NBA 2K17 released a bombardment of prolific scorers on the MyTEAM marketplace in December with the 'Droppin' 50' pack.
The pack is inspired by 50-point scoring performances across NBA history, and over the last week and half, it has caused tectonic shifts in player values across the game. The following is a rundown of each card's attributes, the ridiculous night(s) of scoring that inspired it, and whether it's worth your time and MT or not.
There's a lot of fake Internet money being thrown around on Droppin' 50, and some of it is more justified than others.
Sapphire Terrence Ross
A pure scorer card in honor of the modern basketball miracle that was Terrence Ross scoring 51 points in a real NBA basketball game on January 25th, 2014. Ross dropped 10 treys on the Los Angeles Clippers in Toronto, easily setting a new career high and still not scoring enough for a Raptors win.
As for the card, there’s not much, if any, subtlety to Droppin’ 50 Terrence. He's a pure scorer, and wooden as hell on the court. But his three-point shot is strong, although I had issues with the release when trying to recreate his numbers in the Moments Challenge 2K rolled out. In any case, sapphire Ross is worth it as a collection completer and he paid for himself and then some if you bought him at auction and completed his 10,000 MT Moments Challenge.
After that, there’s not much use for big-game Ross besides ornamenting shelves.
Attributes To Know: Open Shot 3 (88), Defensive Consistency (58), Reaction Time (61).
Sapphire Mo Williams
Another of one of Droppin’ 50’s super lopsided, bottom-rung pieces, sapphire Mo Williams commemorates Mo going berserk and hanging 52 on the Pacers in Indianapolis on January 15, 2015. Mo Money went 19-of-33 from the floor with six three-pointers, and led the Timberwolves to a 109-101 victory. I think God had been day-drinking, and forget to set his scoring lines, or something.
Anyways, Droppin’ 50 Mo is more or less the point guard edition of Droppin’ 50 Terrence Ross. All O, minimal D, BUT—he does have a sneaky-high steal rating that could surprise the hell out of some people in Blacktop formats.
Attributes to Know: Off-Dribble Mid-Range (88), Open Shot Three (86), Steal (85).
Sapphire Corey Brewer
Of all the wild, coke dream scoring nights brought to virtual life by the Droppin’ 50 collection, Corey Brewer's 51-point Halley’s Comet of offense against the Houston Rockets in 2014 was probably the most unlikely. Because, for one night, Corey Brewer was Corey Bryant, pouring in 19 buckets from the floor and going 11 of 15 from the charity stripe against a severely flustered Rockets team. It was a role player night for the ages for Brewer and basically broke LeBron James’ brain into briefly believing there might be multiple Corey Brewers in this league.
As for the card, it’s fine—more balanced than the other Droppin’ 50 Sapphires. But due to the collection’s lack of Emerald and lower tiers, Sapphire Corey's biggest impact on the game has been breaking the auction market. Sapphire cards probably shouldn’t dip as low at 1,500 MT. Just my opinion.
Attributes to Know: Open Shot 3 (84), Contested Shot 3 (64), Passing Accuracy (65).
Ruby Kevin McHale
An homage to Kevin McHale, who in the Biblical times of 1985 took the Detroit Pistons to the cleaners with 56 points and 16 rebounds.
Ruby McHale is one of the few Droppin’ 50 offerings whose overall defensive rating eclipses his offensive numbers. He’s fine as a collection completer, but nothing too wild to get excited about.
A two-time breaker of the 50-point barrier, Dirk Nowitzki is a member of the elite club of scorers who’ve had the rare pleasure of experiencing NBA Jam on-fire status multiple times in actual life.
Dirk’s biggest nights came against Golden State in 2006 (51 points) and Houston in 2004 (53 points)—peak Dirk years that saw the stiff-leg fade become one of the most unstoppable weapons in the league.
