With 2K announcing Zion Williamson, Damian Lillard, and Kobe Bryant as the new NBA 2K21 cover athletes, the hype for the game is at an all-time high. Fans always expect upgrades and improvements from the last version, and one of the never-ending requests is a more complete roster. The main critique of NBA 2k’s roster is how certain legends and fan-favorites come up missing in the games. Whether they want to enjoy controlling their favorite players on the blacktop or running them and their teams in MyLeague, there are a few names people want back in the game. So here’s a list of the top 10 players that are not in NBA 2K20.
Honorable mentions: Boris Diaw, Rafer Alston, Chris Andersen, Juwan Howard, Tayshaun Prince, David West
10. Luis Scola
Though a bigger and more prominent name in Europe, Scola did enough in his 10-year NBA stint to be remembered by fans as an effective and entertaining player. His peak came in his 2009-2012 run with the Houston Rockets. Scola averaged around 16.7 points and 7.8 rebounds for those regular seasons. He may not have been the most athletic guy on the floor, but his high IQ and arsenal of post moves helped him carve out a spot on some of the best Rockets’ teams in recent history.
9. Josh Smith
When you think of NBA 2K, you think highlights, and J-Smoove has a highlight reel worthy of all-time status. While he struggled with his outside shooting, Smith could really dunk the ball, winning the 2005 Slam Dunk Contest. A two-way athletic beast, he put up 14.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.2 assists per game in his career. He played in 73 postseason games, starting 60 of them.
8. Monta Ellis
The oft-injured guard was a key player during the We Believe Warriors run. In only his second season after being drafted straight out of high school, Ellis helped lead the Golden State franchise back to the playoffs after a 12-year absence. The Lanier High product average over 16 ppg while shooting 47.3% from the field. He may have been short in stature but Ellis’ offensive prowess always lit up the crowd and opposing defenses.
7. Joe Johnson
Iso Joe is one ex-NBA star fans have been missing in 2k’s recent release. From his moniker alone, you can tell that Johnson is player anyone would want to control while playing NBA 2k. From his deadly dribble moves to his deadeye shooting, the seven-time All-Star is someone 2k should consider bringing back in future installments.
6. Ron Artest
Ron William Artest Jr. definitely had a career to remember. One of the most controversial figures to grace the NBA, the man formerly known as Metta World Peace was not lacking in success and highlights. The St. John’s alum was an All-Star, one-time All-NBA selection, Defensive Player of the Year, and ultimately, and NBA Champion. He played and started in 85 playoff games, highlighted by the Lakers’ 2010 title win, where he hit a crucial three-pointer too seal the title-clinching game.
One of the most recognizable, albeit polarizing, figures in recent history, Ron is someone anyone would enjoy seeing back in the NBA 2k franchise.
5. Rasheed Wallace
Ball. Don’t. Lie. And this list doesn’t either. Rasheed Wallace was and is never one to hold back his opinions and emotions, racking up technical fouls throughout his career. But getting on the refs’ bad side was not the only thing he was good at. He was a winner and his record proves it. Sheed made it to 13 straight postseasons, only missing out in his first and last seasons, playing in a total of 177 games and starting in 154 of them.
He was a dynamic scorer and decent defender especially in his time with the Detroit Pistons. Some might even argue that he played his best years in the wrong NBA era. Even so, Wallace still ended with a ring and hie cemented his place in NBA lore.
4. Hal Greer
A ten-time All-Star (1961-1970), Greer may be a relative unknown to most NBA 2k players but his successful career is definitely proof that he deserves recognition. His teams made the playoffs 11 out 13 years; his best year coming in the 1967 postseason, where he Philadelphia to a championship while averaging over 27 ppg. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.
3. Manu Ginobili
Probably the most popular player on our list from recent times, the Argentinian’s absence in 2k20 was definitely felt especially by Spurs fans. The former Sixth-man of the Year is a fan favorite in San Antonio and throughout the NBA. He was known as a virtuoso of the bench as well as one of the most creative and entertaining players in the past two decades. Manu ended his career as a four-time champion and averaged around 14 ppg in his career. Not bad for a 57th pick.
2. Reggie Miller
You can’t talk greatest NBA moments and legends without mentioning Reggie Miller. Whether it was his push on MJ or his career-making moment in Madison Square Garden, there’s no denying that Reggie is one of the icons of the game.
A member of the prestigious 50-40-90 Club, the ex-UCLA Bruin was a five-time All-Star and a three-time NBA Third Team Selection. He played in a total of 144 playoff games, starting all, and averaged 20 ppg while shooting a impressive 39% from deep.
Fans have asked for Miller and his legendary Pacers teams for a long time and I wouldn’t mind replaying the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals once he and Sheed are back in the game.
1. Charles Barkley
And of course, Sir Charles. Barkley’s resume surpasses everyone on this list by a mile. A former MVP and a part of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players of All-Time, The Round Mound of Rebound is without a doubt the #1 player on everyone’s list when it comes to who they want in NBA 2k21.
Whether it’s him running with Moses Malone and the Sixers or rewriting the 1993 NBA Finals against Jordan and the Bulls, having Charles Barkley back in the NBA 2k franchise would not only be a positive all-around, but it’s something that is just right. NBA history would not be complete without Chuck and same goes for NBA 2k games.