The team behind the NBA 2K series weighed in with its opinion in the ongoing debate about the best player in the NBA, rating LeBron James as the top star in the upcoming NBA 2K16 video game, which is set to launch on Sept. 29.
The video game series tweeted out the 10 best players overall, with Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, James Harden and Kevin Durant rounding out the top five:
Plenty of Golden State Warriors fans will likely object to Curry being rated a 93 out of 100, while James is at 94. Curry is the reigning NBA MVP and the best player on the title-winning Golden State Warriors, who beat James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
Still, many will agree LeBron is the best basketball player on the planet—a status he seemingly signified by almost single-handedly keeping the Cavs competitive in the Finals.
The bigger surprise is Durant only getting a 91 rating. When healthy, the Oklahoma City Thunder star is one of the top players in the league, only bettered by LeBron. CBSSports.com's Chris Towers assumes the 2K staff took Durant's injury history into consideration when coming up with his rating:
Gaming fans might notice LeBron, Durant, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are all rated lower than they were a year ago.
2K Sports staffer Mike Stauffer provided an explanation for that back on Aug. 21. In an attempt to accurately portray the greatness of past legends, NBA 2K16 attempts to normalize the ratings for players currently in the league.
Stauffer used DeAndre Jordan as an example. Whereas Jordan might have been rated a 99 offensive rebounder in a past edition of the game, he's now only worthy of a 92 since he's measured against Dennis Rodman, arguably the best offensive rebounder in NBA history.
It's a smart decision on the part of the developers and a fun way to compare players of different eras.
The rating system can also spark the interesting discussion as to who among today's players will come closest to reaching a 99 overall rating—held by peak-era Michael Jordan.
Maybe in three or four years somebody like Davis or Andrew Wiggins will find himself knocking on the door.