Between the February 23rd trade deadline, and this weekend’s NBA All-Star festivities, it’s hard to argue against this being the best time of the year for hoops fans. The NBA is giving you a little bit of everything — a never-ending flow of baseless trade rumors to argue with your friends over, a bunch of silly-yet-unimportant basketball related competitions between the best basketball players on the planet, and a meaningless All-Star Game we will all watch just to see how Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook coexist following all of their recent drama. Basketball is the best.
In the spirit of tradition, we thought it’d be a fun idea to put together some sort of All-Star weekend related simulation in NBA 2K17. Lord knows we’ve done plenty of these, and for the most part, something usually happens. Ride the hot hand, right? Shoot your shot, right?
But if the real-life NBA All-Star game is mostly boring outside of the occasional beef (we’re praying something happens between Durant and Westbrook reminiscent of the infamous Michael Jordan – Isiah Thomas freeze out in ’85), how could we give an All-Star related simulation some kind of new hook? How could we manufacture our own kind of drama? This is no small task.
What if we took the best basketball players of the ‘90s and pitted them up against the best basketball players of today? Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James? Shaquille O’Neal vs. DeMarcus Cousins? Klay Thompson vs. Reggie Miller? Kevin Durant vs. Scottie Pippen? Russell Westbrook vs. Gary Payton? Karl Malone vs. Anthony Davis? Yeah, that’ll do it. We’re here for that.
Let’s address the big elephant in the room right off the bat. The rosters. Someone is bound to have a beef with our selected 13 best NBA players of 2017 and the 13 best NBA players of the ‘90s. Who died and made UPROXX the judge of basketball talent, you ask? No one, that’s who.
I determined each roster by a pretty simple and unscientific formula. For the 2017 team, I took the 10 All-Star starters voted in by YOU, the fan, so blame yourself for that one. For the three roster spots remaining, I selected the most culturally relevant NBA players out of the 2017 All-Star reserves. Sure, that is subjective, but we are in the pageview business, so DeMarcus Cousins, Russell Westbrook, and Klay Thompson get the nod here. To the rest of the 2017 All-Star team, I’m sorry. Find yourself in the middle of more drama, and you could make the squad next year.