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NBA 2K23 was released earlier this month and as expected, players were quick to comment on their ratings in the game. While some perceive their ratings as simply meretricious — a virtual score; merely a tool to conjure debate — others use it as motivation, applying it to their real-world self to inspire their play on the court. And of course, some players lambaste their NBA 2K ratings, for they feel it belies their true basketball selves.
Below, NBA players tell Sideline Sources’ Wenzell Ortiz what they think about their NBA 2K23 ratings.
Responses have been edited and condensed for clarity.
Response: “It is what it is.”
Adebayo’s reaction to being an 87 overall was innocuous. Perhaps the 25-year-old was refraining from criticizing the renowned game like Nets star Kevin Durant did. The two-time Finals MVP recently called out Ronnie Singh, 2K’s Digital Marketing Director, for his 96 rating, adding that it was “laughable.”
Ranking 30 out of 840 current NBA players, Adebayo is also the second-highest-rated player on the Heat. Jimmy Butler is a 90 overall. However, the glass-cleaning lockdown archetype boasts an 89 potential, portending an increase in his rating as the season progresses. This is Adebayo’s third consecutive season being an 87 overall; his rating was 86 in NBA 2K20.
Response: “I don’t f**k with 2K, so I’m cool.”
The 28-year-old’s candid response to being an 83 overall is how many players around the league feel about their ratings. No one, however, would blame VanVleet if his brazen reaction was directed towards his actual rating.
Despite being the only Raptor to make the All-Star team last season, VanVleet ranks third in overall rating on the team. Also, he, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins are the only All-Stars last season to not be at least an 85 overall. Finally, the two-way playshot archetype has a lower three-point rating (82) than Paul George (83) despite shooting a higher percentage than him last season on a greater volume.
Response: “To be honest, I really don’t care. Maybe I did at the beginning of my career, but now it’s just a game.
They [NBA 2K] should care more for how players look, to appear similar to their real-life selves because only a few look realistic.”
Nurkic joins the camp of players that simply do not care for their 2K rating. However, the big man did admit that at one point he was vigilant of how the game was scoring him. Instead, Nurkic would like to see NBA 2K prioritize the player’s physical appearances.
The 28-year-old is tied for the second-highest-rated player on the Trailblazers. He is also a force down low, being labeled a paint beast archetype. For the past three seasons, Nurkic has oscillated between an 83 and 82 rating.
Response: “I don’t play the game, so it’s all good.”
Monk’s reaction to his 76 overall rating is reminiscent of VanVleet’s. Expressing mirth at the prompt, the 24-year-old revealed that he does not play NBA 2K.
Interestingly, Monk was a 78 overall in the previous two iterations of 2K. This makes his 76 rating perplexing because many pundits were extolling Monk for having a breakout season in 2021-22. The former Kentucky Wildcat is one of three Kings players that boast a 76 rating.
Response: “At least I’m finally a damn 80. I don’t really play 2K so, I don’t know, I’ll keep just going higher.”
Hart was pleased to see himself breakthrough as an 80 overall player. However, like the aforementioned VanVleet and Monk, Hart does not indulge in the NBA 2K franchise.
The 27-year-old is one of five players on the Trailblazers to be rated 80+. Also, despite being a guard, Hart has an archetype of an inside-out scorer. Ultimately, his plan to continue increasing his 2K rating will be assisted by his 98-rated intangibles and 80-rated potential.
Response: “80’s not bad for the beginning. Let’s see at the end of the year what the ratings will look like!”
Bogdanovic showed appreciation for being rated 80 overall. It is clear that the 30-year-old will be keeping tabs on his rating throughout the year, ensuring that his score reflects his play on the court.
The Serbian native is the fifth-highest rated player on the Hawks roster. His 90-rated offensive consistency is poised for an increase since Dejounte Murray is on the roster now. The tandem of Murray and Young will open up the court for Bogdanovic, allowing him to thrive as a three-level scorer.
Response: “I really should be a 70 or something. I haven’t done anything yet. I’ll earn it though.”
Bazley is by no means comfortable with his 76 rating but is motivated to increase it throughout the season. Understanding why he is rated where he is, Bazley will aim to be only the third player on the Thunder’s roster to be rated 80+.
The 22-year-old’s archetype is an interior finisher and was rated 77 last season.
Response: “I haven’t played the game, so it’s hard to give a response. Also, I don’t know what the average rating would be.”
Despite having played 13 seasons in the NBA, Green admitted that he has never played NBA 2K. The 35-year-old does not have a frame of reference when it comes to his 73 rating, therefore relegating it to merely an arbitrary number.
Green will be a veteran presence on the Grizzlies this season but his reputation still precedes him. The two-way shooting archetype is the fourth-highest rated three-point shooter on the roster, boasting a score of 82.
NBA 2K, for better or worse, is indelibly etched in the way basketball is curated. Fans, pundits, and players alike all, at the very least, are mindful of the game’s ratings. Regarding the latter, some show appreciation for their score and use it as motivation, while others scoff and jettison it entirely.
Nonetheless, it will be interesting to watch as the season gets underway how these players’ ratings fluctuate — and whether they will care or not.
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