So it comes as no surprise that Ruby Dirk is a point-printer, albeit with a very steep and Dirk-ish drop-off in post defense and athleticism. But a power forward with a mid-range shot in the mid-90s is more than rare enough to forgive Droppin’ 50 Dirk for being the most lost and miserly post defender at the Ruby level. Put him within 18-feet of the cup and let Dirk do Dirk.
For one night in 2003, Allan Houston out-Kobe'd Kobe and held off the Lakers singlehandedly with 53-points.
The Knicks shooting guard went four-for-five from deep and 13-of-15 from the line, carrying his team and outscoring a similarly trigger-happy Kobe who finished the game in the rearview with 40 points on 31 field goal attempts.
Cardwise, this dude is a monster. He’s basically a souped-up version of the J.R. Smith sapphire High Flyer card (the most reliable, all-weather three-point marksmen I’ve found in 2K17 thus far), but with an ungodly mid-range game. Use him irresponsibly.
Attributes to Know: Contested Shot Mid-Range (89), Contested Shot 3 (88), Post Fadeaway (86).
Ruby Karl Malone
The Malone card everyone’s been waiting for! Kind of!
Having broke 50 on eight different occasions in his career, Karl Malone is a natural inclusion in the Droppin’ 50 ranks. His career-high scoring night came in the form of a 61-point typhoon unleashed on Fred Roberts and a helpless Milwaukee Bucks defense on January 27, 1990 (January seems to be the sweet spot for freakish, possibly lunar-influenced scoring outbursts).
Re: the card, it’s fine, good, if a bit ponderous. But you don’t use the Mailman for speed, you Malone to do what Malone did, and that’s bludgeon smaller men into bone meal until you can open up that nifty mid-range jumper of his.
Attributes to Know: Strength (95), Vertical (50), Pick and Roll Defense IQ (94).
Ruby Rick Barry
Now we’re getting into the all-time stat-line abusers, which Rick Barry more than qualifies as with his name plastered across the 50-point game scoring list a hefty 13 times.
At the top of Barry’s mountain of bucket games is the 64-point god-hammer he dropped on the Orlando Magic in 1974.
Even scarier than the point total was Barry’s efficiency in routing the Trail Blazers. He went 30-for-45 from the floor and joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only other player in NBA history to make 30 field goals in a single game. Tack on his 10 boards and nine assists and you’re left with a titanic effort and one of the most painfully un-consummated triple-doubles of all time.
And the card’s pretty good, too.
Attributes to Know: Speed (89), Lateral Quickness (68), Speed With Ball (85).
Amethyst George Gervin
A five-time entry in the 50-point club, George “Iceman" Gervin painted his opus back in the Triassic Period of 1978 with 63 points against the New Orleans Jazz.
Gervin had 53 points by halftime—which is fruit-town bonkers when you consider he started this game 0-for-6.
Zero-for-six. From the floor. The basketball one.
So we’re clear on this, George Gervin missed six shots in a row and just kept shooting until the universe relented. He is a founding father of Shooters Shoot philosophy, and we can all learn a valuable lesson about perseverance in pulling up through adversity from Gervin’s dedication to shooting his shot on this night.
Attributes to Know: Vertical (95), Ball Control (80), Driving Dunk (90).
Amethyst Paul Pierce
It took double overtime, and the Celtics still lost, but Paul Pierce’s lone, 50-point night came in 2006 against a young LeBron James, a man who does not give up 50 points to nobody.
It was a back-and-forth duel, with James and Pierce combining for 93 of 222 total points scored by their teams. The Cavs pulled out the W despite Pierce’s career-high performance, and, sadly, he walked off the court with 50 points, 12 boards and 11 assists—maybe the most bittersweet triple-double in recorded human history.
