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Pistons Andre Drummond To Boycott NBA Live

There was a time when NBA video games were ruled by digital dinosaurs. Monsters in the paint whose size, athleticism, and dunking ability were enough to destroy friendships in two-player games. Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond would have been perfect in that era.

As the video games have grown closer to mirroring the real-life complexities of NBA basketball, NBA 2K and NBA Live developers have found ways to mute those physical advantages some and parse skills.

Drummond is a victim to this era in more ways than one. His digital avatar is still susceptible to the posterization of equally physically dominant players, like Joel Embiid:

Which was enough to illicit this playful reaction from Drummond:

And the nuanced layers Drummond added to his game, facilitating the offense from the elbows, finding better positioning on defense, and putting himself and others into better position for easier buckets, aren’t as easy to capture in coding or via motion capture as a Stephen Curry three-pointer or James Harden crossover.

Drummond added these attributes to his elite rebounding, refined his handle, and even drastically improved his free throw shooting. Still, his jumper and post game–the avenues that directly impact the box score with the ball in a player’s hands–aren’t quite at star level, which makes Drummond a weird player to translate to in a video game.

To make matters worse, Embiid’s digital posterization of Drummond just adds fuel to the fire in the two centers’ back-and-forth trash talk.

Then again, maybe the programmers knew what they were doing after all: