Usually when you pick up an NBA 2K game, there are a few legendary players in the mix, like how you see Michael Jordan pop up here and there. But for those of us who grew up watching the NBA in the '80s when it was picking up steam and the '90s when it was on fire, there's a bit of lost nostalgia that we don't see a ton of players added to the game. In fact, you don't really see 2K Games have complete old-school rosters so that you can truly see if the current-day Lakers with LeBron and company could go up against Kobe & Shaq, or Kareem & Magic, or Chamberlain & West. It was be amazing to have those pairings! Or hey, even just going off to grab the original pairings from NBA Jam and seeing those teams play would be great. So why aren't they in the game? Charles Barkley has an explanation for you.
In a video that's started to make the rounds a few websites this weekend, Barkley was interviewed on the Nick's Trick Shots YouTube channel back in late July about a few different topics, as the kid had a chance to chat with the retired NBA superstar about parts of his career and more. During the interview, Barkley is asked why he isn't in any of the NBA 2K titles, to which he reveals he wants the company to pay money to some of the older retired players who helped make the game popular before he ever showed up. Players who didn't make any real money playing basketball, didn't have multi-million dollar contracts or sponsorship money, are just living day-by-day on what little they have saved or receive. He'd like to see those players be given some security for the work they did long before he and others we know showed up to play.
Its a pretty unique POV that you don't hear too often, but it is true. A lot of the players who helped establish the NBA before it became big often made chump change. You'd have a steadier career working at McDonald's than working in the NBA back in the day. Being a Utah native myself, we'd joke that the '80s Utah Jazz used to help park your car before they started playing. So yeah, it would be nice to see those players see some recognition and monetary thanks first.