NBA / Aug 9, 2010 / 2:30 pm

5 NBA Video Game Superstars Who Don’t Translate to Reality

Ben Gordon, NBA Live 09

Nothing hurts like getting beat in a video game when someone like Richard Jefferson goes off for 14 dunks in one game. It’s a continuous, unending slap in the face. Being at the receiving end of a Kobe Bryant 65-point game is one thing. But losing because your opponent discovers the sweet spot for some scrub three-point shooter is worse than jury duty.

In real NBA games, coaches want certain guys doing certain things and everyone has a role. In the gaming world, if you want Kwame Brown to drop 25 a game, you could probably make it happen (he actually catches passes). No matter how realistic we try to make these games, it can never be real. There are always going to be role players who have that one skill people can take advantage of: the one-trick pony.

Whether it’s NBA Live (now NBA Elite) or NBA 2K, we all have done work or been worked over by a player who is way better in digital world than they are in real life. I still remember on NBA Live 05 when Pau Gasol was somehow turned into Bill Russell and the Memphis Grizzlies somehow became the Monstars.

Here are five guys whose real-life production doesn’t match up to the video-game exploits of their digital doppelgangers:

Daniel Gibson — Gibson’s video game prowess may take a hit now that some guy decided to take his talents to South Beach, but he can still light it up on the sticks. Everyone cheesed the hell out of LeBron when they played with Cleveland, but it didn’t always work. The smart ones however surrounded James with guys like Mo Williams and Gibson and meticulously picked apart their opponents. You pretty much had to double LeBron, leaving Gibson to take open threes. It got really annoying whenever one of my boys would drop 27 with this dude. Someone definitely overreacted to this cat after he had one good playoff series against Detroit in 2007.

Ben Gordon — Gordon isn’t garbage by any means in the NBA, but he’s a spectacular acquired taste on the sticks. In NBA 2K9, this man was a monster. Sure, the creators didn’t do his signature shot a lot of justice; it is a tough one to master. But if you did get it, he was automatic. I remember my boy dropped close to 100 with BG in one game — granted, he was that dude who utilized every glitch and trick in the book. Once he learned Gordon’s awkward release, he was pulling up on fast breaks and shooting 25-footers, banging everything.

Kyle Korver — Notice a theme here? Korver is another one of those video game shooters who can put you right into a game. Unlike real life, where Korver can never play big minutes because his defense is so bad, in video games he can play the whole game, shooting off the dribble, catching and shooting, pulling up on the break or even with someone like James Posey all over him. He’s the Jimmy Chitwood of digital ballers. Korver has one of the easiest releases in the game; you can pretty much release it at any point during his jump and the thing goes in. Basically, it’s the anti-Ray Allen shot. Believe me, I’ve had more than enough of Ashton Kutcher in my gaming career.

Smush Parker — Back in the day (’06, ’07) when he was actually in the game, Parker was a force. I remember I beat someone once after Parker had something like 11 steals and 38 points. He had a decent dunk rating and a pretty high steal rating. When you put those two together with a point guard, it makes for a deadly combination in video games. The best part about him? You never had to run the triangle in a video game, so you were free to ignore Phil Jackson all you wanted. Too bad Smush did a lot of this in real life; I would probably still be signing him in every one of my franchises if he was around.

Nick Young — The perfect video game player. Young can shoot it a little bit, but more importantly, he can soar. Basically, whenever I run with Washington, the former Trojan always gets a lot of minutes and he will always get buckets. If you can get Young on the break, it won’t matter that he can’t dribble or that he doesn’t remember the offense — just be happy that he can jump. Thank God he wasn’t around during the 05-07 renditions of NBA video games. Back then, there was this dunk my boys called the “Superman” where a guy would take off from almost the foul line, basically magnetizing himself to the rim for a dunk. Unstoppable.

Honorable MentionsHasheem Thabeet, Rashad McCants, Larry Hughes

-Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.
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  • control

    This is like the 4th time Smush has been mentioned on Dime in the last 3 days. What the fuck is going on? Smush Parker is absolute garbage, quit mentioning his name. Did Smush end up getting that internship that was available at Dime or something?

  • Pareja

    2k9: Hassan Adams!!! u n s t o p p a b l e.

  • Stunnaboy09

    Rudy Fernandez- Release is auto and can fly like an eagle. Crazy combination

    Von Wafer- Same as above

    Greg Oden- For some reason 2K really took that “more athletic Russel” thing seriously.

    JR “Swish”- The name says it all.

    Wes Mathews- I know he’s good in reallife but my bro drops 30-40 EASY with him, its ridiculous.

    And most importantly

    Terrence Williams- Mini-LeBron, Once you get his release game over for anyone guarding him.

