Let’s start by admitting this, every league has a set group of players that are given too much credit for what they do. And you’d think that those same players’ undeserving level of renown would translate into their video game counterparts, however, that isn’t always the case. In the beguiling world of NBA 2K, there are some random players who will give you the absolute work for no apparent reason, and no matter what you do to try to stop them, you will take that L. Some call them hidden gems, others call them cheese. Let’s begin.

10. Channing Frye

For as long as I have been playing NBA 2K, if the player could shoot, they may as well be
Michael Jordan. To be fair, Channing Frye averages a respectable, role playing 9.4 PTS, 4.9 REB, and guns from deep at a 38% clip (on-par with shooters like Kyrie Irving) for his career.

But once the ball is tipped and the lights turn on, he may as well be Stephen Curry fused with Kristaps Porzingis. I’ve personally been a sacrifice to his greatness in a game just recently, getting 18, 6, and 2 blocks dropped on my Throwback Carmelo Anthony in MyTeam.

For some reason, this man just plays in 2K with a chip on his shoulder and out-hustles everyone, hits every open jumper (3 or mid-range) that comes to him, throws down dirty jams if a lane is present, and somehow protects the rim like his middle name was Mutombo.

It may just be a testament to the user being good at using him to his full potential, but this man will have you throwing controllers if you sleep on him.

9. Gheorghe Muresan

Other than the absolute Triple OG Not-To-Be-Messed-With name that this man has, Gheorghe is what we call in the 2K community, “absolute cheese.” Reason being, he’s 7’7”.

Now, even though this is what made him effective in real life, the world of simulation basketball believes that anyone taller than 7 feet is one of the best rebounders of all time (although only averaging 6.4 for his career), and a dunking machine that doesn’t even need to jump to throw down on people like Shaq.

If I run into someone using him, I’ve already accepted the fact that I will be out-rebounded even if I have Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain as my PF/C. I admit, he was able to grab the rim in real life by just standing and reaching up, but some of the animations he triggers are as unreal as I’ve ever seen. And just being that high up makes all his inside shot attempts look easy. Who needs Wilt anyway?

8. Terrence Ross

T-Ross, playfully nicknamed “T-Raw” (no Tyga) for his savageness in 2K, is probably one of the best go-to players to get to start your MyTEAM every year. In real life, he is an All-Star
Weekend Slam Dunk Champion, shoots a respectable 37% from three-point land for his career, and tied Vince Carter for the highest scoring gaming in Raptors history with 51 points in his sophomore year. All those accolades scream “2K cheese.”

In 2K, any athletic dunker who can also shoot can cancel out any Michael Jordan. His spot as a 2K beast was solidified last year when the “Dunk The Funk” packs were released in MyTEAM and his card was given 99 speed/quickness to go along with his already unstoppable dunk animations.

He’s not the go-to of a team, but if you have bad transition defense, he’ll get a couple breakaways, knock down a couple pull-ups, and before you know it, he gave you a nice little 30 piece. Drink not included.

7. Michael Cooper

I’d like to imagine that just by looking at this picture, you can imagine what Michael Cooper was known for; aggressively kissing people with his nose. Nicknamed “MC Squared” because he locks you up so hard you feel like two people are guarding you, Coop is arguably one of the best defenders that will ever be in NBA 2K, just as he was in real life in his crucial role that he played with the Showtime Lakers.

In previous years, his usefulness as a defender was always overlooked because defensive stats didn’t always dictate defensive competence – speed did. This year, if you let the CPU play defense with Coop, expect whoever is being guarded to get royally pissed at you. At times, he picks up the opposition full-court and bumps them all the way up the floor.

If they stop to run a play, he’s all up in their grill and will have none of that left-to-right blow-by cheese with faster players like Westbrook. People love blaming 2K (even me) for making some players too overpowered, but Coop is one of the few guards to ever win Defensive Player of The Year (1987). And to top it off, he was no slouch offensively.

He played his role to the fullest; took shots he knew he could make, didn’t force anything, finished with relentlessness on the break, and hit the open shots that Magic would find for him (34% career three-point shooter). If you need a defensive player that can mess around and drop 20 to the unsuspecting 2K player, MC Squared may be your secret weapon.

More than anything that I’ve noticed in my experience playing against him though is the way he bumps you while playing defense. It’s so aggressive that it’s almost disrespectful. Like, dude… let me score on you please.

6. Kevin Martin

The person on this list who has been associated with cheese in 2K for the longest time, K-Mart is one of those knockdown shooters that make you question why you have Larry Bird on your team. In 2K10, he had one of the best MyPlayer shot forms. It was quick and not hard to get perfect releases.

By the time the defender realized you shot, the ball was already at the bottom of the net. Skip forward to 2K16 and nothing has changed – especially with his throwback card in MyTeam. As far as his real life accolades go, he was a prolific scorer in his early days with the Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets, and an entertaining one to boot, averaging 22+ PPG over 5 seasons as one of the biggest microwaves in the league.

One of those “don’t get me mad or hold this 40 piece” players – a Jamal Crawford of the world. These days he’s been plagued with a lot of injuries here and there that consistently keep him out of lineups. But that being said, he averages 17.8 PTS per game and shoots 39% from three for his career, which ends up seamlessly translating into 2K. Smart people shop at K-Mart.

5. Jameer Nelson

Some know him as Jameer Nelson, others know him as GOATmeer GODson. Firstly, let’s just establish that, yes, Jameer was one of the more underrated guards in the league during his stint with the Orlando Magic. He played off Dwight Howard in the P&R to perfection, knew his role, found his teammates, hit the shots that came to him, was aggressive when needed, hit a couple game winners, and even ended up as the Orlando Magic all-time leader in assists.

