‘NBA 2K20’ 100 Legends Still Missing From The Game

United States Basketball Dream Team members Reggie

Before we get into this lengthy list of missing legends in the NBA 2K series, let’s first acknowledge the franchise’s nearly unrivaled respect to the history of the sport it emulates. Perhaps no other sports gaming franchise (Madden, MLB The Show, FIFA, PES, NBA Live, EA UFC, F1) pays homage to classic players and teams like NBA 2K.

It must be a 2K thing because the WWE 2K series is the only thing close when it comes to including legends, arenas, etc.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, there are still a healthy list of players from the past who should be included in the NBA 2K series but aren’t, based on the near final build that I played a week ago.

There are licensing issues preventing 2K from including some of the more obvious players on the list. Others, 2K may not have gotten around to contacting. In any case, I believe I’ve put together perhaps the most comprehensive list of missing legends for the 2K franchise.

I have 100 players listed here. I won’t make a case, or attempt to explain the absence for all of them. Instead, I’ll focus on the Top 10, and then simply list the other 90.

Charles Barkley

I’d have to say Sir Charles is the single biggest missing piece on this front. In case you don’t know the story, Barkley was briefly included in the game as a part of the Dream Team in NBA 2K13.

2K ran it back with Barkley as a member of the Dream Team again for NBA 2K17:

Reportedly, this temporary deal was brokered by Jay Z. However, Barkley still refuses to allow his likeness to be used in 2K permanently until the publisher donates $1 million to the NBA Alumni Association.

It appears there is something of a disconnect between the two sides as it doesn’t appear as though 2K is against spending to secure valuable licenses. However, if it will cost 2K an additional $1 million on top of what they are already paying out in licensing fees just to add the former 76ers and Suns great, I can understand the issue.

Hopefully, one day we’ll see Barkley added as a classic player for the 92-93 Phoenix Suns, a retro 76ers squad as well as the All-Time teams for both franchises, and finally as the third member of the NBA on TNT-like show that is in game with Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith.

Reggie Miller

Like Barkley, Miller is one of the most requested Hall-of-Famers not included in 2K. Miller says he hasn’t been offered proper compensation for his likeness as of yet, and that explains his absence.

Essentially, Miller doesn’t need the money and thus doesn’t have to accept the going rate for a player of his caliber, or the scale that has been established between 2K and other retired stars. Miller doesn’t appear to have much interest in the gaming space, thus there is no pressure or desire to work things out just for the sake of being in the game.

The “it would be cool to be in the game” factor isn’t present here.

Manu Ginobili

This is a new one, and I think there is a perfectly good explanation for Manu’s absence. Ginobili just retired and while 2K obviously had license to use him in the game while he was a member of the NBA Player’s Association, he is now retired which requires a separate deal.

I haven’t spoken with anyone about this, but I’m assuming that’s why he’s not in the roster screens that I’ve seen. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were added in an early patch, or at the latest, for NBA 2K21.

Rasheed Wallace

Wallace hasn’t been in an NBA 2K game since he retired in 2013. I don’t know for sure, but his omission is likely similar to the Miller situation.

David West

I believe West and Ginobili are in the same boat.

Josh Smith

The absence of this former Atlanta Hawks star is a little peculiar. Since leaving the Hawks he’s gone in and out of the league with his most recent stint in 2018 with the New Orleans Pelicans.

He deserves to be on the All-Time Atlanta Hawks if you look at some of the players who are currently on that roster.

Tayshaun Prince

Along with Wallace and Ginobili, Prince is one of the biggest omissions from a classic team included in the game. The 03-04 Detroit Pistons squad just isn’t complete without Prince and Wallace.

Prince used to be in the game, but hasn’t been added since he retired.

Ron Artest

No matter which name 2K uses, the game needs Artest aka Metta World Peace. He was one of the greatest defensive players of all-time, and just prior to the Malice in the Palace incident, he’d become one of the best all-around players.

He should be on the All-Time Pacers squad.

Hal Greer

Of all of the great players from the 1950s and 60s, the absence of Greer is the most glaring. He is one of the greatest scoring guards in history, an NBA champion and Hall-of-Famer.

I’m not sure why he’s not in the game because there is a head made for him within the 2K files on PC.

Hopefully, Greer gets in this year. With 2K20 allowing guards to be more impacting, he could be a force in MyTeam and on the All-Time 76ers team.

Alvin Robertson

For years, Robertson’s reputation as a man, not just a player, has been stained by a heinous and false accusation. Robertson spent parts of a five-year span in prison and/or fighting these charges. While he was exonerated of all charges stemming from the accusations, the stigma attached to his name may never go away.

Robertson hasn’t been a saint. He has some other legal issues in his past, but many of the legends who are in the game have some blemishes as well. With this most serious and inhumane charge lifted from him, it’s a good time to consider adding him to an All-Time Spurs squad.

Robertson is arguably the greatest on-ball defender in NBA history, and one of the most prolific in registering steals. As a player, he’d be a great addition to the game.

Here is the rest of the list. Some of the players may be in MyTeam, but they should also be playable in offline modes.

  1. Dan Roundfield
  2. Zelmo Beaty
  3. John Drew
  4. Ed Macauley
  5. Anthony Mason
  6. Norm Van Lier
  7. Chet Walker
  8. Kirk Hinrich
  9. Mo Williams
  10. Roy Tarpley
  11. Byron Beck
  12. Ralph Simpson
  13. Larry Jones
  14. Larry Foust
  15. Bailey Howell
  16. George Shipley
  17. Gene Shue
  18. Paul Arizin
  19. Neil Johnston
  20. Joe Fulks
  21. Lamar Odom
  22. Tom Gola
  23. Guy Rodgers
  24. Robert Reid
  25. Allen Leavell
  26. Mel Daniels
  27. Roger Brown
  28. Bob Netolicky
  29. Freddie Lewis
  30. Billy Knight
  31. Bill Keller
  32. Andrew Bynum
  33. Randy Smith
  34. Bob Kaufmann
  35. Swen Nater
  36. Loy Vaught
  37. Benoit Benjamin
  38. Vern Mikkelsen
  39. Chris Bosh
  40. Slater Martin
  41. Tony Allen
  42. Mike Miller
  43. Stromile Swift
  44. Lorenzen Wright
  45. OJ Mayo
  46. James Jones
  47. Bill Melchionni
  48. Billy Paultz
  49. Brian Taylor
  50. John Williamson
  51. Sam Mitchell
  52. Micheal Williams
  53. Anthony Peeler
  54. Nikola Pekovic
  55. Jamaal Magloire
  56. Ryan Anderson
  57. Jarrett Jack
  58. Harry Gallatin
  59. Carl Braun
  60. Dick McGuire
  61. Willie Naulls
  62. Gus Williams
  63. Nick Collison
  64. Larry Costello
  65. Paul Seymour
  66. Sidney Wicks
  67. Bob Davies
  68. Jack Twyman
  69. Bobby Wanzer
  70. Arnie Risen
  71. Maurice Stokes
  72. Sam Lacey
  73. Jack Coleman
  74. John Beasley
  75. Matt Bonner
  76. Malik Rose
  77. Andrea Bargnani
  78. Morris Peterson
  79. Mehmet Okur
  80. Gus Johnson
  81. Juwan Howard
  82. Walt Bellamy
  83. Kevin Loughery
  84. Jeff Ruland
  85. Greg Ballard
  86. Kenny Walker
  87. Harold Miner
  88. Richard Dumas
  89. Ben Gordon
  90. Dolph Schayes

Are there any players that I left out? If so, let me know on Twitter.

[“source=forbes”]

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