After a prolonged All-Star break, NBA action returned to the court last night with two televised games on TNT. Below is a brief All-Star game and Trade Deadline recap, with a slightly different twist.
2015 All-Star Selections Full of Cover Athletes
Western Conference All-Stars:
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers – 5th All-Star selection
Video Game Covers: NCAA Basketball 10, NBA 2K13
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers – 17th All-Star selection
Video Game Covers: NBA Action 98, Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside, NBA Courtside 2: Featuring Kobe Bryant, NBA Courtside 2002, NBA 07: Featuring the Life Vol. 2, NBA 09: The Inside, NBA 2K10
Tim Duncan – 15th All-Star selection
Video Game Covers: NBA Live 2000, Backyard Basketball 2004
Kevin Durant – 6th All-Star selection
Video Game Covers: NCAA March Madness 08, NBA Elite 11 (unreleased), NBA 2K13, NBA 2K15
Damian Lillard – 2nd All-Star selection
Video Game Covers: NBA Live 15
Chris Paul – 8th All-Star selection
Video Game Covers: NBA 2K8
Eastern Conference All-Stars:
Carmelo Anthony – 8th All-Star selection
Video Game Covers: NCAA March Madness 2004, NBA Live 2005, NBA Street Homecourt, NBA 09: The Inside.
LeBron James – 11th All-Star selection
Video Game Covers: NBA Street Showdown, NBA 09: The Inside, NBA 2K14
Kyrie Irving – 3rd All-Star selection
Video Game Covers: NBA Live 14
Dwyane Wade – 11th All-Star selection
Video Game Covers: NBA Live 06, NBA 09: The Inside
The West defeated the East 163-158 in Sunday night’s All-Star game. Russell Westbrook scored 41 points (one shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s All-Star game record) and captured All-Star Game MVP honors. The award will definitely help Westbrook’s case to appear on the cover of either of next year’s video games.
Jimmy Butler’s Progression to NBA All-Star
This season, Jimmy Butler, a fourth-year shooting guard in the midst of the best season of his career with the Chicago Bulls, was honored with the first All-Star selection of his early career.
Butler was selected with the last pick in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft and averaged less than three points per game in 42 games during the lockout-shortened season. Butler became a fixture in the Bulls’ lineup midway during the 2012-13 season after Luol Deng suffered an injury and upped his scoring average to 8.6 points per game. He would further increase his scoring average to 13.1 points per game during the 2013-14 season and through 49 games this season Butler has averaged 20.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game.
Butler has experienced the same progression in the NBA 2K series. Butler was not initially included in NBA 2K12 but was later added to the roster on December 16, 2011. He was listed on a roster as a small forward with a 67 overall rating. His position and overall rating did not change in NBA 2K13 but in NBA 2K14 Butler’s position was changed to shooting guard and his overall rating was increased to 76. When NBA 2K15 was initially released Butler was the 11 best shooting guard in the game with an 80 overall rating. However, after a Week 11 roster update, released on January 10, 2015, Butler’s overall rating had increased to 87.
On Sunday night, Butler scored six points in nine minutes of game action in his first All-Star game appearance. Prior to the All-Star break Butler had been dealing with a shoulder injury that almost caused him to miss the All-Star game and even though he played, limited his minutes.
Zach LaVine Dunk Contest Recreated
Zach LaVine exploded onto the scene with his NBA Dunk Contest win on All-Star Saturday night. Many are even saying that LaVine has brought the contest back in many respects. One NBA 2K15 fan recreated all of LaVine’s dunks in NBA 2K15 and even included side-by-side comparisons. Click the link to check out the impressive recreation.
NBA Trade Deadline
For fans of the My Association and My GM game modes, 37 total players were moved in 11 trades on the NBA’s trade deadline day on Thursday. The folks over at Operation Sports provided a brief recap of the moves. The updated rosters should be available now for NBA 2K15.