Have you ever wanted to see how Spud Webb would do at center? Probably not. After all, he's 5'7.
MyTEAM in NBA 2K games is a way for players to answer many what-ifs. Unfortunately, some of these what-ifs have a negative affect on the mode overall.
The biggest example of bad what-ifs warping MyTEAM are Out of Position packs like what recently released in NBA 2K20. And if fans don't voice their displeasure, we're likely to see the same in NBA 2K21.
Out of Position cards are bad for MyTEAM
STANDING...TALL?- Out of Position Russell Westbrook is a C/PF
The Out of Position set in NBA 2K20's MyTEAM bends reality to allow for players to play from positions they never really could. The set includes cards like Russell Westbrook at PF/C, Spud Webb at C/PG, and Dennis Rodman at SG/SF.
Many players come to MyTEAM to see how their favorites from history stack up, and how they feel when combined. The Out of Position set carries on this sentiment, only entirely too far, to the point it hurts the MyTEAM ecosystem.
Immersion is important in MyTEAM to create a realistic environment where legends from history clash for supremacy. Immersion can be easily broken when failing to back down Spud Webb with Patrick Ewing. It can happen just as easily with Dennis Rodman splashing 3's over Kobe Bryant.
But beyond immersion and going against the identity of MyTEAM, the Out of Position set also hurts positional diversity. Without strong positional diversity, suddenly any group of 5 legends can take the court and crush. That goes against the fundamentals of basketball where your handling of the five positions can make or break your team.
Positional identity in NBA 2K21
THE EXCEPTION- Should Lebron James be as good a point as pure point guards?
2K Games came to NBA 2K20 with a stated focus on keeping positions unique and stopping players outside of their position from just succeeding anyway. But introducing position lock simply isn't enough.
Not only has this been a failure in several ways with so many strong multi-positional players, but 2K Games has gone further against this goal by releasing the Out of Position set.
Within positions there are of course a broad range of strategies and archetypes. Take power forward for instance.
The 4-spot has evolved dramatically in modern basketball from a down-low physical post presence to adding in the stretch four. The stretch four brought in a whole new element to the 4-spot, deadly accurate shooting from all around the court.
So how are positions sacred when the game is evolving beyond them?
Positions are so important because, despite their changes over time, they're the building blocks to a successful team. As much as it sounds exciting, jamming Steve Nash, Spud Webb, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, and Trae Young onto the same team shouldn't win. Just like a team of Shaquille O'Neal, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Tim Duncan, and Dikembe Mutombo shouldn't. Because, talent aside, these lineups can get exposed by skillsets that don't rely on post-game, or on perimeter shooting for the guards.
When we get to the point that we can put lifetime point guards down in the paint with giants and win, it's less about the game of basketball and more about big numbers.
And, despite being a card game, nobody is just playing MyTEAM for big numbers.
STAY STRONG - Avoid picking up these packs to keep them out of MyTEAM
To ensure the Out of Position set stays far away from MyTEAM in NBA 2K21, players will have to fight with their wallets as much as their voices. These sets are successful because they're so unique, which makes them attractive purchases.
But the less profitable these game-warping packs are, the less likely we'll see them continue to change MyTEAM in NBA 2K21.