After finishing the NBA2K19 Prelude, you, as A.I., end up arriving in Los Angeles, where you play for the South Bay Lakers in the G League. You find out from the coach of the team that you’re playing for the G League Lakers and not the NBA team. This comes as a shock to you, but you suck it up. You talk to Corey, for a brief moment, before touring the arena. He tells you how no one in the Lakers organization has you on their radar and that’s why you ended up in the G League.

You don’t even make it to a practice before being told that you’ve been traded, yet again, to the Fort Wayne, Indiana Mad Ants. You’re not given too many reasons why, and you’re left thinking that it’s just part of the business. You meet with the new coach and you realize he’s a moron and oblivious to basketball… and, well, life in general. The coach calls you out for not being a team player, and he shares insight on ways to become a better man, which is the main downfall of your game.

You meet with the team and get along with everyone, except for one guy in particular, Marcus Young. You realize almost instantly that he’s the new villain. After hearing some insight from one of the players on how to work yourself around the league and the team, you run into Marcus Young before your first game. Marcus indicates to you the reason for why he’s the villain –  he believes that he’s the face of the team and that you’re coming to play for the Mad Ants only to jeopardize his numbers. Your first challenge is to play the game and out score Marcus Young.

You move along the G League as a Mad Ant and play a few games and then end up at a local fair, where your coach wants you to interact with fans. You get tired of standing around and venture off on your own. You run into a female journalist near one of those gimmicky basketball games you typically see at a fair. You and the journalist challenge one another to a friendly game of “who can make the most baskets.” I lost by a shot, and well… she made fun of me. The two of you hit it off and schedule to go on a date together.

Fast forward through a couple games and some cliche drama, and you’re a staying in a hotel with your Mad Ants team. You and one of your teammates, Howard, are hanging out in your shared room. The two of you appear to be bored and Howard showcases a box of fireworks and asks if you want to go set them off outside with him. You’re then prompted to respond and, no matter what you say, you’re ultimately going to set those fireworks off. You go out with Howard and light off the first firework and it ends up landing on the hotel and catching the hotel on fire. The two of you hide that from the team and coach, but it comes back to haunt you later on.

You have a phone conversation with your new girlfriend, the journalist from the fair. You share with her the events that happened and she, unbeknownst to you, writes up a story about it. Her goal, which she later shares, was to have a story where the headline showcases the Mad Ants as a team that rose from the fire to win the game that you’ll later be playing in. You’re soon watching a very long cutscene where you’re seeing everything play out due to the events that transpired at the hotel. It turns out that Marcus had videotaped you setting off the fireworks and made the video go viral. He had also edited footage that you had previously made with a potential social media manager and made it out to look like you hated the town of Fort Wayne, their basketball program, and all its fans. This ultimately had you kicked off the team and you are left wondering what’s next for you and your career.

In the midst of all this, you’re watching Marcus take your spot that you earned. Marcus ends up being drafted by the San Antonio Spurs and you’re left wondering if you’ll ever play basketball again. You’re laying in bed, in the middle of the night, and you get a call from your now ex-girlfriend. She tells you that she has found someone who was able to find the original footage that was leaked. You’re ecstatic because you know this is your chance to get into the NBA.

A few more cutscenes later and you’re talking with your old teammate, Corey Harris. Corey is a big shot player for the Los Angelos Lakers and he’s asking for your help. In one of the most bizarre conversations I’ve ever witnessed, he asks you if you’d like to join the Lakers for their final game of the season. This game is important to the program because it’ll determine whether or not they go to the playoffs. His reasoning for asking you to join the team is that they’re playing the Spurs and Corey believes that you are the only one who can shut down their up and coming superstar, Marcus Young. You accept, almost instantly, and the very next game you’re dressed for one of the most important games of the season for the Lakers, and your career. You’re challenged with shutting down Marcus and if you’re able to, you’ll have offers from teams across the NBA.

Aside from one cutscene near the end of the game, where you huddle up and Corey tells you to keep up the defense on Marcus, you don’t really notice how important the game is. At the end of the game, you get the recognization you’ve always wanted from your old friend and the NBA as a whole. The next step is picking the team that’s right for you.

Throughout the story, you build interest from NBA teams. Those teams are the ones who are going to offer you the most, in regards to your contract. This also stands true for the things that come along with that contract. There are three things that you’re looking for: Amount of VC per game, minutes per game, and years you’ll be with that particular team. I really enjoyed this concept because you get to pick the team that can benefit your character and his attributes moving forward. You also get the opportunity to negotiate contracts, but you need to be wary because if you counteroffer a deal that offends them or that they’re unable to do, they’ll cut all ties to you completely. Your chances of playing with them go out the window until down the road, when you’ve showcased your skills. I initially chose the Memphis Grizzlies and tried to get more than I was worth. Ultimately, I lost any chance of playing with them for the time being. Some teams will allow you to counteroffer and, even though they’re offended with what you want, they’ll say something like “Okay, this is our final offer.” You’re left debating whether their final offer is worth taking or if you should just move on to another team. I eventually settled with a contract offer from the Cavaliers after the final offer was discussed, and, although I thought I was worth more, I sucked it up and accepted it anyway.

My player in MyCareer after I’d played a few games on the Cavaliers.

This is where the fun starts and you see fewer cutscenes and more playing time. You’re set up in your apartment, which has a basketball court attached to the living room. You have the option to look at your phone, where you can interact with social media, teammates, or online friends. You’re able to invite teammates and online friends to come play different games with you at your indoor court, or you can just hang out. You have the option of going to your navigation screen and playing your upcoming games, looking at stats, or focus on endorsements. You also have the option to leave your apartment, via the elevator, and head down to the streets. Once you’re in the streets, you’re able to interact with all other online players, go to the NBA store, join tournaments, or play street ball.

The story and gameplay overall have been very enjoyable for me. The story, and all the cutscenes were very cliche, but only in the beginning. I noticed that once you get past the beginning of MyCareer, where you’re being shopped around from one team to the next, the story really sets off because you’re finally beginning to get settled. When you’re watching your character become emotional, because he may never play basketball again, you actually feel for him. You enjoy the story at that point and you want to know what’s about to happen next. You get drawn into the clashes between the characters, the humor of some, and the grit of it overall. This game is very similar to previous games, but the graphics are better. You get more player likeness than ever before and the game mechanics are more polished, as well. Although MyCareer is a very cliche come up story into the NBA, it does shed some light on the grind some people go through to achieve their ultimate goal: becoming an NBA player.

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