NBA 2K23 is mere days away, but I’m just now putting 2K22 to bed. The reason: I finally finished my self-imposed MyTeam mission.
2K historically drops the ball at the end of MyTeam, giving us hardly anything of consequence to do. So when my favorite player finally got an endgame card tied to a Domination grind, I knew I should streeeeeeeetch out that task, as it would probably be my last of the year.
Unfortunately, I was right.
Seasons 8 and 9 were pretty much phoned in by 2K. Yes, they released all of the overpowered cards that everyone thought they wanted (I’ll join the chorus of people saying that copy/paste endgame cards were kind of boring), but there’s nothing to actually use these cards for. Particularly with Season 9, there was no final Spotlight Sim grind, plus all of the normal in-game rewards (Level 40, Limited, etc.) were recycled cards. And I’m certainly not going to hit the Unlimited streets where everyone’s lineup is exactly the same, and those folks all play the game exactly the same.
Thus the game died an unceremoniously boring death, much earlier than anticipated. 2K did this in 2K21 MyTeam with that iteration’s “final season,” and I thought surely they wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.
Unfortunately, I was wrong. But this seems like an easy thing to fix.
MyTeam is, at its core, a card collecting mode. In 2K22 I’ve earned or bought so many amazing players that I loved (and took care of with badges, shoes, and contracts), and I would love a reason to use them again. So, in the future, please just give me one final grind (single player, multiplayer, or both) where I have to use a certain amount of cards from particular gem families, or teams, or whatever, and have that grind deliver one final amazing reward.
That reward could be a new card, a bunch of HOF badges, or even 10 percent off the next 2K — it doesn’t matter. Epic stories deserve epic endings, and 2K22 MyTeam just gave up at the end of the second act. Basically it’s the equivalent of The Avengers fading to black before the Battle of New York. Or if the NBA stopped at the end of the regular season.
If it were up to me, the grand finale of MyTeam would be a souped-up version of the (unceremoniously dropped but fantastic) Moments of the Month concept from earlier in 2K22. You could complete some tasks offline, and some online, but this time around we should have to strategically dip into our collection to advance. Then the ultimate prize would be an amazing new card (players that didn’t get an endgame or Invincible card include Zion, Bol Bol, Jayson Tatum, and Russell Westbrook, among countless others) plus something that could carry over to the next 2K.
And I don’t mean 23 tokens plus a diamond shoe (though I am happy to have that Challenge available).
What if, we could somehow teleport one card of our choosing into the new game? Probably not a dark matter (since on day one of 2K23 MyTeam the best card available will probably be a diamond, or maybe even a pink diamond), but whatever that highest tier card is, let us migrate a similar gem to the next 2K.
I put a lot of effort into upgrading the badges of this P.J. Tucker ruby card. I loved it and used him all of the time. If I could earn the right to bring this bad boy (with equivalent and/or translated badges) over to the new MyTeam, even if the card is only usable offline, I would lose my mind. This would give people another thing to do with older cards in the final stages of the current MyTeam, plus it would entice pre-orders for the upcoming version.
Sounds like a win-win to me.
Okay, so obviously the ending of 2K22 left a really bad taste in my mouth and painted an otherwise good MyTeam year in a bad light. But that’s life I guess — last impressions, well, last. Ask Game of Thrones fans. But I’ll try to leave 2K22 MyTeam on a positive note, and list my five favorite things from the entire year.
- Moments of the Month (or really any and all grindable content): The best season in 2K22 MyTeam in my opinion was easily Zero Gravity, where every single day we had a grindable card, including one of my favorites, galaxy opal Steve Francis. More of this in 2K23 please.
- Accessible Hall of Fame badges: HOF badges are probably the most valuable asset in the game, just because they are so random and rare. This year, however, they were a little more attainable (XP option packs, Domination, etc.), and I really enjoyed badging out my favorite cards (like P.J. of course, or ruby Sabonis, or emerald Alperen Sengun). Instead of waiting until the end of the year to put HOF badges in the Token Market or the Exchange when they aren’t as useful, it would be cool if some were available from day one. I got to start badging out my favorite budget cards much sooner!
- Clutch Time: The Draft mode might have been a misstep, but Clutch Time will hopefully be a MyTeam mainstay. I love the concept and really enjoyed working my way up for that first pink diamond Damian Lillard, though in subsequent seasons it became too daunting for me with 100 wins needed. I am intrigued by single-player Clutch Time in 2K23, though. It could be a nice complement to Triple Threat Offline to try out cards and grind XP.
- Beyond Level 40: After teasing us with an Invincible Black Griffin in 2K21, they went all out with Beyond Level 40 in 2K22 (except for the last couple of seasons, of course). But I love having a reason to specifically use the Level 40 card, and I’m always happy to get more players, packs, tokens, and badges.
- An Abundance of Challenges: Signature, Pick-Up, Holo, and Weekly Challenges — all good for the single-player crowd. Let’s keep it going with more challenges with a wider variety of rewards (particularly unique players) in 2K23. I definitely miss the epic Spotlight grinds from the past, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed we get something grand next year to scratch that itch.
2K23 MyTeam looks intriguing on paper, but so did the 2021-2022 Brooklyn Nets (and honestly so do the 2022-2023 Nets, but I won’t get my hopes up). I just pre-ordered the new game today, and honestly it wasn’t because of the MyTeam blog or social media hype, it was because of the MyNBA “eras” blog.
I’ll give MyTeam a fair shot and definitely want it to be great, but I have a feeling that a lot of my 2K time will be spent guiding the Rockets from the ’80s to the present day and beyond. And trust me, I’ll still be picking Hakeem over Jordan in the ’84 Draft, but I do have some ideas how to better craft those teams to ensure a perennial dynasty. I can’t wait!
What about you? What are you looking forward to/worried about when it comes to 2K23 (MyTeam or otherwise)?
Related: NBA 2K22 Best Teams Tier List on Gamer Journalist