Is A Videogame Better At Rating Players Than A Bunch Of NBA Experts?

NBA 2K13 versus ESPN.

Andrew Innerarity / Reuters

ESPN touts its annual NBA Rank as the definitive ranking of the best players in the league. 104 basketball writers and experts voted on the best 500 players in the league, and every year people get really angry on Twitter when their favorite players slip on the big board.

But is there a better rating system out there?

NBA 2K13 is the only basketball videogame on the market, but is generally regarded as a fantastic simulation-style game that takes its stats and ratings seriously.

So which provides the more definitive list of the top 15 NBA players in the league? You be the judge.

NBA 2k13 tends to favor freaks of nature, as size, strength and speed are all paramount in videogame basketball. Russell Westbrook — one of the fastest players in the game — and Kobe Bryant have the same overall rating, which drew the ire of people who take their videogame ratings seriously.

But the one laughable rating belongs to Carmelo Anthony, who plays in real life as if he was sitting on his couch playing 2K, but didn’t know which button was for passing. A 92 puts Carmelo on par with a former league MVP in Rose, which would only make sense if there were two Melos in the game — the savvy Team USA assassin Melo and the maddening, frustrating, much lower-ranked ball-hogging Melo who is James Dolan’s pride and joy in New York.

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