A compelling matchup. I'll be sure to tune in to see Jordan Hill average 1.8 PPG.
Well, by popular demand, I'm going to keep you all updated on my NBA 2K10 My Player career in separate, more detailed posts instead of just slipping them into my Bawful After Dark posts. I never expected this series to be so popular, but the number of comments and e-mails I've gotten has been a pleasant surprise. If you guys ever have any questions or comments, please feel free to post something in the comments section. I'll try to make these updates funny and interesting, but also try to give some advice so that you too can transform your D-League reject into an unholy combination of Jordan's talent and killer instinct, plus Wilt's penchanct for stat-padding. (Hey, it's a video game! Why not be a bastard there since it has fewer repercussions than being a bastard in real life?)
Quick recap of last season for those who haven't been paying attention in the original running diary in my BAD entries:
My virtual doppleganger's development as a basketball player has been interesting, to say the least. After a failed initial attempt to create someone similar to myself (6'0", 150lb with a focus on outside shooting), I gave my career a rebirth as a slightly oversized drive-the-paint point guard (6'5", 200lb). Things started well enough, with a successful showing in the Summer League (no doubt impressing the tens upon tens of people sitting in the bleachers at the run-down gymnasium). I got a call to work out for the Celtics, and couldn't say no. Unfortunately, Eddie House absolutely owned me, raining threes all over my ass, and completely negating my offensive efforts in the process. Feeling like a poor man's Paul Shirley, I was sent packing to Idaho to play in the NBA D-League. I took the Eddie House ass-whupping to heart and refocused my defense, spending skill points on defensive attributes and focusing more on playing tight perimeter defense against good shooters. This worked well against the slower, undersized scrubs that tend to populate the D-League, and after just six games San Antonio signed me.
Things started off all right, with me coming off the bench to back up Tony Parker. I didn't get much playing time initially since I had stuck with the default 5 minute quarters, and I was quick with decent stamina, but a poor shooter and poor rebounder, so I focused on dishing assists and playing defense. This worked well for the first few weeks of the season, and I improved my shooting consistency, and began to contribute more points. As I started to take more and more playing time from Tony Parker, he started playing worse and worse. His growing distaste for sitting on the bench for extended periods of time led to lots of bad jumpshots, lots of ball-hoggery, and general basketbawfulery. At the same time, Manu Ginobili went into a bad shooting funk, and couldn't buy a bucket in the fourth quarter of any game for a solid month. It was like I suddenly had been traded to the Nets.
Needless to say, things didn't go well for a while. We lost a lot of close games. We dropped in the standings. After dropping to ninth place in the Western Conference, I finally said "enough!" and changed the quarter length to 8 minutes (because of the run-and-gun style and high shooting percentages in 2K10 by default, this quarter length leads to fairly realistic final scores) to help me have more of an impact on the game, and to help me get better stats to help gain skill points to improve my avatar's abilities. I also stopped focusing on passing the ball, and became a decidedly shoot-first point guard.
Putting the team on my back and carrying them made a world of difference, and we won our last several games of the season to squeak into the playoffs. While this made Tony Parker sulk even more, it somehow brought life into Manu Ginobili who went on fire from downtown all through the playoffs, plus my constant efforts to drive the paint led to not only a good inside-out game for my other teammates on occasion, but also it meant Tim Duncan was single-covered most of the time and was available for easy points almost all the time. We rolled through the playoffs, with the biggest scare coming from the Nuggets (the Chauncey Billups/JR Smith duo is unrealistically good in this game), and occassionally from the Lakers, but then we absolutely stomped out the Thunder and the Celtics to win the NBA championship.
Okay, recap done. Let's get to the new stuff!
After averaging 30+ points per game and dishing assists left and right to Tim Duncan all throughout the playoffs, I had some options. Free agency was calling my name, and the Mavericks, Magic, and Clippers all showed interest in stealing me from San Antonio. Obviously I chose the Clippers.
After a couple turnover-filled games getting used to my teammates, including a season-opening loss to the evil Nuggets, we went on a nice winning streak, taking seven or so straight games in convincing fashion. My numbers were ridiculous -- I basically averaged 39/9/3 and got 4 steals a game with only 2 turnovers a game outside of those first two games. However, my virtual self was unhappy! Imagine that! My character told the team he wanted to be traded, and I had no control over this. How does the game know I want to be traded?! Maybe I like being the stat-padding alpha dog on a bad team??
The Clippers didn't immediately pull the trigger, but the rumor mill had me possibly going to the Rockets, the Pacers, or the Nyets. But, alas, just two games after I expressed my desire to be traded, I was sent packing for...
Orlando?! Ugh. They're actually a contender! But wait a second... I get to play with the Pumaman and Vinsanity, AND Ron Jeremy Stan Van Gundy will be my coach? Maybe this won't be so bad for the Bawful write-ups...
I still am not exactly sure why the Clippers decided to trade me. Why would they get rid of their one good player? Their salary cap situation was surprisingly good (one of the best in the league, actually). Since I was still young, I couldn't have been making that much money anyway. I was leading the team in basically very stat possible except rebounding. My PER was an unfathomable 40 (John Hollinger's head just exploded). And most importantly, we were winning! My best guess? Donald Sterling couldn't afford much after his housing discrimination settlement, and since the game season is now a full year into the future, it's highly likely he's lost more money to a sexual harassment lawsuit.
So, how's my stint with the Magic gone so far?
We've won every game I've played so far (granted, only a few, but still) and are leading the Eastern conference standings at 10-3. I have won Player of the Week once in November, and I'm third in the All-Star voting in the West in my position. Some of the game highlights:
1) We unsurprisingly beat the Knicks. The final score was 130-110. I took advantage of Mike D'Antoni's _efense and went into full ball-hoggery mode, putting down a box score of 58 points, 6 rebounds, 10 assists, and 7 steals, and I shot 77% from the floor. Damn.
2) We beat the holy hell out of the Hornets. This was one of the ugliest games I have ever witnessed. It was like I had turned the difficulty level down as low as it would go. (I didn't.) The final score? 110-61. Yes, you read that right. Our defense just dominated. Chris Paul had 10 turnovers, and his backup (some Brazilian guy whose name I can't remember that they drafted just before this season) had 8 or 9 turnovers. Even better? Chris Paul actually went out briefly with a strained MCL... and came back into the game! Virtual Kevin Harlan and Virtual Clark Kellogg absolutely ripped the Hornets apart for two solid minutes for such a risky and stupid move. (Oddly enough, Paul actually played better with a bum knee and scored eight points in about two minutes before I blocked one of his shots, and then he lost his confidence and went back to failing in epic fashion, and didn't score a point the rest of the game) My line for this game? 49/6/6/8 (yes, 8 steals).
Random Pics and Video:
Some good dunks/layups, plus knocking the holy hell out of one of the sideline characters
FAIL. A blown dunk, and the single worst layup attempt I've ever seen
Yes, I'm white and dunking. No, I could never do this in real life.
Look, I'm scrappy! At least that fits the usual white guy stereotype, right?
Oh yeah, the ladies want some of that...
Transactional News: So far this season,the Hornets traded James Posey straight-up for Dan Gadzuric, the Knicks traded a 2011 2nd round pick for Marko Jaric, and most shockingly, the Grizzlies traded Allen Iverson to the Chicago Bulls(!!!) Oh, and of course I got traded to the Magic for Louis Williams and a draft pick. Whatever.