 'Man, how'd you get so good at the game? My little brother plays this all the time, but he sucks though.' That was funny," Dimez says with a grin.

That All-Star Weekend championship threw Dimez into the spotlight beyond his Twitch webcam. With eSports' growth and the NBA's push to brand new talent in the NBA 2K League, Dimez started to get superstar treatment.

"That's when everything started really happening, agents, sponsorships teams," he says. "That's when everything started becoming real."

Dimez spoke to ThePostGame in March at the first Esports Activate conference in New York City. It was there Dimez hosted a keynote discussion with Bond & Play CEO Imari Oliver, giving perspective on what the eSports world can expect from the NBA 2K League.

Dimez, Imari Oliver, Sway Calloway

In person, Dimez is soft-spoken and humbled by his newfound fame. He admits he got lucky with the timing of everything, but will not take that for granted. However, when it comes to some aspects of NBA 2K, Dimez has a confidence and swagger about him. He is asked what his NBA 2K IQ is like.

His answer: "What's the highest?"


"I think I got pretty good basketball IQ and NBA 2K IQ, which, you got to have both to be good," he adds.

As for Dimez's actual NBA 2K game, he plays point guard, which will allow him to be the floor general on whatever team picks him. If his NBA comparisons are accurate, his new employer is going to feel confident with him bring up the ball.

"I can give it to you by two players in real life, he says. "Kyrie Irving in terms of dribbling and scoring, and Chris Paul in the aspect of passing and leading his team."

Mavs Gaming holds the No. 1 overall pick with Celtics Crossover Gaming, Jazz Gaming and Kings Guard Gaming right behind. Before the NBA 2K League draft lottery, Dimez was still holding out hope to stay home in Cleveland, but that won't happen as Cavs Legion GC ended up with the No. 16 pick. If Mark Cuban does not scoop Dimez up at No. 1, he'll likely be headed to Boston, Utah or Sacramento.

"Like I tell everybody else, I just want to win," Dimez says. "I'm big on winning. If that's in Cleveland or New York or Indiana or Utah, wherever y'all winning, that's where I want to be."

Dimez mentions he is now media-trained, a benefit his future employer will have. Close your eyes and read this next quote. It could have come from a real NBA basketball player:

"I never really pay to much mind into it," Dimez says of outside expectations. "I just play and try to do the best I can and put my team in the best position to win. Luckily, it works and we win, so I think I'm doing something right at the moment."

After all, Dimez hasn't gotten to this point by being lazy. He has been training 14 hours a day with his teammates at Breakout Gaming. And then, when he's done with that, he has more video games to play.

"I play Fortnite all the time," he says. "Every day, when they get off, I don't get off, I get on Fortnite."

Maybe he'll be a two-sport athlete down the road?

"I wish. Tell Ninja to teach me, man. Coach me up and I'll coach him up on 2K."

Dimez's journey has been going on a decade. But the real fun starts Wednesday. Dimez's name will be called and he will subsequently travel to his new home city. Fame and fortune are on the way. By getting drafted in the first round, he'll get a $35,000 salary for six months (players drafted in rounds two through six will get $32,000).

But above all, it starts with winning.

-- Follow Jeff Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband. Like Jeff Eisenband on Facebook.