NBA 2K20: Does LeBron James still deserve to be the top-rated player?

For 10 straight years, LeBron James has been King of the NBA 2K ratings, but is his time atop the NBA 2K20 overall list coming to an end?

For 10 straight years, LeBron James has reigned supreme in 2K’s NBA 2K basketball series. This year, he’s had a bit of company atop the ratings list, with Kawhi Leonard joining him with 97 overall at the launch of NBA 2K20.

Fast forward a few weeks and NBA 2K20’s rosters have been shaken up a bit thanks to 2K’s updates. James is still a 97 overall, but he’s now joined by Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden. Kawhi dropped a point with the most recent update. Luka Doncic has also made a quick rise to the top, but he’s rated 96.

The point is, NBA 2K20‘s ratings have been pretty fluid this year — all except LeBron James who has been cemented at the top of 2K’s ratings for a decade. There’s no denying that James has played the majority of his career at a superhuman level, dominating the competition with a combination of strength and wits.

Now 34-years-old, we’ve start to see LeBron look a bit more human. Last season, his first with the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron suffered the first major injury of his career. A groin injury forced him to miss over 25 games, resulting in the Lakers falling out of contention and James missing the playoffs for the first time since 2005. It was also the first time he failed to reach the Finals since 2010, which is a testament to his dominance.

It looks like age is finally catching up to LeBron James. While he’s still averaging 25.7 points and 10.6 points per game this season, he has again suffered a groin injury. Currently listed as day-to-day, the Lakers will surely be cautious in their handling of James as to avoid a more serious setback and risk their playoff hopes.

Obviously James wasn’t going to dominate the league forever. Even before his injuries, new faces were starting to steal the spotlight. James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard and Steph Curry are a few players that have become household names. But even more youngsters are starting to emerge in Luka Doncic and Trae Young. Save for Steph Curry, who has been dealing with a hand injury since October, all of the players I mentioned are currently averaging more points per game than LeBron.

Which begs the question, does LeBron James still deserve to be the best-rated player in NBA 2K20? As we saw with Kawhi Leonard, 2K isn’t afraid of dinging a player’s overall if they don’t play consistently.

With LeBron James’ injury likely to keep him out a few games and possibly limiting his playing time, is a 97 Overall still warranted? Even before the injury, one could argue that James is no longer deserving of being the best in NBA 2K. It almost feels like he’s getting a pass on name alone.

LeBron James is still an elite player who can take over ball games and raise the ability of the players around him, but it’s clear now, more than ever, that he has been surpassed by some of the league’s rising stars. It’s time for 2K to pass the torch.

I’m not saying he still shouldn’t be rated in the mid-90s, but is LeBron James really on the same level as Giannis Antetokounmpo or James Harden? Probably not.

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