LeBron James, widely considered to be one of the best players in the history of the NBA, has been on the cover of the 2K video game series countless times in the past. Since joining the league in 2003, he has won four championships, four Finals MVPs, and has been selected as an All-Star on 13 occasions.
James' journey has been well documented in the NBA 2K series. LeBron James joined as the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft, and the game’s first edition came out in 1999, with Allan Iverson as the cover star.
On that note, here's a look at LeBron James' NBA 2K ratings over the years.
Tracking Lebron James’ NBA 2K rating evolution over the years
Ever since the NBA 2K series started, LeBron James has been on the cover 16 times, which is the most for any NBA player.
His NBA 2K21 rating was 96, with a build of a 2-way inside-out playmaker, which makes sense, considering LeBron James himself recently claimed that he is a 'pass-first' guy. His NBA 2K ratings over the years can be seen below:
James is the joint-highest rated player in the game this year, and shares the podium with the likes of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo. James has traditionally kept track of his NBA 2K ratings, and has posted the same on social media multiple times. He recently claimed to be unhappy with Stephen Curry’s 96 overall, and claimed that he should have been given a 97.
James’ first NBA overall was a decent 78, which is pretty high for a rookie. NBA 2K22 has Cade Cunningham as the highest-rated rookie, who has an 80 overall. James did not take too long to blow up, and was rewarded for a 20.9 ppg, 5.9 assists and 5.5 rebounds season with a whopping 88 overall, which was a huge upgrade, considering the numbers he racked up.
However, James’ NBA 2K5 rating was even more impressive. He jumped from an 88 overall to a whopping 97. That was followed by years of consistency, with the NBA 2K7 version being the first time LeBron James became the joint-highest rated player in the series. He shared that accolade with Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade, with all three given overalls of 98.
NBA 2K has traditionally experimented with their rating parameters, with the NBA 2K9 version having as many as four players given an in-game high of 99 overall. That included Chris Paul, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant, in addition to LeBron James. Since NBA 2K11, LeBron James has been the highest rated player in every edition of the game. He was rated 99 in NBA 2K14 after two years of 97 overall, with his worst rating in the 2010s coming in 2014.
NBA 2K14 had James as the highest-rated player in the game, but with an overall of just 94. He improved to 96 in NBA 2K17, 97 the next year, and was given an overall of 98 in NBA 2K19.
After he won the 2020 NBA championship with the LA Lakers, he was rated 97 in NBA 2K20. Hence, this year will be the 13th time during his NBA career that James is the highest-rated player in an NBA 2K game.
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