Fans of NBA 2K are so meticulous.
The demo for the current-generation version of NBA 2K21 released on Monday, and it didn’t take long for fans to recognize a Team USA emblem on the opening acknowledgments/credits screen.
The sighting produced quite a bit of speculation:
As of now, we don’t know what this license means, but it’s pretty obvious 2K wouldn’t include this for no reason. There will be some sort of inclusion of the concept in the upcoming game.
Here’s three possible inclusions on current and/or next-generation consoles.
Team USA Could Be Incorporated in the MyCareer Experience
There have been some rumblings about your MyPlayer beginning his or her journey in high school, progressing through college, and then moving into the G-League, NBA or WNBA–assuming female MyPlayers are included. It would seem this is the right year to make that move–some would say it is long overdue.
There is a chance making the United States Olympic Team could be a part of the journey. This was supposed to be an Olympic year before COVID-19 wreaked havoc. Perhaps 2K still wants to get some utilization out of a license they may have arranged to use before the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games was official.
International Play on Current and Next-Gen
In addition to or instead of the aforementioned MyCareer experience, it’s possible 2K could be bringing back international teams for an Olympic basketball experience. Rumors abound that one of the greatest international players in league history, Manu Ginobili is returning to the game after a one-year absence.
In a year where the NBA rosters won’t be updated until the next-gen version is released, this could be a nice and welcomed addition to add some flavor to the experience.
Reggie Miller and Charles Barkley
The wildest, but yet most fun possibility is the inclusion of classic Olympic teams that feature the likes of Reggie Miller and Charles Barkley. Both Hall-of-Famers have been notoriously absent from 2K games for years, but this could be an occasion in which to bring them back into the fold.
Many remember Barkley as a part of the Dream Team in 1992, but Miller was on the 1996 team that won the gold medal in 1996, and the 1994 FIBA World Championship squad that took the same honor.
Imagine a reappearance of Barkley and Miller–on next-gen–that would make for a few splash pieces of social media content. We should find out within a week what the Team USA license is all about.