After LeBron James and Anthony Davis led the Lakers to victory in the 2020 NBA Finals, there was only one thought on James’ mind as he spoke to the national television audience at home: The Lakers’ star wanted people to give him and everyone else on this team their due.
“We just want our respect. Rob [Pelinka] wants his respect. Coach [Frank] Vogel wants his respect. Our organization wants their respect. Laker Nation wants their respect,” James said, pausing for a moment to crack a wry smile.
“And I want my damn respect, too.”
Well, mission accomplished, because James has finally gotten his damn respect: He will be the highest rated player (98 overall) in NBA 2K21 when it releases on next-gen platforms in November, while Davis — last year’s 2K cover star — is right behind him at a 96 overall, NBA 2K announced on Thursday morning.
To put into perspective how big of an achievement this is for the 35-year-old, take a look at how long he’s been in these video games. How much graphics have improved from James’ first digital avatar to now is insane.
The Evolution of LeBron In Video Games— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) October 22, 2020
He made his game debut in ESPN Basketball (78) & NBA Live 04 (69). pic.twitter.com/XoKwf4aoWb
LeBron has been around since the Playstation 2 was a cutting edge video game system, and he’s still on top of the basketball world nearly two decades later for the first basketball game of the Playstation 5 era. That is basically unprecedented longevity, and pretty incredible if you really think about it.
NBA 2K21 is already out on current consoles, but will also drop PS5 (Nov. 12) and Xbox Series X (Nov. 10) next month. These updated player ratings will be available on both the current and next generation consoles at that time. So while James will still have to wait a few weeks to get his damn respect, it is on the way. Virtually, at least.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.