22 Oct 2020 8:59 PM +00:00

NBA 2K21 Ratings: Why Giannis Antetokounmpo should be the highest rated player over Lebron James

With the new NBA 2K21 next gen rating reveals, a new discussion needs to be had. Does Lebron James really deserve the top highest rated spot over Giannis Antetokounmpo?

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Let's dive right in.

NBA 2K21 next gen ratings

2K Games are essentially releasing an entirely new game with NBA 2K21 on next gen. This comes after releasing a massive year-to-year upgrade with the current-gen version.

lebron rating
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TOP DOG: Lebron James leads NBA 2K21 as its highest rated player on next gen

And while there's tons of things changing for NBA 2K21 heading to next gen release, including new badges, takeovers, graphics, systems (Impact Engine), and more, here we'll be discussing the new ratings.

READ MORE:NBA 2K21 Next Gen: Removal of Color Pies Rewards Creativity


These new ratings place Lebron James as highest in the game at a 98 OVR, and reigning back-to-back NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo as a 97 OVR.

Is this the right move?

Recency Bias

Lebron James without a doubt was the better player in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, capped off with another championship.

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WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: The Lakers bring home the 2020 NBA Championship

Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo fell drastically short, as the Bucks were eliminated by the Heat on their own run to the Finals.


But to say that Lebron James was a better player this year, or should be in NBA 2K21, ignores context entirely.

READ MORE:All 22 New Next Gen Badges in NBA 2K21

Lebron James has developed his game into being more of a distributor. This has been a huge adjustment and shows his overall skillset and talent as a player. But this is only possible alongside another NBA all-star, Anthony Davis.

Anthony Davis takes the pressure off of Lebron James, giving him much less defensive focus from opponents. As the most dominant center in the league, and with an impressive beyond-the-arc game to boot, Davis is a huge threat all over the court.

READ MORE:NBA 2K21 Next Gen: Takeovers are Expanding

For Giannis' own supporting cast, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is surrounded by a Bucks team with very few weapons. This includes a slower Eric Bledsoe, and a fairly inconsistent Khris Middleton as the bright spots. Still, the Bucks maintained a 56-17 record, leading the Eastern Conference.

2020 NBA season stats

The 2020 NBA season was a banger, and despite delays due to COVID-19, the bubble was even more exciting.

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FORCE: The Lakers will be a force with new next gen physics in NBA 2K21

Let's take a look at how each superstar did over the course of the 2020 NBA season.


The Bucks led the East off of Antetokounmpo's 29.5 ppg (career high), 13.6 rpg (career high), and 5.6 apg.

READ MORE:All Active NBA 2K21 Locker Codes

The Lakers led the West off of Lebron's 25.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, and 10.2 apg (career high).

With context and the numbers in front of us, the case is clear.

Giannis should be the highest rated player in NBA 2K21

At the end of the day, to look at all of 2020, Giannis Antetokounmpo should without a doubt be top rated player in NBA 2K21.

giannis rating
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BACK TO BACK: Giannis is coming off of his second NBA MVP award in a row

While Lebron's evolution as a player to a distributor is incredible, his performances simply don't add up to those of the back-to-back NBA MVP.

It seems 2K Games have taken the 2020 NBA Playoffs a bit too heavily into account, and as a result, Lakers fans walk away with an absolute steal heading to next gen.