For years, I’ve wanted to use NBA 2K to create an entirely new franchise mode experience. My thought has always been, “what if there was a professional league with all new teams and players?”
Thankfully, 2K introduced MyLeague a few years back, and the functionality of that feature gave my project some life.
However, while MyLeague was and is the premier franchise mode concept on current-gen consoles, the new MyNBA feature took things to the next level. Because of the power of the next-gen consoles (specifically the PS5), it was time to create the Unique Mazique Basketball Association (UMBA).
This was a father and son project I worked on with my youngest. It took a little over two months to complete. It has no NBA representation (beyond what 2K doesn’t allow you to remove). There are over 400 fictional players and 30 all-new teams.
The logos were designed by Dylan Fuller, while the uniforms and arenas were created within the 2K edition tool by myself and my son.
Here is a trailer that was created to introduce the league.
Each player was created from scratch based on a number of randomization tools. Their ratings were based on random NBA players from the past and current day, with 5 attributes changed by a randomization tool.
A separate tool is used to choose a random height based on their position. The number of badges were also chosen at random, but with restrictions based on their actual attributes. This formula served to create some very unique guys and the league has some serious character.
To say the least, there was a ton of detail put in to bring this project to life. In case you’re wondering, the highest-rated player on the roster is a guy who began with Bob Cousy (All-Time Celtics) ratings, but his height wound up at 6’5”, and he was boosted even more with 30+ badges.
He’s rated a 98 overall. There are other great and then some not-so-great players in the league to create balance.
The Team Designs
Fuller’s designs really added some pizazz to the project. He has done some work for a variety of NBA 2K Pro-Am teams and more. Here are some examples of the teams in the UMBA league file.
Here is a look at the league alignment, meaning the new teams are next to the NBA teams they replaced.
- Anchorage Black Bears – Utah Jazz
- Vancouver Lookouts – Portland Trail Blazers
- Seattle Pioneers – Oklahoma City Thunder
- Minnesota Sound – Denver Nuggets
- Chicago State of Mine – Minnesota Timberwolves
- Dallas Marvels – New Orleans Pelicans
- Houston Ravens – Houston Rockets
- Kansas City Culture – Dallas Mavericks
- St. Louis Guards – San Antonio Spurs
- Cleveland Emeralds – Memphis Grizzlies
- Phoenix Chucks – LA Clippers
- LA Capitols – Phoenix Suns
- San Diego Cougars – Sacramento Kings
- Honolulu Diamonds – Golden State Warriors
- Las Vegas Neons – LA Lakers
- Atlanta Phoenix – Orlando Magic
- Birmingham Club – Atlanta Hawks
- Miami Cubans – Miami Heat
- Charlotte Dukes – Charlotte Hornets
- New Orleans Select – Washington Wizards
- D.C. Cobras – Boston Celtics
- Philadelphia Roots – NY Knicks
- Harlem Shake – Jr. – Philadelphia 76ers
- Boston Gurus – Brooklyn Nets
- Brooklyn Kings – Toronto Raptors
- Mississippi Mastodons – Indiana Pacers
- Detroit Rhythm – Chicago Bulls
- Memphis Pyramids – Cleveland Cavaliers
- Toronto Royals – Milwaukee Bucks
- Indianapolis Monuments – Detroit Pistons
How to Download
This is a PS5 exclusive, but someone is free to transfer it to Xbox One X/S if they are so inclined.
The project is offered in parts. In the event you just want the roster of players, that’s available. If someone really likes the custom team designs and wants to use those in NBA 2K21, the instructions for downloading them as well as the entire MyNBA scenario that will set the league up as it was intended are below.
To download the roster on PS5:
- Search PSN ID: Unique Mazique (the file is UMBA Fictional League)
To download the scenario on PS5:
- Search PSN ID: Unique Mazique (the file is UMBAT1) the description refers to my YT channel.
To download just the team designs:
- Search PSN ID: Unique Mazique from the “Download Team Design” prompt within the MyNBA menus.
Franchise modes continue to offer arguably the most depth of any mode type in sports video games. This is just the latest example.