With NBA 2K21‘s introduction to the new generation of consoles on Xbox Series X and PS5, a number of key changes were made to the familiar NBA 2K experience. One of those changes came at the expense of two popular albeit forgotten modes in MyGM and MyLeague, which joined forces to become MyNBA.
Thankfully, the end result was arguably the best franchise mode the NBA 2K franchise had seen in years, something I personally had been begging out for across multiple iterations. It took new consoles for 2K Sports and series developer Visual Concepts to finally make the change, and it was thankfully all for the better.
MyNBA in NBA 2K22 was quite truly a revelation, and in my eyes perhaps the best mode with the highest ceiling in the game. The introduction of The City into the new generation version was ambitious and there’s a lot of potential there, but it didn’t quite have the sheer depth and replayability of MyNBA.
At its core, MyNBA is extremely good. It is exactly what traditional NBA game franchise players have been calling out for. And when I say “traditional” I mean the type of player that used to mod and release unofficial updates for NBA Live 2000. Yes, I’m that old. If any OG NBA Live fans reading this can remember back to Live 2000, they’ll remember it being the first game to truly nail the franchise mode, with salary caps, scouting, free agency, which all at the time were quite revolutionary and expansive for the genre.
That said, NBA 2K21‘s MyNBA wasn’t perfect. In fact, it experienced its fair share of growing pains, almost to the point that for some it understandably made the mode unplayable. It was broken, but in a weird way that made you shake your head in disappointment because you knew how good the mode actually was, or how good it could be. Thank of a Ferrari, except the air conditioning and GPS don’t work. You know that the whole product is quite impressive but … what’s the deal with the broken air conditioning and GPS?
Okay that’s a terrible analogy but the point I’m trying to make is that MyNBA is a very good thing to happen to the NBA 2K franchise, and if the developer can iron out some key pain points, it can become the definitive franchise mode across the entire genre.
Let’s take a look at some key changes, additions and improvements that could help propel MyNBA further in NBA 2K22.
Player progression improvement
A key and highly publicised issue out of NBA 2K21‘s MyNBA was that of the game’s initially broken progression system. What would happen is players would unrealistically develop, leading to bizarre rankings and inflated salaries. Eventually what would happen is you would have most teams absolutely stacked with talent, but unable to sign anyone because everyone is demanding more money. The end game is a free agency pool that has beast players left unsigned because no one can sign them. We also shouldn’t be seeing bench players with no minutes all exploding up into the high 70s in a matter of seasons. I can understand one or two players shining through, but not the entire bench.
Future patches made efforts to improve this but the logic just seemed inconsistent at times, bordering on arcadey. It made the mode difficult to enjoy beyond the first few seasons, so I’m hoping for a more balanced and realistic progression system for players.
Improved free agency signing logic
The above issue aside, the entire free agency signing logic was off from the get go. You would have some of your best and mid-range players leaving in free agency and signing with small market teams for no apparent reason, sometimes for less money than you were willing to pay them. Similar to issues in FIFA 22 where broken down negotiations could lead to a player accepting less money — which just doesn’t happen in real life — NBA 2K22‘s free agency logic just often made no sense.
I understand that my ability to sign superstar players every offseason is a rarity, and I can deal with not resigning every single player — this is the NBA, after all — but seeing a beast of a player leave the Lakers to join the Timberwolves for roughly the same amount of money makes absolutely no sense at all.
I’m sure the development team is well aware of this issue, and I appreciate it can be an ongoing battle to balance these things out. The game does acknowledge the market size of teams, though, and factoring that in with the future projections of their roster as well as their seasonal performance, and the likelihood of a player signing with the team should be fairly simple.
Trade Engine logic
This is a big one and is certainly not exclusive to NBA 2K22. It really does seem to be an issue that’s plagued NBA games for years. So often you see teams trade out immense talent for almost nothing in return. CPU controlled teams don’t balance the needs of the future for current: as an example, I might identify poor performing teams, I’ll offer high draft picks for some of their talent, but they’ll reject it to keep some guy in the high 70s/low 80s. That doesn’t make sense.
It would also be great to see the CPU be a better overall assessor of talent and potential. Too often my team would be pushing for a championship, I would offer up young talent with a high ceiling for a veteran from another team, everything checks out — salary, ratings, performance — but my trade is rejected for whatever reason. In some cases it was truly shocking to see my trade turned down because you just knew in real life the other team would be lapping it up with ease.
This is a callout for both played matches and simulations. The CPU often does mass subs, leading to an entire team being subbed off the floor, and bench players often staying on the court for 20-25 minutes for a match despite team structures and minute allocation. It would also be great to see more focus on situational subs: if my team is going for the winning shot and my best shooter is on the bench, I shouldn’t be manually subbing him in because the CPU didn’t bother to. It just makes sense to get your best shooters on the floor.
What would you like to see added, changed or improved in NBA 2K22‘s MyNBA mode? Sound off in the comments below!