Just when you thought it was going to zig, the 2K17 pack market zagged.
We had the system down—aggressive, type driven packs like Handles and High Flyers were the soupe de saison, and the shift was on in expectation of a "Sharpshooters" collection (which still is on the way. It has to be).
Instead, the old heads at 2K commandeered the aux cable and hit us with "Rookie Rewind"—the “This Is How This We Do It” of MyTeam packs.
The 10-card set is an all-rookie affair of superstar throwbacks—baby-faced Isiah Thomas, a fresh-out-of-Wake-Forest Tim Duncan, slightly-less-angry-looking Kevin Garnett, etc. Rewind marks the first pack we’ve seen that doesn’t dip lower than emerald, and it’s by far the most diverse “Gems of the Game” set in 2K17 so far.
The following is a review/rundown of each card in Rewind—which will be discontinued on Sunday—and whether or not it's worth your time and MT/VC.
Rest assured: They're all all-time greats in real life, but not all rookie cards are created equal.
Emerald Paul Pierce
Ah yes, fresh out of Kansas, 22-year-old Paul Pierce—a relic seemingly decades removed from the miserly, JPEG-emoji-tweeting sloth man currently about the Clippers sideline today grumbling and stealing Gatorade packets for home.
Rewind Pierce is true to form: a solid, mid-range shooter who's athletic and can move without crumbling into bone grist. And at 6’7”, his size and speed come in handy in Blacktop, although C+ from deep isn’t exactly a party.
Key Attribute: Contested Mid-Range (82)
Emerald Penny Hardaway
Size, size, size.
Rookie Penny Hardaway was a 6’7” dude who could dunk you into a sanitarium but preferred the peaceful art of passing. And as the modern NBA later bore out, being a tall dude who can find teammates and create his own looks is infinitely useful. Plug Emerald Penny into Blacktop and have fun watching Steph Curry deal with that.
Key Attribute: Speed With Ball (90)
Emerald Jason Kidd
Pretty balanced. Definitely a pass-and-defense-first type of card, but Jason Kidd being a large, reliable point guard fleshes out nicely in his rookie card.
Key Attribute: Steal (85)
Emerald Kevin Garnett
Rookie KG had some monster nights carrying the scoring load for a very not-great Timberwolves team looking for answers. And he could run like a damn bull elk, and you’ll feel that sprinting the floor with the Rewind KG (82 Speed is pretty great for a 6’11” man).
Just don’t pass him the ball and expect that speed to stay there (Speed with Ball drops down to a Studebaker-y 48). Just use him to clean glass and hit elbow jumpers.
I had no idea who Dwyane Wade was when Shaquille O’Neal more or less picked this kid out of Marquette to be his sidekick. I think you had to go to the library to find out stuff like that then.
But I found out who Wade was when he started dishing assists and dropping the boys on grown NBA men. Go back and watch some young, prime-level Dwyane Wade today. It’s a reminder of why this guy is still here, cooking how he can still cook.
As for this Sapphire pull, eh. It reminds me of a much rougher version of another card we’ll discuss later.
Key Attributes: Speed (94), Shot Contest (88).
Sapphire Isiah Thomas
A proper reflection of Thomas’ athleticism, but a “B” probably sells him a bit short on the defensive end. But, yanno, rookies.
Key Attributes: Lateral Quickness (81), Passing IQ (88).
Sapphire Chris Webber
Timeout jokes and his current work as a sports commentator (and a fantastic one at that) seem to overshadow the fact Chris Webber was a monster in the league f-o-r-e-v-e-r.
Even in his final season, you could put Webber on the court with four Pomeranians and he’d still end the game with 18 and 10. His sapphire Rewind card isn’t an offensive juggernaut, but he can score inside, out-maneuver most fours and defend the wing and the paint alike. View Rewind Webber as an upgrade to emerald Paul Millsap.
My favorite type of shooting guard: not especially athletic, not particularly good at threes. Pure playmaker.
Ruby Pete Maravich is a fine, get-in-the-paint-and-dish player for Blacktop. But unless you’re looking to complete Rewind and get your reward card (more on this), Pistol Pete isn’t worth your MT in the auction place.
Key Attributes: Open Shot Three (78), Passing Vision (94).
Ruby David Robinson
7’1”, fast. Glass cleaner and paint scorer. You can get some run out of David Robinson in MyTeam challenges and Blacktop. He’s a difficult pull, of course. But not nearly as rare as Ruby Tim Duncan.
Key Attributes: Post Control (91), Draw Foul (93).
Ruby Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan was never the fastest or strongest dude on the court, but he was always the most calculating and most likely to pop an eyeball reacting to officials. And if you’re a skilled maneuverer of the post and love the rush of methodically backing your man down and drawing an and-one foul at the cup, you’re going to love Rewind Timmy.
But if you’re more a slash-and-dash gunner, you’re going to want to avoid Duncan, who remains prohibitively expensive in the auction house and lopes along the court at a brisk, returning-late-books-to-the-library saunter. He’s also atrocious at free throws. Sigh.
Key Attributes: Post Control (91), Free Throw (66).
Ruby Michael Jordan
And here we are, the crown jewel for completing the Rookie Rewind: His Airness himself, as he was entering the league for the ’84-85 season.
“Freak of nature” isn’t the first descriptor that comes to mind when Michael Jordan’s name is brought up ("Legend," "GOAT," "that jerk who played through on No. 9 and ashed on our golf cart" spring more readily to the lips), but it’s exactly what he was—a 6’6” kid who lived above the rim while working a steady day job in the post.
Ruby Mike does a good job of embodying the imperfect but highly effective nature of early MJ as a shooting guard with speed, smothering defense and a masochistic joy for banging in the lane.
Rewind MJ's only glaring flaw is his pitch-perfect reflection of Jordan’s well-documented aversion to the three-point field goal. Rewind Jordan can’t hit a bear in the ass with a scoop shovel pulling up from deep. Even if you think you’ve timed it perfectly, you're gonna have a bad time.
That being said, Rewind Jordan is a very, very good reward, particularly for cleaning house in Domination and MyTeam Challenges, where the three-ball isn’t the life-and-death decider that it tends to be in Blacktop.
Key Attributes: Post Fadeaway (90), Open Shot Three (60), Shot Contest (95), Driving Dunk (98).
Overall Grade: B
After the unapologetically lopsided Handles and High Flyers, the Rookie Rewind platoon is a nice diversion from archetype-driven card sets.
The biggest knock against Rewind is its upper end.
For what they are, Ruby Duncan, Robinson and Maravich are shiny baubles whose on-floor impact can be replicated via cheaper fare (Duncan: Emerald KAT da gawd, Robinson: Emerald Drummond, Maravich: Kyrie, or a Ruby Jamal Crawford, if you’re fancy).
The only reason to shell out MT for the upper echelon Rewinds is to get Ruby rookie Michael Jordan, who is very good and will make you very happy, but not without cost.
Where Rewind really shines is the “lower” end. You need a Rewind Penny like Kanye needs Kanye. He is a glorious dunking antelope who becomes dangerous from deep in Blacktop with the right badges. And then there's Rookie KG, who is fun and bouncy as a Rookie KG should be. Then there's Pierce, who can shoot knockdown shots over smaller defenders and still run the floor without his legs exploding into funfetti.
In summation, Rewind is a solid, middle of the pack collention that rewards you highly for going all-out, but still has value on the lower end.