2K14 comes out in less than a month, with a new feature that plays off of the hype of rumored player movement. LeBron’s genius shines in this new mode called “Lebron James: Path To Greatness”, where you can play out the rest of LeBron’s career until retirement. The only trick is, you’re handicapped by only 2 paths, resigning with the Heat, or taking his talents to the mecca to play with the Knicks. Various scenarios are capable of happening from each, including the most interesting where LeBron goes to LA and convinces Kobe out of retirement?? Crazy. Read a first hand account of this from Yahoo! Sports below:
It stands to reason that Miami Heat fans will not find the game mode in which LeBron changes teams quite so enjoyable. Given the massive speculation that will surely follow James up until next summer, this mode could be fairly controversial. 2K Sports representatives repeatedly ensured me that James only signed off on the concept for this feature, with 2K Sports coming up with every specific scenario from their own imaginations. In other words, there’s no reason to assume that LeBron desperately wants to play for the Knicks, or that he’ll eventually head back to Cleveland and Miami to finish out his career. The game’s creative team decided to pick the scenarios it found most fascinating, not those most likely to exist.
The experience of playing the game, in both modes, is somewhat jarring in that it combines the series’ typical focus on details — accurate player tendencies, styles, etc. — with a future that likely isn’t going to exist. In the first scenario I chose, LeBrontrains with a retired Kobe Bryant one summer, convinces him to return to the league, and forms a Knicks squad that includes these two stars, Chris Paul, and Kenneth Faried. Unless the league significantly changes its salary cap restrictions or several of these players attain enlightenment and lose their egos, such a situation will never happen. Yet it begins to feel somewhat realistic when commentators Steve Kerr and Clark Kellogg discuss the team’s talent level and the challenge of Kobe and LeBron sharing the ball. It also seems a little more credible when you check your bench and realize that a fortysomething Vince Carter signed at the veteran’s minimum in pursuit of his first championship ring. Each scenario exists in a well-realized world, if not a particularly likely one.
This game mode flatters LeBron, obviously, in that it presents him as contending for championships well into his mid-30s and the central figure in the NBA for another decade. But it’s also hard to read a coherent statement on LeBron into either course for his career, because the game developers clearly decided to explore the possibilities of the form rather than to map a Joseph Campbell-ish hero’s journey. There’s no message — it’s a vision of two potential futures with only the most tenuous connections to basketball reality.
In a way, that means “Path to Greatness” takes seriously every NBA rumor in which LeBron changes teams or finds a new superstar teammate. We see him play with virtually every one of his superstar peers, face off against contenders to his throne, and charge ahead into the future. With this mode, 2K Sports has bought into the NBA’s culture of rumor-mongering and narrative-building. The result appears to reflect all the thrills, speculation, and ridiculousness this world entails. By getting crazy, it ends up with something NBA fans know pretty well. – Ball Don’t Lie ~ Yahoo! Sports
2K drops October 1st…