The release of NBA 2K22 is almost here, set for Friday, Sept. 10.
With the excitement surrounding the latest edition of the world's best-selling basketball video game, four members of our NBA.com Staff discuss which teams and players they're most looking forward to using once the game drops.
Who are you most excited to play with?
Take a look at our answers below.
Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): I feel like this could be my answer for any given 2K, but this year especially, I can't wait to use the rookies, specifically Jalen Green and Cade Cunningham.
Every year, I look forward to playing with the newest players in the game, but sometimes, playing with rookies can be frustrating because their ratings typically don't start too high. The 2021 NBA Draft class is a bit of an outlier in that aspect, with Cunningham starting at an 80 overall, Green starting at a 79 overall and several other first-year players ranking above 75 overall before stepping foot on an NBA court in a regular season game.
Cunningham's well-rounded playstyle will make him extremely easy to use, capable of tallying triple-doubles, big scoring games or high assist games. Green's fluid scoring ability will be well-represented in 2K, with a number of different ways to light up your opponent. I look forward to knocking down stepbacks, throwing deep outlet passes for highlight-reel dunks and catching fire with a takeover with the best scorer of this year's rookie class.
I could also see Green and the Houston Rockets being a sneaky fun team to play with online, running other Tier 3 teams off the court (for those of you who are familiar with the Play Now Online format).
Between those two, Jalen Suggs, Scottie Barnes, Jonathan Kuminga and even some others like Evan Mobley and Josh Giddey, the rookies will be a blast to play with in this year's 2K.
Benyam Kidane (@BenyamKidane): 2K is all about run and gun for me, so my team is going to be the Charlotte Hornets.
Firstly, LaMelo Ball received a big bump from his 77 rating at the start of NBA 2K21 to an 84 overall in the new game. The reigning Rookie of the Year gives you everything you want in a 2K point guard, from his playmaking, long-range shooting and flashy fastbreak assists. That alone makes the Hornets a solid pick.
Then comes the "Air BnB" combination with Miles Bridges in transition. The young duo was one of, if not the most entertaining combinations in the NBA last season, terrorising defences with their high-flying, alley-oop connection. Adding to that is a solid cast of perimeter players in Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward and the newly acquired Kelly Oubre Jr. The Hornets small-ball lineup gets you up and down the floor with plenty of style points.
To tie a bow on it, they also have a pair of exciting rookies in center Kai Jones and shooting guard James Bouknight, who I expect to contribute right away.
Yash Matange (@yashmatange2694): Kyle and Benyam have great answers there. For me, the game is about dominating, so my team is going to be the Los Angeles Lakers.
Sure, on the real court, "fit" and injuries play a huge role, but in the game, I believe it's all about the player ratings. With the team's offseason acquisition of Russell Westbrook, it's going to be a delight to play with the Brodie alongside Anthony Davis and LeBron James, who is one of four players with NBA 2K22's best rating at 96 overall. Within the game, the role players the Lakers have added should be great fits around their Big 3. Only the Brooklyn Nets should be the legitimate contenders to the Purple and Gold.
As for a single player I'm excited to play with, it has to be Stephen Curry, another one of four players with NBA 2K22's best rating at 96 overall and the game's best 3-point shooter at 99 overall. Playing with the Chef, you can make games unfair by simply knocking down shot after shot from the logo.
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty excited to play with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Are they going to be good? No. But are they going to be fun? I think so.
First and foremost, OKC has a big guard in Josh Giddey who will be fun to hunt triple-doubles and chase a Rookie of the Year award with. You also have Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who can do a little bit of everything offensively and is an All-Star in the making, as well as Luguentz Dort, who can lock down anyone. (I've found that it's always hard to win Defensive Player of the Year with non-stars in NBA 2K, but it won't stop me from trying).
The frontcourt is a little weak - it sure would be nice if Al Horford was still on the roster - but there's enough there to mix things up. I can see myself playing a lot of Aleksej Pokusevski at the four and the five, firing away with reckless abandon. At least in 2K, Poku might be a Most Improved Player candidate in 2021-22 if all goes to plan.
I'm totally prepared to start a season with the Thunder and give up after a handful of games because I'm getting blown out, but you best believe I'm going to at least give it a shot.
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