NBA 2K16: Analyzing Newly Added Classic Teams

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIISeptember 7, 2015

image provided by 2K Sports

NBA 2K understands and respects the history of the game of basketball. Despite the fact that much of the 2K community is too young to be aware of the classic teams, 2K Sports continues to lace the series with traces of the legends from the past.

Perhaps the best part of the inclusion of the legendary teams and players is that both can be used in just about any mode in the game. That includes MyLEAGUE and MyGM.

This year, there will be 12 new classic teams added to the holdover stock from NBA 2K15. We've learned about 10 of them, and the last two will be revealed on Thursday. The official NBA 2K Twitter account announced the latest additions to the classic teams roster: 

Here are all of the teams that have been confirmed:

 

2004-05 Phoenix Suns

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 29:  Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns drives between Dan Dickau #2 and Lee Nailon #33 of the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena on December 29, 2004 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges a
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns won 62 games and reached the Western Conference Finals after winning the Pacific Division title this season.

When it comes to offensive teams, you'll have a hard time finding a squad on par with this one. Steve Nash led the league in assists, Amare Stoudemire was fifth in the league in scoring—and he shot over 50 percent from the field. 

Shawn Marion was the only player in the NBA to average at least 19 points, 11 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and two steals. Quentin Richardson led the league in three-pointers made, while Joe Johnson averaged 17.1 points per game and knocked down 47 percent of his threes.

This is easily one of the most talented teams that didn't win an NBA championship.


2005-06 Miami Heat

DALLAS - JUNE 20:  Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat reacts after a play in the third quarter against the Dallas Mavericks in game six of the 2006 NBA Finals on June 20, 2006 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly ackno
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Remember the show Dwyane Wade put on in the 2006 NBA Finals? The Dallas Mavericks sure do.

He won the NBA Finals MVP after averaging 34.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game in a Jordan-esque performance. Truth be told, Wade's supporting cast wasn't all that great.

An over-the-hill Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Gary Payton gave the team some solid name recognition, but in reality, this was Wade's year to prove he was an all-time great.


2012-13 Miami Heat

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 29: Dwyane Wade #3, LeBron James #6 and Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat holds up their rings during the ceremony before the game against the Chicago Bulls on October 29, 2013 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER:
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

You've got young Wade, now you need older Wade to balance it out. There's also the dread-less Chris Bosh and a dude from Akron, Ohio, who is pretty good at hoops named LeBron James.

The Big Three that made most of the country hate them is here and in full effect. My only question about the inclusion of this team is: Just how much different will James, Wade and Bosh be when compared to the current versions of themselves in the game.


2003-04 Detroit Pistons

AUBURN HILLS, MI - JUNE 15:  (L-R) Head Coach Larry Brown, Richard Hamilton #32, Ben Wallace #3 and Chauncey Billups #1 of the Detroit Pistons pose for the photo shoot after the win over the Los Angeles Lakers in game five of the 2004 NBA Finals at The Pa
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

You don't see many surprises in the NBA Finals. The 2003-04 Detroit Pistons pulled off one of the few shockers as they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in what some called a "five-game sweep." 

The team that featured Chauncey Billups, Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace used head coach Larry Brown's defense-first approach to smother the more star-studded Lakers team.

L.A. had a feuding Kobe Bryant and O'Neal, but also old and decrepit versions of Karl Malone and Payton. I especially remember this team because I bet a guy from Detroit that the Lakers would win in five. Welp, that didn't work out so well for me.


2007-08 Houston Rockets

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 22:  Tracy McGrady #1 and Yao Ming #11 of the Houston Rockets stand on the court during the game against the New Jersey Nets on  December 22, 2008 at the Izod Center  in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  The Rockets won 114-91.
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

One of the most consistently created players in NBA 2K over the last five years has been Tracy McGrady. If you simply do a YouTube search on "how to create Tracy McGrady in NBA 2K," you'll see what I mean.

Close on that list is Yao Ming. Thankfully, both men will be included with the 2007-08 Houston Rockets team.

How in the world this team failed to even win a playoff series is a mystery. McGrady was acquired in a midseason trade that sent Steve Francis to the Orlando Magic. Both he and Yao averaged over 20 points per game, but there was little else on this team of note.

Still, having McGrady and Yao makes it worth the addition.

 

1999-00 Toronto Raptors

HOUSTON - 1999:  Vince Carter #15 of the Toronto Raptors elevates for a spectacular slam dunk against the Houston Rockets during a 1999 NBA game at the Summit in Houston, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by downloading and or using
Brian Babineau/Getty Images

Vince Carter is obviously still active, but the bearded version that plays now isn't Vinsanity. The 1999-2000 version included with this Toronto Raptors team is the guy who seemed to be featured on ESPN's SportsCenter on a nightly basis.

While this Raptors team inclusion is all about Carter, there was also a 20-year-old T-Mac as well as Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues, Antonio Davis and Charles Oakley.


