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NBA 2K15: Constructing a Utah Jazz dream team

Current Starting line up:
PG: Deron Williams
SG: Jeff Hornacek
SF: Alec Burks
PF: Paul Millsap
C: Tom Chambers

Ronald Martinez

Are any of you ladies and gentlemen video game players? What's your poison? PC Master race? X-Bone? PS4? Wii U? Ball and stick? Using your imagination? I know some of you people are, so this can be a support group of sorts.

I played a whole bunch of NBA 2K15 on Sunday, and that seems to be what I'm doing right now. I have been playing basketball video games since the beginning (like, the Atari game where two huge pixels took turns shooting the ball from stationary positions), and it's an addiction that's not going to change anytime soon.

The new version of 2K Sports (2K games' sports division) latest NBA game has a number of play modes. In addition to attempting to simulate an actual game, or be a General Manager or whatever, two of the more popular modes at the moment are MyPlayer (where you create yourself in the game and attempt to make an NBA roster and start from the bottom), and MyTeam. MyPlayer is basically a sports game with RPG elements where you make decisions (even down to contract discussion trees and so forth, like this is Mass Effect) in addition to playing actual basketball games. MyTeam is basically collectible card trading game fanfiction. You play games to earn points, to redeem points in order to buy booster packs, in order to better your team. You can evolve players to better versions of themselves. And of course, everything is too complicated for casual people to really understand.

This season will be my third year in a row playing primarily MyTeam mode because I have such a big love for NBA history. I already know that the people who make the video games is going to short change the current Jazz team in terms of accurate abilities. The only hope I can get is to play the game with a mix of current players and historical ones.

Most people play this mode and quickly try to make stacked teams of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and so forth. That makes the game too easy (even against online opponents who are also insane enough to play this mode). For me I limit myself to just Utah Jazz players. I have extrapolated this to former players who are still active, players who have historically played at least one game for the team, players who were drafted by the team, and players who were selected by draft picks that were owned by the team.

It's an inclusive list that needs to be this big so I can compete against the other players online who go out there and create teams of just the best, Gold-level players.

I'm doing okay so far, but it took a while to assemble a team of players who aren't horrible. There are 13 man rosters in this game, and I like to switch it up every few games as I'm still trying out different combinations.

These are the players I have currently unlocked:

Point Guards Shooting Guards Small Forwards Power Forwards Centers
1 Deron Williams Wesley Matthews Gordon Hayward Tom Chambers Al Jefferson
2 Trey Burke Jeff Hornacek DeMarre Carroll Paul Millsap Gorgui Dieng
3 Mo Williams Alec Burks Andrei Kirilenko Derrick Favors Enes Kanter
4 Dante Exum C.J. Miles Richard Jefferson Carlos Boozer Kosta Koufos
5 Devin Harris Kyle Korver Marvin Williams Trevor Booker Nazr Mohammed
6 Randy Foye Shabazz Muhammad Kris Humphries Rudy Gobert
7 Brandon Rush Steve Novak Jeremy Evans
8 Carrick Felix Rodney Hood Jarnell Stokes
9 Ian Clark Louis Amundson

I have to say that the game is a little too easy when you run a pick and roll where Jeremy Evans gets free for an Alley-oop attempt. So many people have rage quit after I do this three times in a row. I haven't yet used much of Rodney Hood because there are so many interesting wing players who have higher ratings. The opposite end of the spectrum is probably that I've used Rudy Gobert too much. He's not as good as he should be, and it can be frustrating at times when other players are capable of shooting around him.

So far the style of play I run favors tempo, and it's comforting to me to know that the Jazz in real life play like the Jazz of my imaginary team. Two ball handlers are on the floor at all time, and there is a sequence of picks from bigmen around the perimeter which facilitate dribble penetration. Deron Williams is good enough to break his man down without a pick, but the game plan revolves around moving the defense around and getting open shots for players spotting up. It's a lot like that UTA vs LAC game where the Jazz won a few weeks ago.

Trey Burke, Dante Exum, and Alec Burks are all very fast and can fly in transition. And transition is possible because guys like Tom Chambers, Derrick Favors, and Paul Millsap get all the boards.

Video games are fun, because they allow me to play what if. But to be fair, this season our team is going to have some 'video game' nights where our talent and play style would make the other coach want to rage quit.

Is this a Fresh Prince song? (Video by @ProdigyJF)

And these are the Jazz players (that qualify) that I know are in the game, that I have yet to unlock:

Point Guards Shooting Guards Small Forwards Power Forwards Centers
1 John Stockton Pete Maravich Dominique Wilkins Karl Malone Mark Eaton
2 Magic Johnson (x2) Dell Curry Adrian Dantley Elden Campbell (x2) Darryl Dawkins (x2)
3 Howard Eisley Gail Goodrich (x2) Bernard King Greg Foster Antoine Carr (x2)
4 Henry Bibby John Starks Adam Keefe Kenny Gattison Greg Ostertag
5 Derek Fisher Shandon Anderson Rick Roberson Spencer Haywood
6 Mark Jackson Raja Bell Mel Counts

Obviously, I'm not going to be able to unlock all of these dudes as I don't have the time to play video games as much as a 20 year old college kid can. But I try . . .

Are you playing NBA 2K15? What mode are you playing? What system are you playing on? (What's your Gamer Tag?)

If you aren't playing NBA 2K, but are playing other games, what are they?

And if you don't play video games, what's wrong with you? How dare you have active hobbies that get you off the couch!