NBA 2K16 was officially released this Monday, and is easily the best selling basketball simulation on the market today. Thus, many Thunder fans may have been peeved to find out that Kevin Durant is only the fifth best player in the entire game. Durant was ranked behind LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, and James Harden.
In a recent Grantland article, Mike Stauffer, an NBA 2K producer, was asked about why KD was ranked so low:
"He shot very well last year, so his ratings are still on par with what they were the year before. This past year, it’s just that, you know, some of the ratings that we looked at for when you’re coming off injuries and … I know he’s not listed at 7 feet, but when any 7-footer is having foot injuries, you’re concerned with them coming back and being in the same form.
I personally love Kevin Durant. I think his rating will be one that shoots up pretty high this season. Any rating is a projection. These ratings are very fluid. If you’re a 91, that doesn’t mean you’re gonna be a 91 all year. We have had players go up and down 10 points, depending on how they played. And because we update our rosters so frequently, we’re able to make these projections and are able to increase or decrease the player at a rate that makes sense throughout the season."
The fans seem to agree that KD may have lost a step. When the NBA 2K16 rankings were announced on ESPN.com, they had a poll to ask who fans thought the best player in the NBA was. LeBron won, with 59%. Durant wasn't listed in the five options, but "other" only captured 8% of the vote.
Nevertheless, on that same ESPN page, the most upvoted Facebook comment (with 30 votes) declared that Kevin Durant at #5 was "a joke". Furthermore, there is support for KD on Twitter. The most upvoted and retweeted responseto the original release of the ratings declared, "the KD disrespect. wow".
Personally, I understand that the injuries make it hard to put KD on his former level. I also understand that the ratings will be consistently updated throughout the year, rendering this debate moot. But I still think that rating KD below Harden is a serious sign of disrespect. KD just has a much more well-rounded skillset, and I think that should be more reflected in the rating. But Harden just keeps getting better year after year, so what do I know?
What do you think? Was KD rated too low? Drop a comment and let us know!