  • Mr. TKO

    Good Article, I haven’t had the time or money to get into 2k the past couple of years, but I still remember Gibson hurting all my teams when it came to game night. I think I used to fuck people up with Calderon and A. Parker back when I was playing with toronto. (I had an all around/defensive SF rating 91) on my Raptors Squad.

    I’ll try to think of other people that fit this list if I can

  • Alex “Robocop” Murphy

    I think one of the underrated capabilities in a video game is how easy a player can get steals. It’s just like finding that player who can swish a 3 if you can time his release right or find the sweet spot.

    I had AI in 2K10 picking up steals on any back up point guard in the league.

  • MJ3008

    For real – just let Smush eat his general tso’s chicken and stop mentioning his name

  • http://www.more-sports.net andrew macaluso

    Why is everyone hating on Dime if they mention Smush Parker? This is a website for news about the NBA – actually, basketball period.

    Don’t like it, take your shit elsewhere and read a boring article.

  • iannyb

    maybe Dime’s on Smush’s payroll(I doubt he evn has one) Next Dime cover none other than……… Tommorow Dime wiull be auditioning off some “Free Smush” t-shirts.

  • http://thesphericalstudies.blogspot.com Professor J

    I was never a big NBA 2K guy but in NBA Live:

    -Josh Smith: he was a poor man’s Lebron with a sick jumper.

    -Kyle Korver/Quentin Richardson

    -Larry Hughes: definitely must be mentioned on every list. He’s sick in NBA Live 06. like build a team around sick

  • Taj

    Live 2006 – James Posey.. Memphis.. Dude couldn’t miss!

  • https://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Shaun Livingston pass, shooting isn’t the best but he is so tall at that position if you use him correctly it will frustrate your opponent to no end.

    Get Terrence Williams baseline and you can do that just about every play for a layup, close jumper or ill dunk.

    Marc Gasol gives inflated numbers too.

  • me

    Thabeet blocks everything.

    Mayo has an unbelievable midrange game.

    Thaddeus young has crazy range and can dunk everything else.

    JR Smith pulls up 25 footers and walks back before they even go in, just like real life. Annoying as hell, even when he’s covered they go in.

  • Jamay

    @Control – HAHAHAH That’s an awesome user comment. hilarious. dime is da shit, but great anti-shoutout… (http://www.sbnation.com/2010/8/9/1613321/javale-mcgee-introduces-the-anti-shoutout)

  • control

    andrew macalusa

    You said it, Dime is a site/mag for basketball. What the hell does Smush have to do with real basketball? How does he make basketball “not boring”?

    The guy isn’t even good enough to play in most rec leagues. Covering him is like Dime deciding to start listing box scores for Sunday morning YMCA pickup runs in Greensboro, NC. Who the fuck cares?

  • Nick

    NBA 2k7 – Jason Kidd
    The guy could beat entire teams with his amazing steal rating alone, put up 70+ points no problem

  • Ekstor

    Sheesh… you guys need to ease up

    Look at the title of the article folks. The fact that Smush is on it is NOT in any way meant to flatter him.

  • Celts Fan

    I haven’t played a basketball game since Live 08 (they still have a long ways to go. It’s either spotty AI or gameplay that doesn’t feel right) but I remember one guy that was just so over-rated it was comical. In Live ’06, I had the immortal Nikolaz Tskitishvili as my starting 5 and he was amazing! He blocked anything that came into the paint and had a soft touch around the rim. You did not want it with VideoTskita back in 06…

  • karizmatic

    I’ll give you the Smush Parker think I used to use him with the Lakers…for some reason I could always drop 3’s with him and like you said he could finish at the basket…if you paid too much attention to Kobe I would definitely give you problems with Smuch on the game. Another guy was Lindsay Hunter back in the days when he was on the Lakers. For some reason I could play with him and I used to drop 20 points regularly in games with him.

  • Drew Wonder

    Melvin Ely on Fresno St. was like Shaq in Ncaa Final Four 200whatever. Basically dunking any time he got 10 feet from the rim.

  • datdood

    i was playing my boy one time in 2k9 and decided to start morrison in the 2nd half for the lakers. I proceeded to drop 50 in the half on him with morrison. I still give him shit for it.

  • Dr. Jumper

    The only way bball games are bearable are if I play with the absolute worst team you can find and build them into winners.

    Best part of the 2K’s was finding any tall (6-8 or 6-11), young, athletic SF with a low rating but decent potential on a bad squad. If you played an 82-game season on any setting, by mid-season, they would always become a beast. ALWAYS. (Donte Greene, Gerald Green, Corey Brewer, James Flight White, Anthony Randolph etc…).

