Without a doubt, the bread and butter of the NBA 2K12 experience is the superb My Player mode, which gives you the opportunity to create a player from scratch and lead them through the NBA and ultimately into the Hall of Fame.
The mode has been given a touch-up this year, replacing the tedious and clunky pre-draft workouts with a hyped-up rookie all-star game that immediately puts your player in the spotlight. What do you need to do to get your player into and through the NBA on the way to ultimate stardom and legendary status? Read on to find out!
Don’t hack and slash
While My Player in NBA 2K12 isn’t quite us unforgiving as it was in NBA 2K11, your player will still be punished for actions that are detrimental to the team they’re playing on. Ball hogging and poor defense in the name of getting the touchdown pass won’t work in your favour if the opposing AI takes advantage of your incompetence on either end of the court, and believe me when I say that the AI will bury you if you don’t respect it. Ball handlers should be looking for the best available option, calling for screens and pushing up on defense against the opposing ball handling. Not doing what is required from your position will result in a poor teammate rating. In your early matches you should be working to do the team thing ahead of the individual thing, so that means looking for the open jumper as opposed to working your way through a jungle for the tough layup.
Think before you respond
The pre-draft interviews that you’ll encounter have a significant bearing on your place in the draft. Answer questions the wrong way and teams will cross you off their list, resulting in a drop in ranking and a drafting to a high-placed team where your player will languish on the bench. Following the initial rookie game you’ll be interviewed by three teams, and while you can most certainly pick and choose which team you want to go to and answer their questions accordingly, you’ll be best stressed to appease the teams so that you’re placed as high in the draft as possible. Sure, it’s hard to appease a team like the Grizzlies while the Lakers also show interest, but answering in such a way so as to turn a team away from drafting you can most certainly have an adverse affect on where you’re placed in the draft.
Teams can ask you a lot of questions, depending on their interest in you. There are over 100 possible questions to be asked, and any one team can ask you any number of these, so be sure to answer the questions in the best interest of the drafting team. Unless you’re a superstar (and you probably won’t be right off the bat -- the mode is made in such a way so that you’re not), don’t be demanding and don’t answer in a way that would otherwise turn a team off from drafting you.
Earning skill points
Skill points are essentially the My Player mode’s currency. You earn them by completing objectives and performing certain in-game skills, and they help you to progress your player’s abilities by increasing overall attributes for specific skills. This is why it’s important to stick to the team game so as to earn the best possible grade for a match and ultimately maximise the amount of skill points you get for a match. Completing drills is also a very important aspect of the game, so don’t neglect the included objectives that help your player evolve.
Build your player slowly
I would recommend creating a ball handler first up, as it gives you the capacity to control the ball often and be right in the thick of the action, as opposed to running off the ball and having to perfect your positioning. There are eight new skill games available to help you improve your player’s overall ranking, and it’s important that you’re focusing on areas that are especially important for your player’s position. Focusing on rebounding if your player is a ball handler, for example, probably isn’t especially beneficial in the long run, as your team will already have those positions fielded. Your objective as a ball handler is to improve your handling abilities, everything from the cross-over to the step-pack, lane passing to steals. A Center needs to be especially skilled in rebounding, blocking, strength and defense, so improving his ball handling skills is probably time wasted if your player is struggling with his low post defense.
Play often initially
The new “key game” feature allows you to skip over those not-so-important games, but I would recommend playing through the first 20 or so games of a season just to help improve your player’s ranking before the mid-way point. I understand that the mode can dictate an insane amount of your time and that the games can go for a while, but your player initially starts down the bottom of the team’s list, so it’s important to guide him and work his skills up as early as possible so that he has a solid place in the lineup come Playoffs time (if the team makes it).
Beyond the first 20 games, the key game feature actually makes for a better experience, condensing what is normally a multiple month-long experience into a few weeks. If you’ve gotten your player up to a good enough standard, simulating games will generally lead into an accurate simulation of your player’s performance. The mode in NBA 2K11 did simulation well for the most part and it works well again in NBA 2K12. It’s just really important that your player doesn’t lag behind towards the end of his first season, as the many achievable awards available, such as the Rookie of the Year award, really do help on the pathway to the Hall of Fame.
If you struggle initially, key games give you the opportunity to get things going with double Skill Points (SP) for achieving certain milestones (like beating up on a league leader at your player’s position).
Building Player Speed
This is somewhat of a cheat, but it works well if you’ve created a ball handler and want him to be the fastest man in the league. Firstly, turn the “auto save” feature in the mode’s options to “off”. Secondly, head to the dribble course in the “drills” menu. While in the mode take special attention to your rating once you’ve completed a drill: if you get a gold medal for the drill, make sure you get the “+1 speed” attribute. If you don’t, exit out of the drill and start it up again. As speed is the most expensive attribute this is an easy way to build it up without spending too much on getting your player to run like Speedy Gonzalez.
Getting around defenders in drills
The defenders in some of the drills can be merciless and especially hard to get around in a neat and timely matter. The best way to work your way around them is to double-tap the right trigger button (R2 on PS3) just as your reach the defender while directing your player around them. This will get your player to do a half-spin move, freezing the opposing defender as your player goes in for the early layup.
Perfect your player’s height and weight
Height is a very important aspect of your player and should accurately represent the player’s position. Ultimately you want to create your player at a height that would give them the ability to rebound even if they have a low rebound rating.
PG: between 6 foot 3” and 6 foot 4”
SG: between 6 foot 6” and 6 foot 8”
SF: between 6 foot 8” and 6 foot 10”
PF: 7 feet and above
C: 7 feet and above
Weight should always be over 200lbs, otherwise your player simply won’t be strong enough. No matter what the position, make sure your player weighs in at at least 200lbs, but don’t go overboard and make them so heavy that the player’s weight compromises their pace (a 300lbs point guard for example probably isn’t ideal).
What team should I request a trade to?
These recommendations are best suited to your first season as they are based on NBA teams’ current rosters. Obviously I can’t know what holes a team will need to fill after the 2012 season, so be sure to request a trade to these teams only in the first year. Things will undoubtedly change as you enter your second year in the league. Ultimately your goal is to request a trade to a team that you think will give you more opportunities, so it’s important to go to a team that has a specific need for your player.
PG: Heat, Lakers, Kings
SG: Bulls, Pacers, Nuggets
PF: Magic, Pacers, Rockets, Pistons, Suns, Bobcats
C: Spurs, Thunder, Knicks, Bobcats, Heat
Have some tips for fellow NBA 2K12 gamers? Post them below or head on over to the NBA 2K12 My Player Discussion Thread.