The storied NBA 2K franchise continues to go from strength to strength, and the new NBA 2K18 game is no exception. While new additions to the game such as the 'Neighborhood', increased brand presence and text messages from LaVar Ball have all been lauded, one new feature has been criminally overlooked.
The 'Play Now' mode is the generic exhibition-style game mode. Like in all sports video games, this is a mode which is very hard to change and revolutionize. Simply put, it is as close to pure basketball as a video game can be. However, the good folks over at 2K Sports managed to do what many would deem impossible - they revolutionized the 'Play Now' mode. How? By adding All-Time Teams.
Saluting the great teams
The game features 30 All-Time teams - one for every NBA franchise. All-Time Teams give players the chance to fulfill their fantasies by testing out combinations and watching different eras clash. It's a surreal experience to see Wilt Chamberlain throw down a massive slam dunk off the back of a Stephen Curry lob. The dream backcourt of Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant can be lived out through the game, and you can even see LeBron James guard LeBron James by pitching the Miami Heat against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The seemingly endless combinations of matchups make the 'Play Now' mode very exciting. Before jumping into this mode, you may wonder who to start with. With 30 incredible All-Time Teams, this makes for a very hard decision. Here, though, I'm going to make it a little easier for you and rank the top five All-Time Teams.
5. San Antonio Spurs
|All-Time SA||81||Vinny||Del Negro|
Imagine this team taking the floor in real life. They wouldn't let a basket it. Kawhi Leonard, David Robinson and Bruce Bowen - three of the greatest defensive players in NBA history. The partnership of Tim Duncan and David Robinson would nullify tams' ability to play small-ball, which would be incredibly effective in today's NBA. On the other side of the ball, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Leonard again can provide elite offensive play and be nearly unguardable.
4. Chicago Bulls
I don't even need to justify this team's appearance on this list. Have a look at the second player on this list - the GOAT, Michael Jordan, rated 99 overall (the highest rating for a player in the game). Throw in Jordan's right-hand man Scottie Pippen, as well as some of his other 72-10 team mates, and this team hits every NBA fan with a welcome sense of nostalgia. Oh, and let's not forget this team boasts the youngest MVP ever, Derrick Rose.
3. Golden State Warriors
This team may just be the definition of stacked. The Warriors' two lowest-rated players are both 86 overall. That's incredible. I want to make this point clear: This team could definitely beat the two teams ahead of them on this list. The reason I've placed the Warriors third is because of the over-reliance on the three-point shot. If it's working for them, they're unstoppable; no team will be able to beat them. However, if it's off, they may struggle against the heavyweights ranked above them. Stephen Curry (96), Kevin Durant (96) and Wilt Chamberlain (96) - these three alone could defeat the starting lineups of a few of the lower rated All-Time Teams.
2. Boston Celtics
Firstly, I want to acknowledge that this team is stacked. The lowest-rated player, Antoine Walker, still notches an 87 overall. Imagine running into this team and coming face-to-face with one of the most intimidating partnerships imaginable, Larry Bird and Bill Russell. That's the beauty of this game mode, we can create partnerships just like that. But, this team is special because it features players from all eras. Not only that, these Celtics would excel at every facet of basketball.I spent a long time looking for any potential flaws, and came up short. All I could come up with is that due to the team boasting players from all eras, how would they adapt to one system and style of play? Maybe an even better question is, would they need to? Potentially not.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
Did you think it would be anyone else? This is arguably the most prestigious franchise in NBA history. I don't even need to go into specifics with this squad, other than pointing out the lowest-rated member of their starting lineup is 96 overall. Yes, 96. Also, like Jordan, Johnson is rated 99 overall (Kobe Bryant should be, too). I can't find a weakness in this lineup and truly believe only the All-Time Celtics and the All-Time Warriors are the teams with a half-realistic chance of stealing a win against this squad. Just take another look at the squad - only four of the 15 players are rated under 90 overall. That is phenomenal.
What are your top five NBA 2K18 All-Time teams? Comment below!