2007-08 Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett celebrates after winning Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals, in Boston, Massachusetts, June 17, 2008. The Boston Celtics captured the National Basketball Association championship, routing the Los Angeles Lakers 131-92 to win the b
GABRIEL BOUYS/Getty Images

"Anything is possible!" Kevin Garnett famously screamed this phrase during his emotional postgame interview after the Boston Celtics defeated the Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals.

This Boston Celtics team was a Big Three even before the Heat, but somehow, they didn't get the same backlash that James, Wade and Bosh received.

KG, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and a very young Rajon Rondo make this team a very intriguing addition.

 

2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES - JUNE 18:  Shaquille O'Neal #34 and Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers pose for a photo after the Lakers' 2001 NBA Championship parade held June 18, 2001 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by do
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

For a minute, it looked as if this list was going to be comprised of teams that beat L.A. In 2000-01, the Kobe and Shaq Show looked almost unbeatable. The Dynamic Duo was coexisting and blasting through the postseason.

The Lakers lost just one postseason game en route to the NBA championship. Bryant (28.5) and Shaq (28.7) averaged a combined 57.2 points per game. If there was ever a two-man team, this was it.

 

2002-03 Dallas Mavericks

PORTLAND, OR - MAY 2:  Michael Finley #4, Steve Nash #13 and Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks react to a call during Game six against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2003 NBA Playoffs at The Rose Gard
Sam Forencich/Getty Images

I love the inclusion of young versions of today's aging stars. This Dallas Mavericks team is led by a 24-year-old Dirk Nowitzki but also has a 28-year-old Nash, Michael Finley, Nick Van Exel and, wait for it...Shawn Bradley.

Nowitzki averaged 25.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and he shot 38 percent from three-point range. As a team, the Mavs made 38 percent from downtown. This should be another fun offensive team to play with.

 

1999-2000 Portland Trail Blazers

9 Dec 1999: Scottie Pippen #33 of the Portland TrailBlazers dribbles the ball during a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. The Blazers defeated the Timberwolves 90-86.  Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule Jr.  /Allspo
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The 1999-2000 season is well-represented. The Portland Trail Blazers lost in seven games to the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, but the Blazers had a whip.

Take a gander at the long list of talent on this team: Rasheed Wallace, Scottie Pippen, Damon Stoudamire, Arvydas Sabonis, Detlef Schrempf, Steve Smith, Jermaine O'Neal and Brian Grant. How did they not go to the Finals again?

Oh yeah, Shaq and Kobe.

 

Who Should the Final Two Teams Be?

MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 23:  Charles Barkley #34 of the Phoenix Suns is introduced prior to taking on Buckler Bologna during the 1993 McDonald's Open played October 23, 1993 at the Olympiahalle in Munich, Germany.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowled
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

The easy answer to this question is: the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns and the 1999-2000 Indiana Pacers. We know there's an issue with Charles Barkley giving permission to use his likeness in NBA 2K games. Thus there would be no real benefit in including the Suns team that fell to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in six games in the 1993 NBA Finals.

30 Nov 2000:  Reggie Miller #31 of the Indiana Pacers makes a jump shot during the game against the Golden State Warriors at the Arena in Oakland, California. The Warriors defeated the Pacers 99-95.  NOTE TO USER: It is expressly understood that the only
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The issue with Reggie Miller is a little less clear. Though his exclusion from NBA 2K games would seemingly have to have a similar hang-up.

If we can't have those two teams, and we're apparently locked into squads from the last 15 years, here's the two that make the most sense:

 

2002-03 New Jersey Nets

MILWAUKEE - DECEMBER 20:  Jason Kidd #5 of the New Jersey Nets moves the ball during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on December 20, 2003 at Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The Bucks won 92-87.  NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and
Gary Dineen/Getty Images

While the New Jersey Nets didn't win an NBA championship, this Jason Kidd, Kerry Kittles, Richard Jefferson and Kenyon Martin-led squad went to back-to-back NBA Finals. 

With Kidd as the maestro, this motion offense proved to make the Nets the best team in the Eastern Conference. Kidd is one of the few surefire Hall of Famers from the last 20 years that isn't in the game. That should change.

 

2003-04 Minnesota Timberwolves

MINNEAPOLIS - DECEMBER 30:  Kevin Garnett #21 of the Minnesota Timberwolves lays up a shot past Antonio Davis #34 of the Chicago Bulls during the game on December 30, 2003 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The Timberwolves won 98-93.  NOTE TO U
David Sherman/Getty Images

This was one of the few elite Minnesota Timberwolves squads in history. It's also a great team to include that features a prime Garnett, the polarizing Latrell Sprewell and a veteran Sam Cassell. The T'Wolves made it to the Western Conference Finals before falling to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Garnett was phenomenal. He averaged 24 points, 13.9 rebounds, five assists and 2.2 blocked shots per game. You'll be hard-pressed to find a player with a better single season than the one KG had in 2003-04.


All stats per Basketball-Reference.com.

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