Let’s make one thing clear first and foremost: you have to be damn good at basketball to find your way into NBA 2K[Anything].
Everyone in this game could and would atomize me into a sad lump of dust on the basketball floor and then use hundred dollar bills to sweep my remains off the court. You have to be in the top .25 percent of the world’s basketball players just to smell the level of ability required to be in this game.
That being said.
The following are some players who, for one reason or another, are outplaying reality in NBA 2K17, as based on my extremely unscientific observations and personal experience in the game.
They're not bad players in real life, they're just digital monsters that the programming gods have taken a shine to in palpable ways. Because even game developers buy jerseys.
I hate doing this, because I love and believe in Carmelo Anthony in the same way that I believe in the sun coming up in the morning and Lawry’s making whatever you’re cooking better.
But any iteration of Carmelo is borderline unfair in 2K, to which Knicks fans will say “Duh” but I say “Nay.” Carmelo is a great scorer, and moving past the fact that game developers have made his mid-range nigh unstoppable, the most unfair aspect of Melo’s game is his defense.
Even the most basic, stock-level Melo can guard any position on the floor in 2K. Point guards? It’s a squeeze, but he’s got it. Centers? Definitely. LeBron? Sure.
That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.
Bill StreicherBill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Ben Simmons was born whole clothe into 2K17 with a 79 Overall rating, deer-speed and presumedly an "All-Time Great” mentality programmed into his sub-engineering.
The result is a player who embodies 76ers fans’ lofty expectations of Simmons and assumes all of that will be true immediately once he enters the league. I, for one, personally hope this proves out when Simmons finally suits up to play next season.
But until he does, his ultra-aggressive, unfairly fast 6’10” point-forward presence in the game can only be verified as wishful thinking.
Soobum ImSoobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Remember when they made a diamond Dwight Howard in MyTEAM with the lateral speed of Muggsy Bogues and the vertical leap of Ironman?
Gary A. VasquezGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Swaggy has yet to miss from deep in 2K17 and I’ve personally witnessed him stuff LeBron James at the cup.
Ken BlazeKen Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Tobias Harris is shooting the three-ball at a shrug-ish 34.4 percent in the 2016-17 season.
I can count on one hand how many times this dude has missed through half a season of MyCareer.
Sergio EstradaSergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
He is a godless monster and will make you weep the moment you leave him open from deep.
As this year’s cover athlete, Paul George is given some liberties in terms of ratings and tendencies, etc. 2K has a duty to make sure he is good in the game.
But what are we doing with the three-point shots here, guys?
Paul George has improved his three-point shooting from years past, and I’m aware he donned the Hornets to the tune of 39 points on 15-for-21 from the field on Wednesday night. But this is the nitpick hour, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t observe Paul George is a 66 percent three-point shooter in virtually any game he plays against you past the “Pro” difficulty setting.
That, sir, is silly and erroneous.
Ken BlazeKen Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
*[Game tutorial voice] For the uninitiated, "cheese" is a style of play that involves running a quick player with high three-point shot ratings around the perimeter and relying on game mechanics and volume shooting to carry the day. It is a lowdown garbage tactic used by the weak.
Brian SpurlockBrian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
If you combined Vince Carter with rookie Shaquille O’Neal, you get Andre Drummond in MyCareer.
Anything that enters the hemisphere of the rim, he catches and deposits into the rim, and then hangs from it like Spyda.
This one I cannot vouch for personally, but my good colleague Nick Schwartz maintains that through his entire MyCareer run with the Kings (pour some out for him), Anthony Tolliver has missed precisely three three-pointers.
(He is shooting it at 39 percent this season, sooo).
Tim FullerTim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Has "A" ratings in Inside scoring and Playmaking in 2K17, along with the 12 badges, which seems generous—particularly in the playmaking aspect.
Also, I've personally witnessed 2K Rose pass to Kristaps Porzingis, so that alone says it all.
Isaiah J. DowningIsaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
I can say without hesitation that Emmanuel Mudiay is one thousand percent the most aggressive point guard in 2K17 and is nigh unguardable on higher difficulty levels without turning up your assisted defense settings.
Mudiay (a 31.5 percent three-point shooter) also buries every straight-on three you offer while refusing to pass to Jokic.
Jeremy BrevardJeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
The Bulls have only one play, and that play is to throw it into the post to Dwyane Wade and watch as he buries you in a grave of post fadeaways.
Brett DavisBrett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
All I’m stating are facts.
Cary EdmondsonCary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
BONUS: Josh Smith
Anyone who’s played MyTEAM at least semi-seriously knows that Josh Smith is a glitch the in the 2K system that the game has just had to ride with.
His sapphire and ruby cards are
B) fast monsters
C) fast monsters that can jump
D) fast monsters that can jump and run balls out in transition
E) fast monster that can jump, run balls out in transition and knock down open three pointers with Porzingis-like consistency.
After playing a bit with Josh Smith in 2K, it becomes startlingly clear that someone distilled Josh Smith at the height of his powers, tacked on what they believed to be his potential, and conceded only that he fouls people sometimes.
Which is all to say, Josh Smith is incredible in this game.