2K Sports announced today that NBA 2K13 would feature the Dream Team, including Charles Barkley who had been absent from last year's "NBA's Greatest" mode due to issues negotiating over Sir Charles' likeness rights. So how do you solve a problem like convincing the Round Mound Of Rebound to be in your game? Enter Jay-Z.
That's right, his Hovaness himself is the "Executive Producer" of NBA 2K13. (Of course when 2K Sports talks about Jay's title they don't put it in quotation marks.) Apparently this is how the whole situation went down according to 2K Sports vice president of marketing Jason Argent by way of Owen Good at Kotaku.
In our meetings with Jay-Z, he absolutely needed USA Basketball, both 1992 and 2012, in this game." Argent said. However, "If we're putting these teams in, Charles has to be in the game. Our executive producer, Jay-Z, put in a call to Charles himself, and helped us forge an agreement to use him in the game."
I love that the narrative 2K is running with is that it took Jay-Z saying, "Hey guys, you know how everyone is talking about whether or not the 2012 team could beat the '92 team? That should be in the game," for the development team to think of that. As though every basketball fan in the world wouldn't think that's a great idea. That said, I would pay an obscene amount of money to listen into Jay-Z's phone call with Charles. Did Chuck ask about Beyoncé? Did Kanye come up? Did they talk Brooklyn Nets strategy? This is what I want to know.
Unfortunately there will be one member of the Dream Team absent. 2K could not come to terms with Scottie Pippen over his likeness, despite his having been in past editions of the game.
But don't worry, Christian Laettner is still there.