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2K finally explains how they rate players for pissed off NBA stars


Why is Kyrie Irving only a 90 overall?

Every year 2K has the responsibility of giving each NBA player a rating based on their previous season. You have players on opposite sides of the spectrum from LeBron at a deserving 97 overall to Melo’s 84 (FOH).

NBA 2K is the highest selling sports game out and for good reason. If you’re a fan of basketball you’re a fan of 2K and athletes are no different.

It’s no surprise then athletes get a little in their feelings when they discover their 2K rating. Playing ball is their livelihood, to play all year to end up a 77 overall has to hurt a little.

The way 2K decides these ratings has always been a mystery. Is it all relative? Does Westbrook’s 94 overall equal Steph Curry’s 94? How do you make sense of it all? Well thanks to a recent interview with Complex, 2K has revealed just what goes into their decision making when rating an NBA player.

Contrary to popular belief, the 2K team doesn’t hand out ratings based on their favorite team or who’s popular. Instead they use a deeply specific system that in turn balances players with accurate stats.

2K Games Producer Michael Stauffer spoke about the rating system,

“We have to balance the statistics. For example, a guy like Kyrie Irving has great lateral movement. We don’t want him to feel slow, but at the same time, we don’t want him to be overpowering on defense.”

By analyzing a player’s specific stats, 2K is able to break down their skills to a correlating number. For example, a player’s steals per game or 3 point shots made will factor into those respective attributes.

Certain attributes will even work in tangent with each other like passing accuracy and passing consistency. As the NBA increases their analysis of players, NBA 2K will be right behind them collecting that data.

Ratings don’t tell the whole story behind a player either. 2K revealed that player types also make a difference during actual gameplay.

In terms of Westbrook vs. Curry, 2K has a different approach. A playmaking (secondary) defender (primary) point guard is going to be evaluated differently than a defensive (secondary) playmaker (primary) point guard.

All this means is that 2K ratings have a lot of thought put into them. Melo’s 84 rating happened for a reason I guess. Not much anyone can really complain about anymore, but it’s still fun to argue.