One of the only things to look forward to around the NBA every August is the release of various players’ NBA 2K ratings, although Lakers sophomores Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma showed Friday that the release isn’t always as exciting of a time for players.
LeBron James’ rating in NBA 2K19 was officially revealed earlier in the week, and The King was pretty happy with his 98. However, Hart and Kuzma were less pleased when leaked rankings — rankings that may not be official, to be fair — had Hart pegged as a 75 and Kuzma as a 78, as well as not ranking the other Lakers very highly:
I was playing NBA2K19 (@NBA2K) today at the event. Kyle Kuzma's (@kylekuzma) rating was 78, but I think they're still tweaking it. #Lakers— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) July 20, 2018
Other ratings for #Lakers players that I saw on #NBA2K19 (keep in mind, these might change before the release) at the event: Lonzo Ball: 78 - Josh Hart: 75 - Lance Stephenson: 76 - JaVale McGee: 76 - Rajon Rondo: 78 - Brandon Ingram: 80— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) July 21, 2018
But while those rankings all could change, it might not be in time to make Kuzma or Hart feel like their growth as players is being respected (or to get Hart away from Fortnite):
2k rating is disrespectful. Y’all will learn though— kuz (@kylekuzma) July 20, 2018
When we turn up on they asses this year they going to learn https://t.co/qF7ryT6T0Y— Josh Hart (@joshhart) July 21, 2018
Hart and Kuzma are taking the right mindset about their virtual slight. While they’re sort of complaining about it on Twitter, the fact that both of them are saying that people are going to learn they’re better than their ratings also implies that they know the only way to change the ratings they don’t like is if they ball out and prove 2K and their other “doubters” wrong.
That’s good news for the Lakers if it gives the two extra motivation, but with that said, basically every player that isn’t in the 90’s thinks their 2K rating is too low. All these guys are extremely confident in their own abilities and the improvements they make over the offseason, and so this just continues a trend where basically every player says they’re being disrespected by the video game giant when it doesn’t rate them as highly as LeBron. But what else are they going to do. Play NBA Live? No thanks.
Still, 2K has to rank players somewhat fairly, even if players are always going to feel like they’re better than they are. There’s nothing wrong with that, it just is what it is from both sides, and is going to lead to moments like this. As anyone who has ever played 2K knows, some players will prove those ratings wrong, while others will make the game look like it was being optimistic. Lakers fans just have to hope Hart and Kuzma are in the former group.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.