NBA 2k17 took the world by storm this past fall when it released to near universal acclaim among fans of the simulation basketball series.
One of the biggest points of criticism in the otherwise glowing reviews have been the individual player ratings that are assigned to them by the development team.
The best player in the game doesn’t have to worry about being properly rated as he is the highest rating in the game with a 96 overall.
LeBron James burst onto the scene with some of the most lofty expectations ever heaped upon an NBA prospect in 2003.
He has eclipsed most of those expectations and delivered on his promise in a huge way by bringing Cleveland a championship last season.
In 2K16, LeBron was actually unseated from his highest ratings throne by Stephen Curry for part of the year until he reclaimed his position atop the ladder.
The King has come a long way from being a 78 overall point guard back in 2004’s ESPN NBA Basketball before NBA 2K ran the world of basketball video games, the game wasn’t even called 2K back then.
His rookie ratings also included an 85 dunk rating, block at 55, passing at 80 and 70 for his three-point shot.
Some of those ratings seem about right as the younger version of King James was a gifted passer from his first game and took a while to develop a consistent jumper.
During the next year, the developers gave him his due as his natural position became small forward and he leapt all the way up to an 88 overall.
A complete list of all of LeBron’s ratings looks like this:
- ESPN NBA Basketball – 78 overall
- 2K5 – 88 overall
- 2K6 – 97 overall
- 2K7 – 98 overall
- 2K8 – 97 overall
- 2K9 – 98 overall
- 2K10 – 96 overall
- 2K11 – 97 overall
- 2K12 – 98 overall
- 2K13 – 98 overall
- 2K14 – 99 overall
- 2K15 – 98 overall
- 2K16 – 94 overall
- 2K17 – 96 overall
His ratings continued in that upward trend during his entire career, the lower marks lately mark a change in the ranking system that doesn’t allow any 99’s in natural gameplay anymore.
During the mid 2000s, players like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett were the highest rated players in the game, but around 2009, he ascended to being the best in the game right around his initial runs at Most Valuable Player awards.
There aren’t any 99 rated players running around the game in exhibition modes, but players like the Diamond version of Michael Jordan and Onxy versions of LeBron James from 2013 still lurk for diligent players.
Normal versions of the Cavs superstar can still get it done with relative ease as an super versatile “swiss army knife” of a player in any circumstance.
Since the series moved to include signature skills in 2014's edition, there has been basically nothing that the living legend has been unable to do on the virtual hardwood.
James may not claim an MVP award this season, but it is clear to both 2k fans and ones watching the real games at home, he is and has been the best player in the league for a long time.