Who needs a crystal ball when you have a video-game console?
The folks over at 2K Sports included a "LeBron: Path to Greatness" in the forthcoming "NBA 2K14" video game. This new game mode will allow users to play out LeBron James' future in the Association from now all the way up until his retirement.
Yahoo! Sports' Eric Freeman has the complete details:
With the forthcoming "NBA 2K14" centered around reigning MVP and basketball overlord LeBron James, the team at 2K Sports was faced with a new challenge. So, instead of focusing on what James has already accomplished, they decided to concoct two separate versions of LeBron's career. As announced on Friday, "NBA 2K14" will include "LeBron: Path to Greatness," a new game mode in which users get to play out the future of LeBron James all the way up until his retirement. In the first, less controversial path, James stays with the Heat, creating a dynasty to match any in league history. In the other, James bolts for the New York Knicks this summer in free agency, teams with various stars along the way, and finds himself in an eerily familiar yet absolutely fantastical iteration of the NBA. It's basketball science fiction.
While Freeman acknowledges that LeBron had to "sign off" on the concept, the idea is all he signed off on. His virtual arrival in New York shouldn't be taken as a sign of things to come.
Still, that's unlikely to prevent waves of speculation from breaking over LeBron, the Heat and even the Knicks. As he approaches free agency, his future will be dissected and anything that seems to give a clue to what he'll do next—even something as obviously fictitious as a video game—will become fodder for some kind of (mythical) argument.
When all else fails, just remember the Knicks have no cap space in 2014. Unless LeBron sees the veteran's minimum in his future, or NBA teams start collecting bad contracts like they're stamps, New York is out of the running. Heat fans and advocates of other prospective suitors can rest easy.
Controversial nature of the game mode aside, this is an opportunity for users to get creative. Playing out LeBron's future before he himself even knows what it holds stands to be the ultimate rush. It also provides you with an opportunity to play out fantasies that have zero chance of happening.
Are you buying or selling the "LeBron: Path to Greatness" game mode?
Freeman took a stab at the game mode himself, and in one scenario he had LeBron train in the offseason with a retired Kobe Bryant, whom he then convinced to come back, join the Knicks and form a superteam with Chris Paul and Kenneth Faried.
See what I mean about resting easy? This isn't a trip into the actual future—it's the opportunity to use your imagination.
Go crazy. Shape LeBron's path to greatness the way you like—before he shapes it differently himself.