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Play with Illinois and Michigan State’s All-Time Great Teams in NBA 2K17’s MyCAREER

Who do you want to help lead you to the promise land?

Arizona Wildcats v Illinois Fighting Illini Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Last week it was unveiled (via a trailer) that NBA 2K17’s MyCAREER mode will be rolling out a demo on September 9th in advance of the September 16th pre-order launch date.

As in the past, users will have the opportunity to begin their playing careers in college. This year, the available college programs feature two Big Ten powerhouses, Michigan State and Illinois. Other non-Big Ten stalwarts of the college game include Arizona, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Louisville, Oklahoma, UConn, and Wake Forest.

By far the most mouthwatering prospect for c-ball nerds is this detail, from Polygon:

Once NBA 2K17 goes live Sept. 16, players will be able to buy all-time great teams for each of the 10 schools with microtransactions, as well as collegiate MyTeam cards for legendary players.

This sentence is a touch misleading. It either refers to an historic team or a cobbling together of the program’s best starting five, or both. Let’s break down each option for our Big Ten squads.

1.) One all-time great season:

  • Illinois: The obvious answer here is the 2004-2005 team that finished 37-2, losing both games by a combined total of 6 points. I’ll never forget living in Chicago that year and watching them come from 15 down with three and a half to play against Arizona in the Regional Final. That Deron Williams three that tied the game, sending the All-State Arena bonkers, was a special moment.
  • Michigan State: The instinct is to pick Magic’s ‘79 team, since of course you want a Top 5 All-Time NBA player. But the 1999-2000 “Flintstones” were iconic in their own way, deep and fast and brash, and they excelled against a gauntlet of nine ranked teams before they even reached the tournament.

2. ) An All-Time Squad. Obviously, you’re going to want to make sure you pencil yourself in for some playing time. But maybe let’s say you come off the bench your freshman year. Who’s the starting five?

  • Illinois: I’m going pace and space, Warriors-Death-Lineup-style

PG Deron Williams

SG Nick Anderson

SF Kendall Gill

PF Eddie Johnson

C Brian Cook

  • Michigan State: This team is a juggernaut, fast, silky smooth, and physical

PG Magic (duh)

SG Steve Smith

SF Jason Richardson

PF Draymond Green

C Zach Randolph

I’ll take those fake lineups and that historical team against Wake Forest and Georgia Tech any ol’ day of the week. And Oklahoma too.

For me, it’s almost more fun picking these teams than playing the actual games. But rest assured, for the obsessed sports-gamer, this is a major new development.