NBA 2K12 Delivers Much More Than 15 Legends In An Ensemble Cast Of Greatness

2K Sports today revealed to ESPN the full roster of 15 NBA all-time superstars gracing its "NBA's Greatest" mode but, like the supporting cast in last year's "Jordan Challenge", diehard basketball fans will find just as many memories in the cast of teammates and opposing teams.

First, the list of legends. Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Erving were confirmed for the game a couple weeks ago. They will be joined by Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Isiah Thomas, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen, John Stockton and Karl Malone.

"NBA's Greatest" will pit gamers, playing as the legend's team, against another team from that same year. The games will not necessarily be historic recreations of specific moments, like last year's "Jordan Challenge". Winning the game unlocks both teams for use throughout all the rest of NBA 2K12's modes.

The matchups:

  • 1964-65 Boston Celtics (Russell) vs Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (Robertson) vs Lakers
  • 1970-71 Lakers (West) vs Atlanta Hawks
  • 1971-72 Lakers (Chamberlain) vs Knicks
  • 1984-1985 Philadelphia 76ers (Erving) vs Bucks
  • 1985-86 Celtics (Bird) vs Hawks
  • 1986-87 Lakers (Kareem) vs Celtics
  • 1988-1989 Detroit Pistons (Thomas) vs Bulls
  • 1990-91 Lakers (Johnson) vs Portland Trail Blazers
  • 1992-1993 Bulls (Jordan) vs Charlotte Hornets
  • 1993-1994 Houston Rockets (Olajuwon) vs Denver Nuggets
  • 1994-1995 Knicks (Ewing) vs Orlando Magic
  • 1995-1996 Bulls (Pippen) vs Seattle Supersonics
  • 1997-1998 Utah Jazz (Stockton) vs Lakers
  • 1997-1998 Jazz (Malone) vs San Antonio Spurs.

Astute fans will note there are some top-50 players on the opposing teams, such as Clyde Drexler (who appeared in NBA 2K11). Shaquille O'Neal back with the Orlando Magic, and Elgin Baylor with the Lakers.

There are also some jaw-dropping nostalgic choices -- Pete Maravich on the 1970-1971 Hawks, for example. The 1971-1972 New York Knicks of Willis Reed, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Bill Bradley, Dave DeBusschere and Earl "The Pearl" Monroe will be worth the $US59.99 to many Knick fans.

ESPN has an interview with series producer Erick Boenisch talking about the choices of players and matchups and how they were made. If you are at all a fan of basketball, go read it, it will fire you right the hell up.

The 15 Legends of NBA 2K [ESPN]


    As a huge NBA fan this is pretty cool - but it is nothing more than a "sidequest".
    People will put 90% of their time into My Player or Association or Online - Where are the details on these modes 2K?

      2K is releasing details on My Player and Association in regular intivals through developer diarys on Facebook and twitter over the next 4 weeks (they are saying up to 3 a week).... I think they are just warming us up.... This mode will rule for vs.

    If only they had've added Game 6 from the 91-92 finals I would've been sold. Great duel between the Blazers and Bulls for the title that year.

    This is awesome. I will also spend most of the with Association/My Player, but when the boys are around for some 4 player, this'll be where it's at!

    I agree with pyskomunky.
    This stuff is just a side quest.
    I hope the nba 2k team didnt invest most of their time on this mode.
    I wished they skipped the legend mode and invest all of the time in my player , association and online.
    Iam a huge nba 2k fan but i have strong hunch EA sports with their vast amounts of cash and a 2 years off of creating a nba game will created the nba 2k killer next year. Just like the killed Pro Evolution soccer a few years ago.

    They should have added Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller and several other legends like Elvin Hayes or Elgin Baylor. Kind of a side option

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