In NBA 2K22, the addition of The Old Gym within The City was a godsend for solo players who were looking to jump into 3-vs-3 park games. Its built-in matchmaking eliminated the inevitable wait times next to a park court where it could often feel a little reminiscent of going to a school dance and desperately trying to find a partner when a slow song came on. If there was a problem with The Old Gym though, it was the absence of any variety in how games were played. NBA 2K23 has rectified this shortcoming by introducing the Theater, a movie house in the middle of The City with four different “screens” that each offer a slight twist on rules and style of play. This quartet of playlists are all then switched out every Friday to keep things fresh, giving you plenty of opportunity to find something that tickles your fancy at any given moment — depending on your own preferences.
The NBA 2K23 Theater
While NBA 2K23 has done a decent enough job so far rotating these and bringing new ones into the fold, there have also been some repeats, and it’s possible that the developers are in search of some new ideas. With that in mind, here are some potential films that could be screened at the Theater to help shake things up and keep people coming through its doors.
Looking for a quick game? Well it’s hard to find one any quicker than this, with the first team to put the ball through the hoop claiming victory. Probably best suited to a 1-on-1 or 2-on-2 matchup, the game is effectively on the line the moment the ball is put into play. Speaking of which, there will be an inherent advantage for whoever happens to randomly start with the ball, making it a necessity that the team without the ball put together a sound defensive possession if they want their own chance to score.
A determining factor will also be how quickly you’re able to size up your opponent and execute a strategy that successfully exploits whatever weakness you can identify with the limited time at your disposal.
Seven Seconds Or Die
The City’s Theater has already experimented before with having a shorter shot clock of 14, so this would just take that same idea and push it a little farther. By lowering that shot clock all the way down to 7 in this playlist, every possession would start from a place of desperation as you struggle to find a quality look at the basket in a hurry. Quick cuts to the hoop and well-timed passes will be the key to creating any kind of consistent offense in this wild format, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a sharp shooter that can seemingly hit from anywhere with a hand in their face.
Are there going to also be a lot of heavily contested shots that lead to a steady stream of bricks hitting the rim? Of course, but that’s just part of the fun and challenge when you enter this gym.
Dealing with ball hogs in online MyCareer modes has always been annoying, and the Theater has tried to mitigate the issue in the past with a playlist that awarded an extra point to all baskets that came off an assist. This would build off that same concept by incentivizing every player on a team touching the ball at least once before putting up a shot. They could do this by either awarding an extra point for baskets where every player does touch the ball, not giving any points (or perhaps even having you lose points) for buckets where all players haven’t touched the ball, or actually even disabling all shot buttons until every player has touched the ball.
This would obviously help everyone feel like they are actually involved in the game and prevent any one player from trying to take too much control where they can carry the rest of the team. Basketball’s a team sport after all and enforcing this rule would help ensure that it stays that way.
Team On Fire
Gaining and then maintaining momentum is the name of the game in this playlist where all consecutive shots made by a team will be worth an extra point. Because of this, you’ll probably want to exercise especially good judgment with your shot selection each time up the floor after putting points on the board. Once you miss a shot though, the next one you make will revert back to being worth a normal amount of points. If there was interest in taking this same concept even further, they should consider making each subsequent shot worth one more extra point every time. This means that if you make two baskets in a row, it will be worth one extra point, a third basket would be give you extra two points, a fourth would yield three extra points and so on.
The scores could likely rise pretty fast using the method and the games would end in a satisfying flash if you’re able to string together buckets.
The Comeback Kids
Let’s face it: losing is no fun. It can be even worse when you’re so thoroughly outmatched that you know the game is over early but have to suffer through the rest of it if you want to receive any progression or rewards, even while your teammates may be quitting around you. To help keep things interesting, this playlist would see the losing team receive an extra point for all baskets. With this rule in effect, games that might seem as if they will be blowouts can turn on a dime once the losing team starts racking up points at a steady clip. It will be fun too when a team does manage to catch up and takes the lead, only to then realize that the tables have turned and the other team will be able to rack up that extra point when they score.
These kind of swings would create some added excitement, and the extra point being logged on nearly every basket would also likely lead to slightly quicker games.
It can get pretty frustrating to regularly run up against players that have obviously spent more time playing the game than you and consequently have developed skills that you are still lacking. That’s why this playlist would help out those who are still working out their game by only being accessible to anyone who holds a losing record within the Theater. By limiting the player pool to those parameters, you’d be assured to be going up against others who have experienced the same irritation of coming out on the wrong side of games more often than not. These games might frequently be on the ugly side as players learn how to do the basics better, but this will be an ideal environment to work out all of the kinks before heading out to face the better players again.
The minute that you’ve won enough games within this playlist to turn your losing record into a winning one, you’ll no longer be able to access it again and will need to find somewhere else to play.
In this mirror image of your typical scoring format, all shots from within the paint would be worth three points while all others, including those from behind the arc, would only be worth two. Protecting the lane predictably becomes a top priority in this topsy-turvy realm, as big men and slashers are the coveted and feared builds that can do the most damage if they get just a little space near the rim. Shooters won’t be left out of the fun entirely though because frequently sagging defenses will mean that they will have ample opportunity to get open looks on the perimeter. Want to make the scoring flip even more interesting? Enforce the three seconds in the key rule on defense and allow the other team to shoot a free throw if someone lurks too long near the basket to scare off any rim runners hunting for three points.
This Is 40
You might think at first sight that this playlist is similar to one that NBA 2K23 has already done last season in which only players that had ascended to level 40 during the season could participate, but this is something different. As a “mature” 2K player of over 40 years myself, it would be nice to be able to find other players of a similar advanced age to see how I stack up against my own peers (since I’m pretty convinced at this point that the younger set is much better than me). What will likely keep this as a fantasy is that it would be practically impossible to somehow verify everyone’s age who entered through the Theater’s doors.
Perhaps the best way to do this would be with a series of questions that only people of a certain age (who don’t have time to look up the answers online) would be able to answer. Some suggestions: Who’s Johnny Carson? What’s a Silverchair? What are all of the lyrics to the theme song from Cheers?