However, this is where 2K logic comes into play. Although being a career 36% three-point shooter and an undersized guard that had difficulty getting shots over bigger defender, Jameer’s throwback MyTeam card was blessed with a 90 shot rating from close, mid-range, and even three-point range.

Understandably, he shot 41 & 45% from three in 2 of those key years as well as touching a near 48% average for his 2-point attempts. But when you look at a card that would be expected to be a mediocre PG and he has stats like these.. it makes the logic of this game sink in and you start to question life.

Tie all of this in with his clean crossover animations and you may as well have baby Steph Curry on your team. Long live GOATmeer GODson.

4. Rudy Gay

There is a clip on YouTube of a play-by-play commentator calling a game where Rudy was taking the final shot and his words were “RUDY GAY, OH NO. NOT THIS GUYYYYYY!!!” (Of course Rudy went on to make the shot).

I have to be honest and say that there are no statistics that can prove the greatness of this man. There were no standout statistical years that warrant anything he does in this game; mainly because even his stats in-game aren’t that incredible. The only thing that translates is his dunking prowess that he was more known for on the Grizzlies.

But for years, Rudy Gay has been terrorizing the 2K world. We don’t know how or why.. but this man just makes contact layups, dunks in traffic, contested mid-ranges, transition three-pointers, he just refuses to miss. Longtime 2K players don’t even like to see his name because we have all been a victim to his superpowers before.

If you run into someone using him, you may as well just accept the scorching coming your way because there is no stopping it if your opponent knows
how to properly utilize him – Rudy Gay A.K.A The OG Cheese.

3. Gerald Green

It’s about that time. I know as you were reading this, you were waiting to see where this man ended up on the list. He could’ve easily been #1, but then it would have been too predictable. Gerald Jesus made his debut as one of 2K‘s legends back when MyTeam was born in 2K13.

A cheap, athletic dunker who could hit 3s? Who wouldn’t start their team with someone that convenient? And then… it turned into a phenomenon. He flew for dunks like MJ, he hit three like Ray Allen, he played just enough defense to stop your man and then scorch him right back on the other end.

I have to say that this is, by far, the most annoying person to ever play in 2K because of how consistent he is every year. Just like Rudy Gay, there is no statistical evidence to prove or disprove this man’s greatness in 2K – you just accept it and move on. There will never be another Gerald Green, and like Kobe Bryant this season, we must appreciate the greatness while we still can.

2. Stephen Curry

So I may get some flak for this one, but this is a list of the most overrated and overpowered
players in the game, and the MVP is no exception. With all due respect to him, some of his
in-game stats have been bestowed upon him for his name, NOT his game.

For example: for an offensive minded, scoring guard, he has near maxed passing stats (98 accuracy, 80 vision, 97 IQ) because of the flashy and crowd dazzling passes that he habitually makes; let’s just ignore the fact that in the process of making those passes, he also averages 3.4 turnovers per game.

Furthermore, his speed and acceleration (91 & 96 respectively) push him to the point of being as fast as Russell Westbrook, arguably the most naturally gifted athletic specimen to ever play in the NBA since MJ and Wilt.

To go on, his mid-range shooting stats are borderline maxed (94 standing, 93 moving), even though going into the playoffs last year, he shot just under the league mid-range average for the PG position. And whoa there, we’re not done yet: his on-ball defense and P&R defense (84/86) is on-par with lockdown defenders like Paul George – that may be the most disturbing stat of them all.

Although Curry is a much improved defender, I’m not sure if this speaks more in volumes to their overration of him or their underration of other people in comparison to him. If you are a Curry fan this may seem a bit like nitpicking, but realistically, Steph is given a lot of credit for others things he isn’t as good at just out of respect for what he is good at.

1. Michael Jordan

Would it be too much to call the GOAT overrated? Although it’s just 2K, there is still a level of
name respect given to MJ just because of who he is. Firstly, I think it would be fair to say that out of his 5 versions in the game, at least 3 of them are given ratings that are ill-deserved.

Starting with his youngest versions throughout the ’80s, his post fadeaway and mid-range stats are as polished as they are on his older cards; which makes no sense when considering that MJ was given flak early in his career for not being great at either of those things. Skip forward to the later years of his career, more specifically 96-96, where 2K gave Jordan the most unreal stat of any player I’ve seen in this game – an 89 three pointer.

I think every fan of MJ knows that the 3 ball was the one weakness of his game that he never excelled at, yet, 2K picked the one year where he finally shot a decent percentage (42%) to give him what would be the perfect card in-game. Max mid-range, the best post game among guards in the game, second-to-none dunking ability even at the age of 32, first-team lockdown defensive capability, and finally a three pointer that makes him a threat from everywhere on the court.

However, it’s more than just his in-game stats. MJ just does things that make you remember that you are actually playing a video game. We play 2K to have a simulated game of basketball, but Mike brings us back to the video game world with his antics: dunking over your whole team, making F mid-range shots, contested And-1s over your 7 foot centers – he does it all. And not to say that he didn’t do this in real life, but it’s the rate at which he does it: almost every time he comes down court.

I don’t know who at 2K thought Jordan did these amazing things we remember for almost every single play, but he is easily the most unrealistic and unstoppable player of this entire list.

In retrospect, all the aforementioned players are not undeserving of their powers in 2K (okay, maybe Channing Frye). But as mentioned in the beginning, all games have their handful of overpowered names and all we can do is respect them.

I can also guarantee that there are quite a few more that weren’t even mentioned on this list, and in a way, that may be a good thing. The more people who know about them, the worse they become to face. With this list of players alone, I leave you with these words that a wise man once told me: “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Cheese responsibly.