Sports video games are incredibly lifelike these days. So much so that tattoo artists are suing video game makers for including hyper-realistic versions of their artwork on the bodies of NBA players. But not all video games hit the mark when it comes to realism.
Yes, much like the uneven world of sports bobbleheads, sometimes player models look absolutely nothing like the NBA stars they’re supposed to embody. The latest example of this is the mobile game Basketball Manager 19, or Basketball General Manager 2019 — Coach Game, if you’re on an Android device. The game is officially licensed by the NBA and features real players, coaches and teams.
But if you look in the app store of your favorite mobile device and search for the game itself, you’ll notice something is… extremely off. What I’m saying here is that none of the players look anything like themselves. A Twitter user hilariously called out the uncanny valley basketball players that are on the game’s page in the iTunes app store.
If you look closely, bizzarro Chris Paul’s jersey says “Pockets” on it instead of Rockets, and Jayson Tatum’s doppelgänger plays in a city called “Roston.” Seriously, this is the preview art the game has in an attempt to get you to download it.
I mean, good lord “James Harden.” At least they got the beard right, I guess. Anyway, that’s the app’s icon on Android and I honestly had no idea who it was supposed to be at first glance.
This is supposed to be Luka Doncic? Playing for the… Ballbs? So what’s going on here? Well, Sports Illustrated did some digging and realized that it’s likely a licensing issue. Because once you download the game, the rosters really are from NBA teams. The Houston team is called the “Rockets,” and Jayson Tatum plays for the Boston Celtics.