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'NBA 2K20' release date, roster, gameplay: Rankings met with mixed reactions — LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard surpass MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo

From the 'NBA 2K20' trailer. | Photo by 2K Games via YouTube screenshot

Aside from the virtual experience of building their own NBA franchise through the “NBA 2K” series, video game players and basketball fans care so much about its version of players rankings. The top 20 players of “NBA 2K20” have just been named and netizens have mixed feelings about it.

LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard are tied in the no. 1 spot with an overall 97 rating. This year’s Most Valuable Player awardee, Giannis Antetokounmpo, is following behind with an overall rating of 96. While Leonard and James share the first place, 2K Games revealed in a Twitter post that the Los Angeles Lakers star “has the slight edge” in the initial “NBA 2K20” rankings.

‘NBA 2K20’ rankings: Fans, James non-fans react to overall ratings

The rankings are presumably based on the latest statistics and performance that the top 20 players had in the NBA season 2018-19. This is likely the reason why many replies to the 2K Games’ tweet are inquiries on how James could be tied with Leonard.

Some pointed out that the latter led his former team, Toronto Raptors, to its first franchise championship win while James’ missed the playoffs for the first time since 2005. Other fans also suggested that players like Kevin Durant and Antetokounmpo could have been placed higher than the “Space Jam 2” star.

“NBA 2K” rankings regularly change, and it has always been met with intense scrutiny. But Complex previously reported there is an intricate system of computing the players’ ratings. This system is used so developers will come up with unbiased rankings that would also affect the gameplay. As for “NBA 2K20,” fans can check out the game menus once it is out in September to see how the players are rated.

Hype around blockbuster trades extend to ‘NBA 2K20’?

It can be said that the rankings are also an apparent promotional strategy. For example, the announcement and launch of “NBA 2K20” follow a very interesting and plot twist-filled offseason. Leonard left the Raptors to go with the LA Clippers and later recruited Paul George. James, on the other hand, likely played a role in Anthony Davis’ trade to the Lakers.

It is not surprising for these roster changes to revive the ever-popular Lakers-Clippers rivalry in the NBA season 2019-20. And no one can blame 2K if they also want to bank on that excitement to maximize marketing strategies for “NBA 2K20.”

By Jess Ferrera
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