Earlier this week, it was announced that the NBA, NBPA and 2K have teamed up to create an "NBA 2K Players Tournament" made up of 16 current NBA players.
The tournament begins on Saturday, April 4 and will be live streamed on @NBA2K and @NBA on Twitter, Twitch, YouTube and Facebook.
Ahead of the tournament, our NBA.com Staff got to thinking about who the most dominant NBA player is in video game history. Is it LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal, Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant? Or is it someone else, such as the Yao Ming, Amar'e Stoudemire or Carmelo Anthony?
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): I can't remember which year it was - 2007 maybe? - but there was one particular NBA Live where Vince Carter was totally unstoppable.
The way I remember it was he was a mix of Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo. He might not have been the highest-rated shooter in the game, but he could hit 3s in every which way, from a standstill, off the dribble to his left and right, fading away etc. And when he was anywhere around the basket, he dunked everything.
And I mean everything.
I want to say he could even take off from around the free-throw line, even when there was someone like Yao Ming standing underneath the basket? Yeah, it wasn't fair. He really was a cheat code.
Honourable mention for this question: Sun Yue in NBA 2K9. He was rated in the 60s or something, but he was a 6-foot-9 point guard with handles. Smaller defenders couldn't keep him out of the post and bigger defenders couldn't keep up with him off the dribble. Whenever I started a season with a team, he was the first person I traded for because the Los Angeles Lakers would always give him up for next to nothing.
Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21): A few guys come to mind but one stands out above the rest: LeBron James in NBA Live 07.
The game featured "Freestyle Superstars," players that fell into specific categories that allowed them to do things that were essentially unstoppable. In total, there were eight categories - six on offence and two on defence.
On that game, LeBron was all but two.
Highflyer. Inside Scorer. Outside Scorer. Playmaker. Power Finisher. Outside Stopper.
He did it all.
The craziest part about that edition of the game was that you could click the right analog stick to toggle which version of the Freestyle Superstar you wanted within a particular game.
If you switched LeBron to a power finisher, his handle would get you to the rim and he'd dunk on EVERYONE in sight. Feel like hitting a fadeaway? Switch him to an outside scorer. Fancy pass? Make him a playmaker. On a fast break? Switch him to a highflyer and listen to Marv Albert go crazy.
In just his fourth season, LeBron became one of the most dominant - and fun - video game characters ever. The same holds true 13 years later. Crazy.
Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): He may not be the first NBA video game player that comes to most people's minds, but loyal NBA 2K players remember just how much of a cheat code Derrick Rose was in NBA 2K12.
The season after Rose became the youngest MVP in NBA history, NBA 2K replicated the 22-year-old's dominance in the virtual world. The combination of his speed, finishing in traffic and dunk/layup ratings made him impossible to stop. This was back before player movements were as realistic as they are now, so you could glide around the court with Rose, running circles around your opponent without any resistance.
Grab the defensive rebound, outlet to the reigning MVP, hold turbo and tap 'X' - it was an easy dunk or layup every single time.
I can only imagine the number of controllers that were broken out of frustration of D-Rose dropping 40 points on 20 transition layups/dunks.
Carlan Gay (@TheCarlanGay): He may not be one of the most dominant but I had a lot of fun hooping with him: Rodney Stuckey was a beast in the early part of his career in NBA 2K.
2K rated him as high as 80 in 2K13 for some reason, which was on par with guys like Brook Lopez, Brandon Jennings and Jason Kidd at the time. There were so many comparisons between Stuckey and Dwyane Wade that 2K gave him all of Wade's signature dunks and moves at a time when signature moves and packages were only reserved for superstar players.
The 2008-09 NBA 2K Pistons that featured Stuckey in his second season in the league, video game legend Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and, of course, Rasheed Wallace were one of the toughest video game teams to play against.
Those who knew about video game Stuckey definitely picked up a ton of Ws along the way.
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