With the release of NBA 2K17 this week, here is a look at the best players to use in the game. We’ve included legendary players, so this is a pretty tough list to crack for current NBA players. Also, no duplicates. A list with almost all MJs would be boring.
1. Michael Jordan, Bulls SG (1995–1996), 99 OVR
Do we really need to provide an explanation for this one? MJ is the only 99 overall player in the game, including his 1992–1993 version. This 1995–1996 version is basically A+ ratings across the board. He’s the greatest real-life and video game basketball player of all time.
2. LeBron James, Heat SF (2012–2013), 98 OVR
LeBron’s best rated version is back when he was wearing #6 for the Miami Heat. 2012–2013 was probably the absolute prime of his career. Good luck trying to play against this Miami Heat team in a classic teams matchup. Even in a video game, LeBron is flat out scary when he’s driving to the basket.
3. Stephen Curry, Warriors PG (2016–2017), 94 OVR
Curry is perhaps the best shooter in NBA history, and he’s no doubt the best shooter in NBA 2K17. Curry’s 3-pt ratings are as follows: 99 open-three, 99 contested-three, and 99 moving-three. The new shooting in this year’s game only makes him more lethal from beyond the arc than ever. If you pull up from a few feet in front of half-court with Curry, there is a good chance you make it.
4. Magic Johnson, Lakers PG (1986–1987), 98 OVR
If there’s a point guard in 2K that can give Curry fits, it’s probably Magic. At 6'9", the Lakers legend can easily take Steph — or any other guard — in the post and score at will. Not only that, but Magic can guard anyone with his 6'9" frame and gigantic wingspan. His A+ perimeter defense proves it. Oh, and he might be the best passer in NBA history.
5. Kobe Bryant, Lakers SG (2000–2001), 95 OVR
The now-retired Kobe Bryant isn’t even the best rated player on the 2000–2001 Lakers team, but he is the highest on our list. The 23-year old Bryant is one of the most clutch players in the game. And once Kobe gets going, it’s over; he’ll have no problem dropping 81 in any given game.
6. Shaquille O’Neal, Lakers C (2000–2001), 97 OVR
The third Lakers player in a row, Shaq is the most dominant center in NBA history, and the only player at the postion to make the Top Ten. Shaq has 98 shot close, 99 standing layup, 99 contact dunk, 99 standing dunk. And he’s one of the best defenders in the game, including 99 strength for those low-post battles. Just watch out for the opposing team’s Hack-a-Shaq strategy.
7. Allen Iverson, Sixers SG (2000–2001), 94 OVR
96 speed and 98 acceleration makes AI one of the quickest players in 2K17. I would recommend having the computer try to guard Iverson, because he will just leave you in the dust. Although, he will probably just leave the computer in the dust, too. As a defender, AI will take the ball from you and go on a one-man fastbreak before you know it.
8. Kevin Durant, Warriors SF (2016–2017), 93 OVR
The second current player on this list is on the same team as the first. KD’s 2K player description says it all: “Scoring Machine.” Durant might be the best pure scorer in the game. There is no way to defend a guy that will shoot over a defender that’s right in his face. And he should get a lot of open looks in Golden State’s offense.
9. Dwyane Wade, Heat SG (2005–2006), 94 OVR
It seems a lot of people don’t remember, but young Dwyane Wade was a beast. He carried the Heat to a championship, with some help from Shaq. He doesn’t have a great 3-point shot, but D-Wade is money from everywhere else. Along with AI and the next player on the list, the 24-year old version of Wade is the fastest in the game with the ball (98 speed w/ ball rating).
10. Russell Westbrook, Thunder PG (2016–2017), 93 OVR
Westbrook’s rating is sure to climb as the NBA season gets underway. Even with his current ratings, the OKC superstar is a terror for opposing teams. This guy can single-handedly dominate a game in NBA 2K17 just as easily as he does in real life. Make sure you utilize him correctly, though. Standing behind the 3-point line isn’t a good idea with his D+ rating. It’s the only weakness in Westbrook’s 2K game.