It should have been that easy.
“Gar, could you please come to my office … bring your keys.’’
That’s the scenario that quickly played out in my head, as I jumped on NBA 2K 20’s “MyGM’’ mode and took over the day-to-day operations of the Bulls.
Finally, the team in the hands of an aggressive front office. It felt good to be sitting in that GM chair – man-bun, stubble and all. Out was Gar Forman, in was a freshly-suited Joe Cowley, telling ownership how he believed in winning sooner than later.
Sure, the suits had several tasks for me atop the priority list, starting with collecting more draft picks, followed up by “Get rid of Cristiano Felicio.’’
Seriously, that happened. “Big Cris,’’ as his teammates call him, may want to stay away from NBA 2K 20. It’s not kind to him. Pick up a Call of Duty game or a FIBA World Cup, instead. It will be better for the psyche.
But before I could even ship Felicio elsewhere and start turning the roster inside-out, the calendar had a series of meetings scheduled. OK, no biggie.
And that’s when “MyGM’’ mode jumps the shark.
Want to take on a meeting with Zach LaVine to tell him about a bobblehead night and build up morale with the organization? Do so, but it costs you the chance of playing in an actual game on that same evening. That’s right, this year’s version of “MyGM’’ makes you choose over completing seemingly meaningless tasks at the expense of playing out a game, all to try and climb some leaderboard.
It’s obvious that 2K wanted to really make “MyLeague’’ mode feel different from “MyGM,’’ but in doing so they have basically signed “MyGM’s’’ death notice moving forward.
The good news is that’s about the only glaring dent one can find in the latest release of the most successful sports video game in the business.
Is it finding flaws in a Ferrari? Possibly, but it was a disappointing and unexpected change for the franchise.
Luckily, the good far outweighs the bad.
First, there’s the continued gameplay improvement. The franchise has finally recognized that 7-footers aren’t going to stay in front of a Kyrie Irving on the perimeter, as blow-bys and speed are more specialized. That leads to more mismatches and strategy when playing, with screening and pick-and-roll finally becoming a priority.
The narrative-driven “MyCareer’’ mode is another home run, with another good storyline, as well as some unexpected appearances by a few NBA stars.
And of course the multiplayer aspect of NBA 2K still sets the bar in the video-gaming world, whether it’s a quick-play game on line with actual teams, or taking it to the blacktop for a created player.
No game is perfect, but this franchise continues to at least try and be.
Hopefully, the “MyGM’’ is tweaked moving forward, and I can climb right back in that chair for some organizational changes.
“Stacy King, could you please come to the office … bring your headset … Hey, can someone get Bill Walton on Line 2?’’
What to watch for when playing as the Bulls:
— Not quite sure who was behind the Jim Boylen graphics, but every time he’s on the screen he looks like the angry bouncer at a gentlemen’s club.
— LaVine is almost impossible to stop when he’s attacking the rim, especially off a pick-and-roll at the top of the key.
— There was very little respect put into Lauri Markkanen’s game. He’s slow and lumbering in-game, while his outside shooting was undersold.
— Wendell Carter’s game might be the most realistic. He’s over-powered by bigger centers, and is at his best with garbage points off put-backs.
Final grade for NBA 2K 20: A