It’s a little bizarre to have the new NBA 2K game release before the season has even wrapped up, but these are strange times. This year’s iteration hasn’t gone down too well with critics or players due in large to the complete lack of innovation. It’s a complaint that will hopefully be rectified by the launch of the next-gen consoles later this year, but only time will tell. For those who enjoy the MyTeam game mode though, the lack of progress likely won’t matter too much.
The popularity of MyTeam seems to be growing year on year with more and more players looking to put together their dream roster. For many, it’s like an addiction, and 2K Sports are more than happy to continue to exploit it with their heavy-handed microtransactions. It’s still early days in terms of the cards available, but there are already some strong options available for those looking to get to work building their teams. These are the top ten players in the game right now.
Updated February 14th, 2021 by Thomas Bowen: Sine the current NBA season got underway last December, a plethora of new player cards have been added to the MyTeam game mode. These in form ballers and legends of old have some of the highest all-around stats in the game and are capable of completely transforming a team from mere championship contenders into a truly unstoppable unit. As a result, it’s all change at the top when it comes to the best and most desirable cards and players in the game.
10 Rick Barry ’80 (97)
When it comes to small forwards, they don’t come much bigger than Rick Barry. The eight-time NBA All-Star was one of the best ballers of the seventies and has an incredible record when it comes to both points and steals. He’s the only player in history to have led the NCAA, ABA, and NBA in scoring and became the youngest player to score 57 points in a single game when he did so against the Knicks at just 21 years of age.
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, Barry is one of the best all-rounders in MyTeam with all of his key stats in the eighties or higher. He boasts a 95 average in outside scoring, an 89 for athleticism, and an 87 when it comes to inside scoring. As a result, the Hall of Famer can also do a decent job as a power forward, although there are one or two better options in this regard for those looking for the very best.
9 Antawn Jamison ’06 (97)
Having averaged an impressive 18.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game during his 17-year pro career, it always felt like a matter of ‘when’, rather than ‘if’ Jamison would be added into the game. The former Wizards star’s card is based on one of his strongest seasons in which he played 82 times and averaged more than 20 points per game. It was also the year in which he and the rest of the US team won bronze at the World Championships in Japan.
While his playmaking stats are a little underwhelming, Jamison excels in just about every other area. Both his inside and outside scoring averages stand at 91 while his averages for athleticism, defending, and rebounding are all in the mid to high eighties. It can take quite a bit of grinding to unlock him, but it’s definitely worth the effort given how strong the player is.
8 John Havlicek ’72 (97)
It’s rare for a player to spend his whole career at a single side these days, but back in the seventies and eighties it was fairly common. John Havlicek spent 16 seasons with the Celtics in total, winning the NBA Championships no fewer than eight times during that period. He was also selected for the NBA All-Star game in 13 consecutive seasons and was voted MVP of the 1974 finals.
Havlicek’s stats are green across the board, although as one might expect, they lean more towards shooting and physicality than anything else. He has good speed and acceleration and is incredibly adept and stealing and drawing fouls. He’s not quite the best shooting guard in MyTeam, but he really isn’t too far off.
7 LeBron James (97)
Only one player has taken part in more NBA All-Star games than LeBron James and few have won more championships in the modern era. Many consider him to be one of the best players to have ever graced the NBA and, unlike most of the other names on that very short list, he’s been able to find success at multiple franchises.
His Inferno card boasts 3,555 attribute stats in total and they’re spread out pretty evenly across five of the six main categories. With the exception of his rebounding and his shot IQ, none of his key stats are below eighty with the majority of them hovering around the ninety mark. Thanks to his ability to play as either a power or short forward, James is an incredibly useful player to have on one’s team.
6 Chris Webber ’08 (97)
After winning Rookie of the Year back in 1994, Chris Webber would go on to play for five different franchises. Although he never won any championships, he did find plenty of individual success. Webber made the All-Star team on five separate occasions and also led the league for rebounds in the 1998-1999 season to be crowned NBA rebounding champ.
It’s for this reason that some found his rebounding stats in this year’s MyTeam to be a little underwhelming. Averaging just 90, they’re far from bad, but definitely a little lower than his on-court record deserves. Thankfully, the rest of his stats are pretty impressive, including his outside and inside scoring averages which stand at 94 and 95 respectively. This makes him a solid pick for power forward; as do his strong athleticism stats.
5 Kevin McHale ’93 (97)
Former Celtics man Kevin McHale picked up three championships during his time with the franchise and was selected for the All-Star team on seven separate occasions. As was the case with five of the other members of the Celtics’ 1985-1986 championship-winning team, McHale went into coaching after his playing career and has also tried his hand as a TV analyst.
When it comes to rebounding, he is one of the best ballers in MyTeam and also sports some impressive stats for athleticism, defending, and scoring. His biggest weaknesses are his passing vision and his stealing. But aside from these areas he is solid across the board. There are definitely better centers in the game, but not by too much.
4 Bill Russell ’65 (97)
With 11 NBA championships, five MVP awards, and 12 consecutive All-Star selections to his name, Bill Russell is one of the most successful players in the history of the game. Of course, it certainly helps that he spent his entire playing career with the Celtics during a period in which the team absolutely dominated the sport, but it’s an impressive record nonetheless.
Russell is an absolute beast when it comes to rebounding, with a 98 rating for both offensive and defensive rebounds, and backs this up with some strong athleticism. His scoring stats are a bit of a mixed bag, but his dunking stats are decent and the defensive side of his game is strong as well.
3 Anthony Davis (97)
To have been selected for the NBA All-Star game in seven consecutive seasons is an incredibly impressive feat, especially considering Anthony Davis is still only 27 years old. Since joining the Lakers in 2019, his game has come on leaps and bounds. If he continues improving at his current rate, the sky really is the limit for the young power forward.
With the exception of playmaking, Davis boasts impressive stats across the board although doesn’t quite excel in any given area. This balance can make him incredibly useful, however, as it also means that he has no real weaknesses either. Combine this with his somewhat reasonable price and he’s a solid pick for center or power forward in any team.
2 Hakeem Olajuwon ’94 (97)
Hakeem Olajuwon is a two-time NBA champion and was selected for the All-Star game on 12 different occasions. He also led the division in blocks and rebounds on numerous occasions and was part of the team that won gold at the 1996 Olympic Games. Olajuwon dominated the NBA for almost two decades during his illustrious career, so it’s no surprise that his MyTeam card is so OP.
His stats for defending, rebounding, and inside scoring are up there with some of the very best, and his athleticism and outside scoring averages aren’t too bad either. He does fall a little short when it comes to free throws and passing, but these are minor blemishes on what is otherwise a very very good card. Many consider him to be the best center in the game and given his impressive stats, it’s hard to argue too much with that assessment.
1 Kawhi Leonard (98)
With two NBA championship victories and a pair of MVP awards already under his belt at just 29 years old, Kawhi Leonard could go down as one of the sport’s all-time greats if his career continues on the same trajectory. He’s looked just as solid as ever since joining the Clippers and is on track to record his highest ever averages for both assists and points per game this season.
While higher-rated cards are sure to arrive before the season is over and done with, Leonard is currently the only 98 rated player in the game. His average defending and athleticism stats are in the mid-nineties and he’s also one of the best in the game when it comes to shooting. As far as shooting guards go, they don’t get much better than this. At least not yet, anyway.
NEXT: NBA 2K21: 5 Things The Game Got Right (& 5 Ways It Failed)
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Nier’s Backstory
About The Author