It seems like the video game publisher 2K Sports noticed the importance of NBA legends in the game and the emotional connection between fans and the classic athletes in this sport. So, since 2010, the 2K Sports franchise includes historic players and teams that are very desirable for all the players.
Each year, they decide to upgrade their base of classic players and teams, which ended up in 40 classical teams to choose from in the NBA 2K21. They’ve managed to put a strong backlog of rosters of classic NBA teams not too long ago, and people love playing them.
While we wait for the 2K22 release, let’s look at some of the best classical players and teams in the current installment.
How to Play with Classical Players or Teams?
When it comes to local offline play, you can access most of the legendary teams with players from a certain era. However, if you want to compete in Play Now Online with a classic team, you’d need to have a higher rank.
Once you reach the NBA League, you can compete with classic teams and some of the most interesting players with extremely high stats from the peak of their career.
Since classic teams have very high stats, it is obvious why the game developers decided to include them only in the highest rank in online play.
When it comes to offline play, you can choose some of the classic teams as a head-to-head match, or make a custom league/season, by replacing standard teams with classic teams. However, it is worth noting that if you choose a classic team in season mode, you’ll be limited to one season since the players cannot be traded with others.
You can also play as a classic athlete in MyCareer mode and experience what it’s like to be a legend.
Best NBA Classic Athletes to play as in 2K21
LeBron James (All-time Miami Heat)
This is the season where LeBron James managed to win two rings with the Heats and was considered one of the greatest players that ever played for Miami Heats. His stats are through the roof, reaching a 99 overall and an All-Around 2-way build on two different positions.
Clearly, there is a big difference between LeBron James (Miami Heat) version and the standard league version in Los Angeles Lakers.
This is the fastest version of LeBron we’ve ever seen and it is incredibly fun to play in MyCAREER mode.
Wilt Chamberlain (All-time Golden State Warriors)
It is very nice to see that the 2K Sports developers remembered Wilt Chamberlain and his incredible season back in 1962 where he won 2 NBA championships and holds the record for most points (100 points) in an NBA game, which is way higher from the second place Kobe Bryant at 81 points.
His overall stats in the game are 98 with Paint Beast build which makes him one of the most athletic players considering his size. Bear in mind, he is 7’1 and moves faster than LeBron James.
This dominant player will help you dominate courts and the best thing is that he is extremely fun to play with.
Allen Iverson (All-time Philadelphia 76ers)
Most people are surprised to hear that Allen Iverson has never won an NBA championship, but he dominated the court from 2001-2005 reaching two All-Star MVP awards. Iveron was without a doubt one of the best point guards in NBA history, according to this list by TwinSpires Edge.
This All-Star Version of Allen Iverson has a 97 overall rating and is an All-Around 2-way build at the point guard or shooting guard position.
Since he is only 6’0 feet, he is easily the fastest player in the league making it easy to sprint around your opponents and score with style.
Kobe Bryant (All-time Los Angeles Lakers)
Kobe Bryant was a legend in the NBA world and it is no surprise that the 2K Sport developers included him in the classic player league. He spent 20 years in Los Angeles Lakers and won five championships.
Additionally, he managed to sweep four MVP honors at All-Star games which are the most in the history of the NBA.
With that said, in-game Kobe has a 98 overall rating and an All-around 2-way build as a small forward position or shooting guard.
The best thing about Kobe is the ability to make incredible shots due to his incredibly high shooting ratings and six hall of fame shooting badges. On top of that, he is also very good in defense, making him one of the strongest players in the 2K franchise.
It is really fun to play, and you’ll find yourself constantly trying to pass the ball to him and shout “KOBEE” every time you take a 3-point shot.
Best Classic Teams to Choose
When it comes to classic teams, the situation is a bit difficult. Even though most of the classic teams are taken out when they were at the peak of their career, you can still find some bad-rated players that can spoil the fun.
Let’s go through the list of the best classic teams to go for in NBA 2K.
Chicago Bulls 1996
Did you expect anything different? It is very obvious that the best team in NBA history no matter how you slice it is going to be Chicago Bulls at Michael Jordan time where they set a record going 72-10 during the regular season and 15-3 through the playoffs.
It is definitely one of the best classic teams in the NBA 2K franchise.
Boston Celtics 1986
Ever since people saw that the ‘80s Boston Celtics team was included in the game, it became an obvious choice for them in classic matches. The 1986 season was incredible for them reaching 67-15 in the season record and an impressive 40-1 on their home court.
You have a selection of highly valuable players like Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, and Dennis Johnson.
Los Angeles Lakers 1987
Many people believe that the 1986-1987 Los Angeles Lakers team was the best team in NBA history. Magic Johnson was the star of the court winning the VP award, teamed up with James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabber, and Byron Scott.
Classic teams and players are very fun to play in NBA 2K franchise, and it is nice to see that the game developers are working hard to include even more players and teams that made basketball what it is today.