From shooting guards to defenders to centers and forwards, NBA 2K is clearly not lacking from top-notch players.
So how about we get to know who those players are? Having said that, here’s the top 10 all-time highest rated players in the game:
Currently serving as a sports analyst on the TV program Inside the NBA, Shaquille O’ Neal had played as a center for six teams throughout his 19-year career. Following his time at Louisiana State University, he was selected by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft. Then quickly became one of the best centers in the league, winning Rookie of the Year in the 1992-93 season and leading his team to the 1995 NBA Finals. He spent four years with the Magic before signing as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers, helping them win three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001, and 2002. From the Lakers, he transferred to Miami Heat then to the Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers before settling with Boston Celtics until his retirement in 2011. O’ Neal is famous for his large physical stature and powerful dunks, which gave him power advantage over most opponents. He was elected to the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017. With an overall 2K rating of 98, his game stats include points: 28,596 (23.7 ppg), rebounds: 13,099 (10.9 rpg), and blocks: 2,732 (2.3 bpg).
Hakeem Olajuwon played center position, his NBA career spanning from 1984 to 2002. After playing for University of Houston, he was drafted by the Houston Rockets with the first overall selection in the 1984 NBA draft. The same draft included Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton. Dubbed “Twin Towers” together with Ralph Sampson, he led the Rockets to back-to-back in the NBA championships in 1994 and 1995. He transferred to the Toronto Raptors years later and stayed until his retirement. Olajuwon became the only player in NBA history to win the NBA MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and Finals MVP awards in the same season (1993-94). So it was no surprise that he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008 and into the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2016. Considered one of the greatest centers ever to play the game, in fact the only center to rank among the top ten all time in steals, he was was nicknamed “The Dream” during his basketball career due to his effortless and superior dunking skills. His overall 2K rating is 98 and boasts game stats of: points: 26,946 (21.8 ppg), rebounds: 13,747 (11.1 rpg), and blocks: 3,830 (3.1 bpg).
During his NBA career, Wilt Chamberlain played as a center for the Philadelphia / San Francisco Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Los Angeles Lakers. He had a short stint with the Harlem Globetrotters before being selected by the Philadelphia Warriors in 1959 NBA draft. He got traded to the 76ers in 1965 and shortly after, finally transferred to the Lakers. In 1973, he was signed as a player-coach by the San Diego Conquistadors of the NBA rival league ABA. He only lasted for a season before finally retiring. Despite suffering from a long string of professional losses, he had a successful career, winning two NBA championships, earning four regular-season Most Valuable Player awards, the Rookie of the Year award, one NBA Finals MVP award, and being selected to 13 All-Star Games and ten All-NBA First and Second teams. As such, he was widely considered one of the greatest and most dominant players in NBA history. He has a 98 overall 2K rating and game stats of 31,419 points (30.1 ppg), 23,924 rebounds (22.9 rpg), and 4,643 assists (4.4 apg).
Bill Russell started his professional career when he was drafted by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1956 NBA draft. He was unable to play for the Hawks and got quickly traded to the Boston Celtics in exchange for center Ed Macauley. That day, the Celtics managed to draft three future Hall of Famers: Russell, Jones and Heinsohn. This led to the Russell draft-day trade being later called as one of the most important trades in the history of North American sports. Known as the centerpiece of the Celtics dynasty, he managed to win eleven NBA championships during his thirteen-year career. As such, he holds the record for the most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league. Russell is widely considered one of the best players in NBA history, being a five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a twelve-time All-Star. That said, he is also one of the most successful and decorated athletes in North American sports history. With a 98 overall 2K rating, his accumulated game stats are: 14,522 points (15.1 ppg), 21,620 rebounds (22.5 rpg), and 4,100 assists ( 4.3 apg).
