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NBA 2K12 official explains LeBron James' superiority over Kobe Bryant

September 28, 2011 |  8:00 am

Kobe Bryant

The Oct. 4 release date of NBA2K12 can't come soon enough as we continue twiddling our thumbs wondering when this lockout will end.

In addition to just occupying our minds with some semblance of basketball, the video game will also allow the public to channel its frustration about the lockout into debating the merits of the game's player-ranking system.

Miami's LeBron James (98) and Dwyane Wade (96) were ranked just above Kobe Bryant (96). Pau Gasol's poor playoff performance curiously still put him above Dirk Nowitzki at 86-85, while trailing New York's Amare Stoudemire (88). Lastly, Andrew Bynum may rank second at center behind Orlando's Dwight Howard, but their discrepancy in ranking (4-39) and points (93-79) provides more evidence Jim Buss shouldn't cling to Bynum should Howard become available.

An NBA 2K official said via email that last season's statistics, the player's value on the team and public expectations contribute to the rankings, but he also provided some insight on what exactly what went into the Lakers' player rankings.

On James and Wade being ranked higher than Bryant

"Given that Kobe Bryant is reaching 33 years old and LeBron and Wade are in the prime of their careers right now, we had to take age into consideration. Kobe is still a great player overall, however."

On Stoudemire being ranked higher than Gasol, and Gasol finishing above Nowitzki

"Amare had a more dominant 2010-2011 season during his first year with the Knicks in comparison to Pau Gasol. Dirk's overall rating was lower than others because he still remains the weakest defender of the three -- which was something we also weighed in our formulas."

On the wide gap between Howard and Bynum

"There's not really a discrepancy -- it's more an indication of the lack of true, quality centers in the NBA right now. Specifically, there's Dwight Howard -- and then there's everyone else."


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--Mark Medina

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Photo: Kobe Bryant, left, LeBron James. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times