Basketball legend Charles Barkley won't be in this year's "NBA 2K 15". Operation Sports owner Steve Noah confirmed via Twitter that the basketball video game would feature TNT sports commentator Ernie Johnson and former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal, 42, but not Barkeley, 51, outspoken analyst for “Inside the NBA."
Just confirmed with 2K Sports. NBA 2K15 will have Ernie Johnson and Shaq. Unfortunately, it will not feature Inside the NBA.
— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) August 20, 2014
During a "NBA 2K14" media event on Tuesday, moderator Ernie Johnson, 58, discussed the title with 2014 MVP and “NBA 2K15” cover athlete Kevin Durant, 2K NBA all-star James Harden and 2014 NBA all-stars Stephen Curry and Anthony Davis.
“Hearing my own story while playing a video game is wild,” Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, 26, told the audience of sports and gaming journalists.
Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant, 25, will grace the cover of this year’s game. The 240-pound player talked about his off-season regimen, which he believes helps him during the season.
“I just try to step outside of my comfort zone. I play pick-up and one on one,” he said. “I’m best at scoring. I feel like I’m an all-around player, I may not be the best rebounder or passer or defensive player, but I’m the best scorer.”
Durant is an avid gamer. When asked by moderator Johnson what it's like to game with teammate Russell Westbrook, 25, Durant assured the audience he was the better video game player. “We can’t have us two on the same team, I’m the alpha dog when it comes to playing ‘2K,’ but I’m sure I’ll win, it won’t be a problem.”
When Durant learned he would be featured on the cover of the iconic game, he was more than excited.
“I was ecstatic, it was a great feeling to be able to represent where I come from, my team, organization, the state of Oklahoma, my friends and family on a game cover that crosses so many different households around this world,” he said. “To have the opportunity to do something, I’m very grateful. I’m looking forward to activations and things we do throughout the year to continue to promote this game.”
James Harden, 24, plays for the Houston Rockets and will also be featured in the game.
“I’m excited every year when ‘2K’ comes out,” Harden said. “It’s one of the best games out there, consistently. I think MyPlayer is pretty amazing. I got a chance to do some of the voices and I’m pretty excited for it.”
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors’ point guard, is impressed with the realism of the ‘NBA 2K’ titles.
“It’s great to be a part of, knowing with ‘NBA 2K15,’ knowing how realistic the gameplay is, but also the graphics, just seeing how we look on the court,” Curry told the audience. “It’s pretty spot on, with hair, face, facial expressions, it’s pretty much the same. It’s about the realest game I’ve ever seen.”
Moderator Ernie Johnson then asked Curry if he could beat his in-game character.
“I don’t know, I know in the game he’d probably have an advantage if you took the endurance ticker off, so he could go play for days, but I have confidence in myself, to be able to take him on. I have pretty high ratings, but I’d have to bring my A-game, though,” the point guard replied.
Anthony Davis, 21, talked about his love of the ‘NBA 2K’ franchise. He also wanted fans of the game to choose his team, the New Orleans Pelicans.
“I love playing ‘2K,’ as much as any other basketball player, it’s a fun game, but, seriously, I hope everybody plays with the Pelicans,” he said.
Davis was impressed by the abilities of his character in the game.
“’2K’ has had me do some things I’ve never done before, so I think he’d definitely beat me in one-on-one.”
"NBA 2K15" will launch on Oct. 7 this year for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 4 and PS3.