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NBA 2K Ratings Become a Sore Spot for Players

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The popular video game has provoked NBA stars unsatisfied with their virtual ratings, some of whom have reached out to the game developers.

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

In the past decade, NBA 2K has emerged as the most popular basketball video game franchise on the planet, not just with fans, but NBA players as well. HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy recently got the inside scoop from some of the game’s key developers about players who have reached out to them voicing their displeasure with their personal ratings in the game.

Among the more fascinating revelations in Kennedy’s article was the role 2K18 ratings played in Dallas Mavericks swingman Harrison Barnes’ wedding this summer. Former Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews figured prominently in this anecdote related by game developer Ronnie Singh:

“I was at Harrison Barnes’ wedding and a major point of contention was Wesley’s rating,” Singh said. “He found out that he was an 83 overall and he got pretty upset about it. He kept talking to Rick Carlisle about it. Well, Rick was the MC of Harrison’s reception. It got to the point that during the reception, in front of about 40 NBA players, Rick gets on the mic and says, ‘Ronnie, we have to address this rating thing right now. You need to come up here.’

“So during the reception, I’m up there in front of these 40 NBA players explaining why the ratings are the way they are and how they’re determined. And I’m thinking, ‘This guy is in the middle of celebrating his wedding!’ Harrison’s wife was probably like, ‘I’m going to murder Ronnie after this reception.’”

Some developers have public Twitter profiles, and players are not beyond reaching out to them through direct messaging, advocating to improve their rating. However, the developers stand pat in their rankings:

““We’re pretty good about the separation of church and state,” [NBA 2K Community Manager Chris] Manning said. “We won’t mess with the integrity of the system like that. Players can try to influence us all they want, but we’ll remain unbiased.”

“The ratings are strictly about on-court performance,” Singh said. “It’s really that simple.”

Kennedy’s piece can be read in it’s entirety here. NBA 2K18 drops September 19th.