With the introduction of NBA 2K14 to the next-gen gaming systems, basketball gamers were introduced to a new level of realism in their basketball gaming experience. In addition to the graphics and the overall gameplay, the game featured an enhanced MYCAREER mode that allowed players to live their career both on and off the court. The mode featured a new player driven storyline that brought the game to life for participating players.
Past versions of the NBA 2K series tried to engage players in similar ways by adding a variety of levels to the My Player / MYCAREER experience. With the recent start of the 2014 NBA Summer League, I was reminded of NBA 2K’s effort to integrate the Draft Combine and the NBA Summer League into the My Player experience.
NBA 2K10 kicked off with a Draft Combine edition, which gamers were allowed to download prior to the release of the full game. Users were allowed to create their players, compete in the Draft Combine to increase their draft stock, and then upload their player to the 2K servers to use in NBA 2K10’s My Player mode. In that mode, either as a drafted or undrafted rookie, users then moved into the Summer Circuit with the goal of working their way into training camp with an NBA team. Although viewed by many as monotonous, the Draft Combine and Summer League provided the opportunity for players to obtain extra skill points prior to the start of the NBA season. The caveat was that players’ ratings started in the low 40s, so those skill points were sorely needed.
The Draft Combine and the Summer Circuit continued in NBA 2K11 but was replaced by the Rookie Showcase game in NBA 2K12.
However, with the narrative experience that was added to NBA 2K14 on the next-gen consoles, bringing back some portions of the Draft Combine and the Summer Circuit could provide even more depth and realism to the MYCAREER mode. A couple of weeks ago, NBA2K15 cover athlete Kevin Durant stated that he was working on a “secret project” for NBA 2K15 and stated that more info would be coming concerning that project. I doubt that bringing back any portion of the Draft Combine or Summer Circuit experience would be classified as “secret” but it would make for an intriguing addition to their MYCAREER storyline since those elements are such a big part of many NBA rookies early careers.