Larry Bird is a former NBA player and now a professional basketball executive. He began and ended his professional playing career with the Boston Celtics as a small forward and power forward, starting when he was selected by the Celtics with the sixth overall pick in the 1978 NBA draft. He spearheaded one of the NBA’s most formidable frontcourts, including center Robert Parish and another power forward Kevin McHale, and helped his team win three NBA championships. He also played for the United States men’s basketball team, The Dream Team, at the 1992 Summer Olympics, winning a gold medal. In 1996, he was voted to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and in 1998 he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Not only was he a 12-time NBA All-Star, he was also named the league’s Most Valuable Player for three consecutive years (1984–1986). Bird earned the nickname “Kodak” due to his uncanny and unparalleled ability to anticipate and react to the moves of his opponents. His overall 2K rating is 98 and his game stats are: points: 21,791 (24.3 ppg), rebounds: 8,974 (10.0 rpg), and assists: 5,695 (6.3 apg)
Son of former NBA player Joe Bryant, Kobe Bryant played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1196 NBA draft with the 13th overall pick then got traded to the Lakers in exchange for starting center, Vlade Divac, right after. He entered the NBA directly from high school, at only seventeen years old at the time of the draft. Winning five NBA championships with the Lakers, he’s an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and 12-time member of the All-Defensive team. He currently holds the NBA record for the most seasons playing with one franchise for an entire career, and is widely regarded as one of the best basketball players of all time. What’s more, he led the league in scoring during two seasons, and ranks third on NBA’s all-time regular season scoring and fourth on the all-time post-season scoring list. Bryant has an overall 2K rating of 98 and his game stats include: 33,643 points (25.0 ppg), 7,047 rebounds (5.2 rpg), and 6,306 assists (4.7 apg).
Playing as a small forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James was drafted by the Cavaliers with the 1st overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft. He has enjoyed numerous achievements throughout his career, winning three NBA championships, four NBA MVP Awards, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals, an NBA scoring title, as well as the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. As the Cavaliers’ all-time leading scorer and the NBA career playoff scoring leader, he’s also been selected to 13 NBA All-Star teams, 13 All-NBA teams and six All-Defensive teams. James is ranked as one of America’s most influential and popular athletes. In addition, many fans, coaches, basketball analysts, and both former and current players deem him as one of the greatest players of all-time, often ranking him as the best small forward and in the top five overall. His four MVP awards made him a part of a select group of players who have won the award four times, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. He has an overall 2K rating of 99, with the game stats of: 29,075 points (27.1 ppg), 7,775 rebounds (7.3 rpg), and 7,539 assists (7 apg).
Magic Johnson is the third spot of the all-time highest rated 2K players. A retired basketball player, he is the current president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers, for which he also played as a point guard for 13 seasons. After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was drafted first overall in the 1979 NBA draft by the Lakers. His rookie season saw him winning a championship and an NBA Finals MVP Award. Then he proceeded to win four more championships during the 1980s. In the end, he managed to achieve three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. During his time, he led the league in regular-season assists four times, and he’s the NBA’s all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2. Johnson was a part of the 1992 United States men’s Olympics basketball team, The Dream Team, which won the gold medal. He has an overall 2K rating of 99 and his game stats are: points: 17,707 (19.5 ppg), rebounds 6,559 (7.2 rpg), and assists 10,141 (11.2 apg).
Played 20 seasons in the NBA, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, had a successful professional career serving as a center for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. He was selected with the first overall pick by the Bucks in the 1969 NBA draft and spent six seasons with the team. During his playing career, Abdul-Jabbar was a record six-time NBA MVP awardee, a record 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA selection as well as 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member. As a member of six NBA championship teams as a player and two as an assistant coach, he was twice was voted NBA Finals MVP. Then, in 1996, he was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Known for his trademark “skyhook” shot, he has established himself as one of the league’s successful top scorers. Abdul-Jabbar’s overall 2K rating is 99 and his game stats include: points: 38,387 (24.6 ppg), rebounds: 17,740 (11.2 rpg), and blocks 3,189 (2.5 bpg)
Landing on the top spot of all-time highest-rated 2K players is none other than the legend Michael Jordan. He played 15 seasons in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards, starting his professional career when he was selected with the 3rd overall pick by the Chicago Bulls in the 1984 NBA draft. His numerous accomplishments include five MVP Awards, six NBA Finals MVP Awards, three All-Star Game MVP Awards, fourteen NBA All-Star Game appearances, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, ten All-NBA First Team designations, three steals titles, ten scoring titles, and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. Considered instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the ’80s and ’90s, he was quick to emerge as a league star, entertaining crowds with his prolific scoring. His leaping ability is phenomenal, which was shown whenever he performed slam dunks, earning him the nicknames Air Jordan and His Airness. Jordan has an overall 2K rating of 99 and boasted of the following game stats: 32,292 points (30.1 ppg), 6,672 rebounds (6.2 rpg), and assists 5,633 (5.3 apg).
Now that you know the all-time top players in the game, it’s time to choose who will make it to your roster to give you the edge you need. Good luck!