    The games are so formulaic it is ridiculous. For PG, it is always: fast PG who could steal and dunk = 30ppg, 15apg, 4spg. (back in 09′ it was Crittendon, Nate, Pruitt, D.J. Augustine etc).

    For a PF or center, all he had to be was young, tall, and able to rebound. (Jason Thompson, Chris Wilcox [lol], Al Jefferson, Spencer Hawes, Free Agent Wayne Simeon [yup], Josh Boone, David Harrison [yup] etc).

  • cov

    i like this post. thumbs up. I always liked the new draft picks with names like Dwyane Bryant lol. it just stinks that’s there are always tricks to these games and guys find them and use them (of course, who wouldn’t) so it’s not a straight up game. It’s who can find the loopholes. It’s like how flopping as taken over the NBA. Instead of a man vs man contest, it’s a game of tricks. So sad.

  • jysn

    i play with chi town and deng doesnt miss a midrange…. oh and when i played with the lakers 4 a lil while fisher dont miss either


    Gerald Green 2K9 dunks over ppl and shoots 3 easy
    Nicolas Batum is the same thing

    NBA 2K10 still sucks

  • Apollo

    Ricky Davis has always been a beast in these games. Ditto for Desmond Mason.

  • http://thesphericalstudies.blogspot.com/2010/07/lebron-james-is-not-jesus.html#more haslem

    Play NBA Live 04- Eddie Griffen and Keon Clark can block EVERY SINGLE SHOT!

    NBA live 06- NYK: Channing Frye-Stephon Marbury unstoppable.

    In My player mode locking up Ben Gordon is IMPOSSIBLE!

  • E-10

    NBA 2K10, Terrence Williams.

  • Orange

    what Dr Jumper said. about the worst teams. mediocre
    teams and trade the best player for draft picks and hire good scouts

    Danny Ferry wouldn’t miss at the right release in 2K2 3/4 feet outside the 3point line

    Kenyon Martin with his speed and dunk rating in 2K2 with pick and rolls with jkidd 60 points easy when you don’t let anyone else score.

    Wally Szczerbiak early release in pick and rolls 35 points per game

    Sean Williams has youth and potential and it’s easy building him as the next Ben wallace defensive stopper

    with 2K10 downloaded the newest user uploaded roster and built Micheal Beasley as the next Carmelo Anthony with the timberwolves

  • Hollywud15

    umm… how could u not mention JR smith?? he IS the most unstopable player in Nba 2k9 an 10

  • chief youngblood

    i have to jump in here with caron butler , if you do the step back mid-range jumper . it took me weeks to beat my boy mike with the mavs

  • Luigi

    Rudy Gay. unstoppable

  • Luigi

    in nba2k8..Josh Smith. JR Smith. Kobe. LeBron n any random player who had a high dunk rating were completly unstoppable….or were very hard to contain…but my player that killed everyone…AGENT ZERO!. Gilbert literaly won me countless games. countless buzzer beaters. scored 50 on a dime. nd so much more.

    there was one game that this guy was Denver. n i was DC. hes ranked about..like top 2000 n im like 1800 something. Gilbert ends up dropping 87 points…with 3 minutes left in the 4th. until the guy quit. or pulled the plug. it killed me because i wanted 100 haha. also. people would always msg. me n scratch their heads because they never face Washington. haha.

  • Captain Awesome

    In NBA Live 2005 they gave Shaq a 99 Field Goal rating… fair enough. Only probably was they gave him some range, he was unstoppable from beyond the free throw line.

    Also in Live ’05 they made blocking and stealing way to easy. One game I had 3 players with a quintuple double on the hardest setting. Kirilenko, B. Wallace, and… Shawn Bradley!

  • gilford22

    Almost all starting PGs in every team is unstoppable.

    And also in NBA Live 2005, shot blockers defend the RIM like their lives depends on it.

  • JC

    Yes. Ditto on the Memphis Grizzlies from Live 05. Jason Williams, Shane Battier and James Posey had automatic steals and 3s. Stromile Swift blocked everything in sight and dunk on all defenders with no regard for human life. Pau Gasol had RIDICULOUS handles and passing, and blocked everything as well.

    New York Knicks on Live 06. Marbury’s steal rating could trigger the “Superstar” steal 90% of the time as long as you were near the ball handler. Jamal Crawford was auto from 3, and would cram on you if he drove to the hoop. Quentin Richardson was auto from 3. David Lee rebounded and dunked everything. Channing Frye rebounded and blocked everything. ‘scusting!

    On Live 10, Korver, Vujacic and Mo Williams just won’t miss. And KG still dunks everything like he’s 23.

