Michael Jordan playing for the Lakers? Or the Clippers? NBA2K11 can make the impossible a reality
Michael Jordan on the Lakers? While that can't come true in the flesh, it can on your TV screen via an upcoming video game for your PlayStation3, Xbox or Wii.
On Oct. 5, 2K Sports will unveil NBA2K11, which'll have some sweet new features -- all revolving around the game's greatest player, Michael Jordan -- that all hoops fans will probably enjoy. The coolest feature is the ability to put No. 23 on any current team, be it the Clip Show, the current Bulls, or even the best Lakers team Jerry Buss has ever owned (the 2010-11 Lakers).
2K Sports dropped by the Times' offices earlier this week, and I was lucky enough to be able to try out the new game on an XBox. I put His Airness in Laker purple-and-gold, and he looked, well, freaky. Seeing him give-and-go with the Black Mamba was a sight all its own -- but isn't that cheating? Wouldn't it be too easy to dominate any game versus a Jodan-less team?
According to the gents from the company, Jordan doesn't start off the season as the league's best player when you add him to a team. In order to add skill points, you have to win some games with him, have him clean the glass, dish the rock -- all the things that comprise a quality player. As you do that, his skills flourish and he becomes the man we know.
Another feature is "The Jordan Challenge," where you can play 10 different classic games from Jordan's career, including the infamous "flu game" against Utah. All of the players from those previous games have signed deals with 2K Sports, so on the court are Rodman, Pippen, Malone, Stockton, etc. Even Jerry Sloan "coaches" courtside.
And as you can see in the screenshots of this post, you can have Jordan's Bulls teams from '85-'86, '89-'90, '90-'91, '94-'95, '95-'96, '96-'97, and '97-'98 face off against current teams. So here you see Jordan dunking on Artest and being checked by Kobe.
And yes, his shoes change with each year. The details are not without their flaws, but they are mostly wonderful. (For you keen-eyed roll-callers, check out Steve Blake in the top screen shot.)
All of the off-seaon trades and pickups are on the disk, and if you hook your game system up to the Web, as players are moved or are injured you have the option of having your season sync with real life.
"Fans of the series are going to be thrilled to know that in NBA 2K11 Michael Jordan is much, much more than just a cover athlete," Jason Argent, vice president of marketing for 2K Sports, said in a news release. "We're excited to start talking about the ways that Michael will be used in the game and there's still a lot more to come."
Oh yeah, and if you just want to play out the season sans Jordan, you can do that, too. That's something we plan on doing this year, including seeing how the Lakers perform against their opponents in simulation mode. So stay tuned.
-- Tony Pierce