I wouldn’t consider myself a “gamer” but I once participated in and won a Madden league (going undefeated I might add) back before you could do such a thing online. We actually had to show up at someone else’s house and play, basically prehistoric. Anyway, I’m not a gamer but I enjoy sports games and I’m relatively good at them. I have definitely lost a step or two over the years but I would describe my play as decent. I say all that to say this, I love 2K. I generally just play against the computer on MyCareer and I get to act like I am the 6 foot 5 starting point guard for the Chicago Bulls.
If you have never played 2k and have no interest in it I’m not sure this article is for you or maybe it is (I talk about the real Bulls too). I’m not going to try to explain everything little thing here instead I’m going to assume my informed reader has a working knowledge of the game.
So I’m Russ Stark (big GOT fan, I have a Doberman named Khaleesi in real life btw). I’m a 6’5 two way playmaker PG. I don’t spend the extra money when I buy the game on VC (virtual currency) to help rank up my player so I had to grind it out starting at a 60 overall. So the way the game works you start off playing a story line, which I won’t go into, to work your way to playing in the NBA. So I sign with the Bulls and start off on the bench. I pretty quickly work my way into the starting lineup, taking Kris Dunn’s place, and I thought I would share some of the things that really popped out to me playing with my teammates in a video game.
The first thing I really noticed is how awful we were on defense (I can say we here, remember I’m actually on the team). Now everyone’s ratings are based on past years and you can argue against if you want to but Zach and Jabari are horrid playing defense in this game. Jabari, as we have seen this preseason, has the defensive presence of a fire hydrant trying to guard the much quicker small forward position. Brook Lopez isn’t much better. When Carter wasn’t in the game we had absolutely no rim protection. Anyone that got inside scored. Period. I didn’t help matters considering I took our best defensive player off the floor with Kris Dunn. I did end up leading the league in steals but thats a mute point because in this years version of the game steals are very easy to get. So much so 2k just patched it make it harder. But yeah, the defense is not good.
Next, as of right now, is lacking a superstar. Lauri might get there eventually, maybe Zach will, but neither are there yet. It’s very prevalent when other teams superstars are shooting over you, hitting contested jumpers, and pulling off circus shots so much so you yell at the game for “cheating”. Even on the offensive end, in the game Zach settles for contested mid range jumpers a lot. So down the stretch of games I would try to take over and run pick and rolls with Markkanen basically every time down the floor to try to put games away.
The last thing is, this team is a year away. I know we are very excited for this team, as we should be, but Lauri isn’t there yet and it’s Zach first full year back. Jabari can’t guard the 3 and I don’t know if he wants to guard anyone. I think the real life Bulls like my team will be in a lot of games. Score a lot of points. In general, be a lot of fun to watch this year but ultimately be at the bottom end of the Eastern Conference picking in the lottery right around where they were last year.
My team finished 36-46, placing 10th in the conference. Wendell Carter had a stat line 8.7 1.4 4.6 and finished second team on the the all rookie team. I won Rookie of year of course with a 21.2 8.1 3.7 (like anyone cares about that). Zach got hurt in the middle of year and missed about 6 weeks with an ankle sprain.
So it was a disappointing season for me. But that doesn’t mean if the real Bulls end up with the same record that it will be disappointing for them or us as fans. This year for the Bulls is a about growth of young talent. Playing to win every night. Learning to win even though it might be a struggle at times. This year is going to be fun as a Bulls fan. I’m taking my team to the playoffs next year and there’s a good chance the real Bulls will be there in 2019-20 as well.
Follow me on Twitter @RussDeYoung
Photo via GameStop