NBA 2K12 15 Legends Revealed

  POSTED August 18, 2011

2K Sports revealed the 15 Legends that will be included in NBA 2K12. "Our goal was to pick the 15 greatest and most influential players in NBA history and represent them in our game," says '2K12' producer Erick Boenisch. Click on read more to check out the legends and find out why they were included in the game.

 Screenshots Gallery

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The Game: The 1986-87 Lakers vs. The 1986-87 Celtics

Why he's in the game: Beyond the coolness of the goggles and skyhook, Kareem helped change the NBA with his scoring touch and finesse from the center position. "Before Kareem, the center was all about being big and strong, but Kareem was quick and agile," says Boenisch. "He's a six-time league MVP, multi-time champion, and the leagues all-time leading scorer. Besides, it's the "Showtime" Lakers. How can you argue with that?"

Larry Bird

The Game: The 1985-86 Celtics vs. The 1985-86 Hawks

Why he's in the game: Larry "Legend" is one of the greatest clutch shooters and competitors of all time and in "NBA 2K12," Bird is deadly from long range. "He's also rocking the mustache and wild hair from '86," says Boenisch. "And in this match-up, you're getting Bird against Dominique Wilkins and a fun Hawks team."

Wilt Chamberlain

The Game: The 1971-72 Lakers vs. The 1971-72 Knicks

Why he's in the game: "This is definitely one of the more entertaining match-ups in the game as these two teams battled in the NBA Finals that year, and Wilt's Laker team is arguably one of the best ever," says Boenisch. But watch out for these Knicks as you'll even see a young Phil Jackson trying to take you to the rim. As for Wilt, he's an absolute beast in the game, and arguably the most dominant big man to ever take the 2K court.

Julius Erving

The Game: The 1984-85 76ers vs. The 1984-85 Bucks

Why he's in the game: Think LeBron and Kobe are sick video game characters? "The King" and "Mamba" are nothing compared to "The Doctor." "Dr. J pioneered the above-the-rim scoring with athleticism, and that's reflect in our game," says Boenisch. "You'll be able to do that sick baseline dunk of his. He plays above his ratings and you can pretty much do whatever you want when he's under your control."

Patrick Ewing

The Game: The 1994-95 Knicks vs. The 1994-95 Magic

Why he's in the game: According to 2K Sports, Ewing was the last of the legends to sign on for this feature, and what a great addition he is. Not only do you get the Ewing squad complete with the likes of John Starks and Charles Oakley, you get them going up against a young Magic team that features Shaq and Penny. Adds Boenisch: "Patrick Ewing is one of the most offensively talented centers of the modern era, and his match-up is one of my favorite, if not my favorite match-up in the game. This game is one of the most challenging because as Patrick Ewing, you're going up against Shaq the entire time. It's also one of the match-ups I think people are going to play over and over again." My advice: Foul Nick Anderson.

Magic Johnson

The Game: The 1990-91 Lakers vs. The 1990-91 Blazers

Why he's in the game: "No player was better at making the players around him better," says Boenisch. "He's the ultimate teammate and the general of the 'Showtime' Lakers. He's also the first guy I brought up when we started discussing this feature." Fun match-up against a Blazer team that features the likes of Terry Porter, Clyde Drexler, and even Danny Ainge. Talk about classic 1990's basketball.
NBA 2K122K SportsMagic Johnson was the first name that came up when 2K was designing this mode.

Michael Jordan

The Game: The 1992-93 Bulls vs. The 1992-93 Hornets

Why he's in the game: Think "NBA 2K11" captured everything you needed to know about Jordan? Think again, as 2K Sports added even more of the signature shots, dunks, and dribbles of His Airness into "2K12." "We chronicled so much of Michael last year, that this year it was all about making it a fun match-up," explains Boenisch. And with a Hornets squad featuring everyone from Alonzo Mourning and "Grandmama" Larry Johnson to Muggsy Bogues and Kendall Gill, expect some of the best action of any of the NBA's Greatest games.

Karl Malone

The Game: The 1997-98 Jazz vs. The 1997-98 Spurs

Why he's in the game: "Karl Malone is one of the greatest power forwards of all time," says Boenisch. "He was big, he was strong, he was incredibly durable, and he's easily the best pick-and-roll power forward of all time. We couldn't put this list out without including Karl Malone." The match-up pits Malone against Tim Duncan, David Robinson and the Spurs in what's really a changing of the guard game.

