It was in the 90s Michael Jordan was the most obvious absence from licensed basketball games. These days it’s Charles Barkley, not because of rights issues, but because of the way he believes 2K needs to help some of the people he uses to make millions every year.
The NBA 2K The series not only features the current league rosters, but also has a ton of classic players and teams. And while these are often led by superstars, a lot of places on those teams have been filled by role players who haven’t been able to make the millions in contracts and sponsorships that were guys like Jordan and Barkley.
Barkley explains it in this interview, which was actually done very sane in July for a child’s account with 1.9k subscribers, but which exploded over the weekend when it was shared on r / nba.
“Give old retired gamers a million dollars and I’ll be in the video game,” says Barkley. “They piss me off every year, they call me every year and say ‘have you changed your mind?'”
“Why in the world do you think I’ll change my mind? Give retired players a million dollars a year.”
“I’m not talking about old retired players like me. There is this misconception that everyone has earned a billion dollars our entire life. There are players older than me who have not made any money. Those are the guys, they are older and probably need money, so that’s why they’re not in the game. “
The least an NBA player could earn last season, with the lowest rookie contract, was $ 893,000. The league minimum in 1985-86k, for comparison, was just $ 70,000 (about $ 170,000 today).
NBA 2K Take-Two publishers reported $ 3 billion in sales last fiscal year.
Barkley campaigned for veteran players to pay for their virtual appearances for years now, citing this as the reason why it just doesn’t appear in the 2K series as a classic player, but because he doesn’t even appear as an analyst.