  • EasyEla

    Mike Bibby…really?

  • OneZero


    Rashard Lewis, damn him

    yes, at 2k10 I use freakin Jonny Flyn and could dominate, its ridiculous.

  • Ck Jess

    in 2k9 i had 110 PTS wit Wally Sczerbiak on the cavs 7 minutes lmaooo and josh smith is unstoppable tooo had 200 with him in a 12 minute game

  • Ck Jess

    in 2k9 i had 110 PTS wit Wally Sczerbiak on the cavs in 7 minutes quarters his jumpshot is pure money lmaooo… and josh smith is an unstoppable dunking force tooo had 200 with him in a 12 minute game lol gotta love video games

  • Ill Cosby

    Steve Novak in 2K9, the only A+ for outside shooting in the game, i dropped 75 on my boy with him

  • i0ioooi0i

    JR Smith NBA 2k9. Automatic 3-point jump shot when learned.

  • 808

    Allen Iverson. I got 12 assists and only 2 turnovers in one game. 12 ASSISTS!!! That’s some bullshit right there….

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    No shout out to the dude who gave you guys this fuckin idea!?!? Straight ripped without a footnote.

    Post #7 (I won’t be surprised if it get deleted….)

  • Captain Awesome

    @ JAY
    Wow, that’s cold

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    @ Captain Awesome
    Yup. I can’t say it surprises me though.

  • sh!tfaced

    LOL. Gotta at least give JAY his props, man.

    Put Larry Hughes at PG and he’ll get you AT LEAST 7 steals a game.
    And yeah, Korver is money. Everyone wants to be Korver in multi-player mode too.

    What about great players who are pretty much useless in NBA 2K? Steve Nash is one. Nice shooter especially at the FT but just too small, too damn slow and really a bitch to play D with.

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    I’m going to Chapters to piss on the current Dime issue.

  • srb

    My brother used to kill me with Childress. Oh and Tinsley was unstoppable in 2k5.

  • wow

    I guess ya’ll haven’t played me yet. The best Video Game superstar in 2k10 is….SONNY WEEMS. Dude finishes everything, layup or dunk, if he is running twoards the rim. Find a seam and you get two points. Plus he is quick as shit.

    @shitfaced—Nash is too good…

    And yes Nick Young WAS unstoppable in 2k10 I swear to god i dropped 58 w/ him no exaggeration…but they dropped his close shot rating and he started missing some layups…

    In NBA Live 09 ANY(ANY!!!!!!!EVEN JOHAN PETRO) 7-footer was a good rebounder in Team Play I swear to god. I played in leagues….Our lineup was Conley/Mayo-Gay-Warrick-Gasol-Haddadi(2nd best team-Pacers)

    Gay was one of the best, if not the best player in Live09.(him or danny granger) Our shooting percentage would be above 60-70% every game. Hadaddi was near the top of the elague in rebounding. Warrick dunked everything.

  • 2k10 Monsta

    @ Luigi,

    U damn right, Rudy Gay is a freakin beast! gr8 mid & long range shooter. prob top 3-5 athlete in the game. plus automatic from the FT line. dropped 76 w/ him in a ranked game! 20-25pt qtrs are done on the regular…. his in game rating is 80, but when i play with him shud be 97 AT LEAST!!! he’s “as good, if not betta than the top 3players(lebron, kobe & dwade)” Yup, quote me on that…

  • rank

    I remember tmac in Live 05 dropping 70’s purely shooting from outside the arc..fadeaway 3’s that is..

    Mo Pete is f****n unstoppable in 2k10..

  • Kon-Artist1

    Nashty-2k9-10 Doesnt miss a thing!
    Gerald Wallace-Will destroy you from every spot on the floor
    Big Z-Easily drop 30 with the running hook shot
    KG-Will actually windmill on cats necks
    and freakin Barbosa, gets hot everytime! FML!

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    You guys obviously never play with the old school guys.

    Patrick Ewing (90’s version) is by far the best player in the entire game.

    JR Smith is also lethal

    Chase Buddinger is another one thats good for the dunks/threes combo

    Javel McGee is waaaaay to dominant in the game when it comes to shot blocking

    and i concur about Ben Gordon. He was my secret weapon online in 2k.

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    Oh and Josh Smith is a good player, but in the game he is a mix of Dominique and Pippen. He windmills in traffic on your big man.

  • Kene


    u r so right about terrence williams!!!, he always drops 40 at least. also monta ellis-buckets

  • Shah

    Bill Walker in NBA2k10.
    Baseline drive, guaranteed monster dunk or athletic layup EVERY TIME no matter who is guarding him. Try it.