Today, the makers of NBA 2K23 have unveiled some player rankings ahead of the video game’s release.
NBA 2K announced its top 10 overall league players ahead of this season. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James ranked second overall in basketball premiere video game, tied with 2022 Finals MVP Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, 2022 MVP Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets, and 2022 MVP runner-up Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Those seven All-Stars slot in behind top-ranked Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. James making the cut in this second tier, above players like Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum, is something of a surprise given that, in real life, his limitations on defense and his injury struggles in his NBA old age kept him stuck as an All- NBA Third Teamer this past season.
Only one player in league history has ever been awarded a 100 rating, and it’s a Laker: Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal. Two other Lakers – James and Kobe Bryant – have netted 99 ratings in the past.
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Though 2K did not unveil all the player ratings for every team, Jovan Buha of The Athletic has you covered on your Lakers numbers:
James and big man Anthony Davis (scoring an overall rating of 90) clearly make finish as far and away the top Lakers. Unsurprisingly for anyone who watched LA last year, Russell Westbrook is not the third-highest rated Laker this season.
Three-time All-Defensive point guard Patrick Beverley, newly acquired from the Utah Jazz, is listed as essentially the team’s third-best player which, on the current roster, he is. Beverley doesn’t score incredibly high marks here, netting a 79 overall rating.
Rounding out the top five, Westbrook slid significantly in overall player rating from his standing in last season’s edition of the game, where he was assessed with an 86. It’s been a bumpy road for ol ‘Brodie. The former nine-time All-Star was awarded with an overall rating of 78, which ties him with Lakers combo guard Kendrick Nunn, who missed the entire season last year with a bone bruise.
Center Thomas Bryant, playing in LA for the first time since his 2017-18 rookie season, comes in sixth among his teammates with a 76 overall score. With LA’s guard rotation still somewhat up in the air, $ 6.5 million taxpayer mid-level exception free agency signing Lonnie Walker IV comes in with a 75 score, just one notch above second-year shooting guard Austin Reaves.
Power forward Juan Toscano-Anderson and 6’11 “center Damian Jones, both boasting 73 overall ratings, round out the top 10 Lakers, per Buha’s leaked rankings.