Scottie Pippen

The Game: The 1995-96 Bulls vs. The 1995-96 Sonics

Why he's in the game: Having Scottie Pippen as a legend is sure to anger a lot of fans, especially since Pippen is already featured in the game thanks to the Jordan challenge. But Boenisch justifies the pick saying: "Scottie Pippen stands on his own. He is arguably one of the best small forwards of all time, one of the best defensive small forwards of all time, and his accomplishments stand on their own. We had no hesitation in naming him to our 15." Then again, even if you're upset about Pippen making the cut, you can't be mad at the match-up as it brings you Jordan, Pippen and the Bulls against one of the greatest video game teams of all time: Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Detlef Schrempf and the Sonics.

Oscar Robertson

The Game: The 1970-71 Bucks vs. The 1970-71 Lakers

Why he's in the game: According to the "NBA 2K12" producers, Oscar Robertson was the most difficult character to recreate accurately in the game. "There's just not that much good video of him available," explains Boenisch. "Pretty much everything people know about Oscar they get by just looking at the stats." So to bring The Big O's true style into the game, the 2K Sports crew had to dig around for any reference videos they could find, and the hours upon hours of research paid off, delivering a historic version of Robertson that makes him the best all-around player in the game. "He's the walking triple-double," adds Boenisch, "and the game wouldn't be complete without him."

Hakeem Olajuwon

The Game: The 1993-94 Rockets vs. The 1993-94 Nuggets

Why he's in the game: Any chance you can add the "Dream Shake" into a video game, I'm all for it. "Hakeem is that silky-smooth center who was agile and smart," says Boenisch. "And Hakeem is so good in the game thanks to that 'Dream Shake' that we needed a match-up against a powerful defender. So if you want to win this challenge, you're going to have to do it against Dikembe Mutombo."

Isiah Thomas

The Game: The 1988-89 Pistons vs. The 1988-89 Bulls

Why he's in the game: The Bad Boy Pistons against the Chicago Bulls. "This is the match-up that defined the NBA playoffs in the late 80s," says Boenisch. "You just knew at some point, the Bulls and the Pistons were going to go at it, things were going to get rough, and it was going to be amazing." Isiah leads a team that includes Joe Dumars, The Microwave, a tattoo-less Dennis Rodman, and Bill Laimbeer. "I love this challenge because of the attitude involved. And while you're not going to be punching anyone, you can do hard fouls," adds Boenisch. If only I could remember Isiah for his brilliance on the court and not what he did to the Knicks.

Bill Russell

The Game: The 1964-65 Celtics vs. The 1964-65 Lakers

Why he's in the game: This is the oldest classic match-up in the game, complete with black and white graphics and announcers that sound like they're speaking into a tin can. "Russell is one of the most tenacious rebounders and defenders the league has ever seen," says Boenisch. "We researched him incredibly well in order to get all of his signature moves and that lanky look in there. We also made adjustments to the uniforms for these older teams, not only making the shorts shorter, but making the jerseys fit tighter and fitting them in the older style shoes. It really helps give you a different feel when you're playing."

John Stockton

The Game: The 1997-98 Jazz vs. The 1997-98 Lakers

Why he's in the game: The NBA's all-time leader in both assists and steals, and a point guard who brought his team to the playoffs every single year he played. I'm loving this match-up as it brings the Jazz up against Kobe Bryant and Shaq. Adds Boenisch: "This will be an eye-opener for younger fans who are used to Kobe dominating every video game. This is a different Kobe. He's pretty raw."

Jerry West

The Game: The 1970-71 Lakers vs. The 1970-71 Hawks

Why he's in the game: You can't make a legends mode and not include the logo. "Jerry West is one of the NBA's greatest clutch performers of all time," says Boenisch. "And when people look at his stats, they focus on his offense, but he was also an incredible defensive player. We really wanted to honor him and show people that before Magic, before Kobe, the Lakers were Jerry West's team." And playing against West, you have a Hawks teams led by "Pistol" Pete Maravich. "He'll be doing those sick, no-look passes and crazy shots all over the place. It was a no-brainer pick for us."

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