On the card front, Droppin’ 50 Pierce is straight aces—a Pierce card with solid defensive ratings to anchor his reliable outside shooting. It’s a rare occasion when the Venn Diagram of Paul Pierce and lateral quickness intersect, and if you have the means (he’s going 120,000+ in auction, but still the most attainable of Droppin’ 50’s non-buy-it-now-ables) I’d say spring for him if the moment strikes you.*
*Unless you have the Monopoly to afford these next two guys.
Attributes to Know: Post Fadeaway (90), Lateral Quickness (91).
Amethyst Allen Iverson
A.I.’s only 50-point game outside a 76ers uniform.
Allen Iverson embarrassed the Lakers in December of 2007, dropping 51 against a helpless, rotating clown parade of defenders that included Sasha Vujacic, Jordan Farmar and a rolling chair that looked like give Phil Jackson three minutes.
It was a brilliant, time-traveling kind of night for a scoring monster in the twilight of his career, but far from Iverson's career-high of 60, which leads me to believe there’s a Diamond A.I. somewhere down the road. And if there is, you might not even need it. Droppin’ 50 is Handles A.I. with more firepower and a three-point shot that’s been upgraded just enough to feel like an actual tool.
He’s not the hottest ticket in the collection, but Droppin’ 50 A.I. will be one of your strongest every-down backs on most rosters.
Standing alone at the summit of this collection’s MT Everest is Vince Carter, an Amethyst card inspired by Nets-era Carter's 51-point shelling of the Miami Heat in 2005.
There’s no other way to put it so I’ll just come right out with it: Droppin’ 50 Vince is the Holy Grail of this bucket brigade, and you should cross yourself and genuflect to the nearest backboard before perusing his ungodly stats and price tag. I will will him down to my son, and he, his son, and so on down the line for generations until my great great grandchildren ask what an X-Box is and the sun explodes.
This is a roundabout way of saying this is a stupidly good card, and a perfect commemoration a night where Carter managed to tie his career-high in scoring by dunking on Alonzo Mourning, blowing by a young Dwyane Wade and finishing over a still-kicking Shaquille O'Neal at the rim.
Blessed be Droppin’ 50 Vince Carter, highest among dunkers, patron saint of cartoonishly effective fadeaway. We will treat thee with respect, and never slander your most esteemed name by suggesting your amethyst is just Emerald Zach LaVine with a Bugatti paint job.
Attributes to Know: Speed With Ball (88), Contact Dunk (70 (???)), Offensive Consistency (95).
Diamond Dominique Wilkins
One of the strongest cards in the game right now, outfitted with four Hall of Fame-level badges and 3,864 points in total attributes. Diamond Dominique is the product of two explosive nights Wilkins had in the same calendar year: matching 57-point performances in April and December of 1986.
In MyTeam terms, Diamond Dominique is a fittingly monstrous reward for the significant task of completing the Droppin’ 50 collection. It feels right that a card showcasing the Human Highlight Reel at his most inhuman as the pat on the back for pulling off such a big 2K feat.
If you’re one of the few and proud people who went for broke on the quest for Diamond ‘Nique, good on you. So you had to sell a little blood plasma. But look at you now. Worth it.
On its face, Droppin’ 50 is a stupid-expensive array of stupid-good cards, and the prices of the top tier speak to absurdly high ceilings of its offerings.
Players know a thoroughbred when they see one, which is why Vince Carter’s amethyst is going for Yeezy prices in open auction. But all the hypebeast money that's being thrown around for Vince and Iverson has had the happy side effect of leaving Droppin’ 50’s middle-tier severely undervalued. You can get badass pieces like Allan Houston and God-Mode Dirk relatively cheap, and deadeye shooting sapphires like Mo Williams might as well come in Happy Meals now.
When you add this all together you get 2K17’s most potent and diverse pack to date—a murderer’s row featuring about every species of prolific scorer imaginable. Whatever your favorite way to get buckets is, there’s a Droppin’ 50 card that can do that to death. You can pull up from 40 and break the bank for Vince, or rein the money and go low with Malone. It’s up to you. Shoot your shot.