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NBA 2K19 is Unbearable and Here’s Why

NBA 2K19 is the best basketball game out there, which honestly says a lot about NBA Live 19. While the game definitely shows signs of improvements from its predecessor, there are still significant issues that are yet to be addressed which is turning off many players. Here are just some of the more unbearable complaints about NBA 2K19 that players have that 2K must address in order to provide a more fine-tuned basketball experience either now, or for a future game.

NBA 2K19 is Unbearable and Here’s WhyShoving

Yep, you guessed it. No fouls being called for shoving is destroying competitive play and is essentially making park unplayable. NBA 2K19 has been out for 6 months and it’s mind boggling that the devs have not addressed an issue that is literally game-breaking. What’s strange is that the issue was initially not that big of a deal, as fouls were not always, but often called which gave up possession to the opposing team. In an attempt to “fix” this issue, 2K have actually made it worse as there are now no fouls under any circumstances called when a player shoves in a park game. If there is, then I genuinely am yet to see it. This is just the tip of the iceberg to why NBA 2K19 is unbearable.

Why was this even included in a basketball game in the first place? If it is to be included, then should it not have consequences?

PURE Lockdowns

I can’t be the only person who thinks pure lockdowns are ridiculously over-powered. I totally understand a pure lockdown build whose purpose is to play intense, a build that is separate in the quality of defense it plays in comparison to other builds. But the fact that they are able to stretch the floor by shooting mids/three’s and also given the ability to finish at the rim with high efficiency is where the problems arise. Lockdowns are so over-powered that guards are being pushed away from the game, as a majority of meta/competitive line-ups now feature a pure lockdown as the smallest player serving up in a guard role. Point Guards are supposed to be talented ball handlers, but now serve no purpose as they are so easily ripped by lockdowns. The Point Guard position is regarded as one of the toughest and most important position on a basketball court. Their roles being diminished on NBA 2K19 makes little to no sense (and more unbearable).


NBA 2K19 is Unbearable and Here’s Why. Archetypes

This point goes along with my arguments about pure lockdowns, some archetypes are game-breaking and genuinely shouldn’t exist! You can’t be a pure playmaker as a 7’3 center currently, so why is there a 7ft pure stretch 4 option in the game? Is there any point of being a small sharpshooting guard when you can just shoot over people as a 7 footer? Currently, apart from Kevin Durant and maybe Lauri Markkanen, there are no shooters that are 7 foot with laser accuracy shooting from deep range in the NBA. This is why Kevin Durant is a special player, he is a rare talent, yet it’s so effortless to make a build at his height that can shoot with 10/10 accuracy on 2K19. If there is a genuine desire to make the game more balanced, then the sharpshooting archetype should only be allowed as a secondary for a 7ft PF. 2K must re-adjust their approach to builds and which archetypes should exist for each position.


If you play MyTeam, you know exactly where I’m going with this. Off-ball defending is one of the most irritating things to come up against when playing any mode of MyTeam. There is almost no incentive of playing on-ball defense for a casual/average player as AI does a much better job. If you’re a good player, particularly in the post, there are of course many ways to deal with off-ball defenders. But if you’re not, you will mainly have to spam pick and rolls, which is mind numbingly boring. There are two ways to fix this, either remove the option to play off-ball completely on game modes such as triple-threat, or have AI’s defending skills more easily exposable in ways other than pick and rolls so players actually have a desire to play on-ball defense.

Player rank DISPLAYED IN Park

NBA 2K19 is Unbearable and Here’s Why. Player Rank Displayed in Park

Another unbearable decision in NBA 2K19 made on park servers that drives anyone ranked Elite insane. This decision is extremely irritating as it leads to high ranked players waiting on servers to play a game for more than 10-15 minutes. Lower ranked players constantly dodge games which forces higher ranked players to literally run around the park to chase games, only then leading to the inevitable decision to switch lobbies. I’m not kidding when I say I always have my phone on me when playing on the park so I can kill time while waiting for a game. Many players suggest Ante-up as a place to play if you struggle to find games as a high ranked player. My response: How about I don’t have to put VC on the line every time I want to play a casual game of basketball? 

1v1 Courts

Hey, are you smaller than 7’3 and not a post scorer? Then forget the 1v1 courts! The 1v1 courts are dominated by 7’3 post scorers, and though I totally understand that there are ways for smaller skilful players to beat them, a majority of casual players are completely exempt from enjoying a quick 1v1 session. Plus, the fact that there’s only one version of the 1v1 courts in Ante-Up is another decision that I can’t understand. Can we not have different positions allowed on different 1v1 courts, like a 1v1 Point Guards only court? If there were such considerations, I reckon 1v1’s would attract more attention and become more enjoyable for many different types of players.

Takeover Mode

Takeover mode is turning our players into super-heroes. I know some players genuinely enjoy this addition but people who are looking for more of a simulation type basketball game as opposed to an arcade game are suffering from this game mechanic. Granted, an inclusion of an arcade style game-mode is much appreciated and makes sense on the park, but why do the same mechanics transfer over to a 5 on 5 professional NBA basketball match? The animations post scorers get are effortless. Playmakers are able to snap ankles left right and centre with the easiest dribble combos. Remember when flooring someone on the court actually meant something and was a genuine display of skill? If I, a player with almost no experience as a dribbler am able to do it, then something truly is wrong. The takeover/grand badge idea was included in 2K17 but was scrapped in 2K18, and is now re-implemented in 2K19. What was wrong with heating up mechanic that was way more balanced?


Microtransactions dominate an unbearable NBA 2K19 and it’s safe to say that players are sick and tired of how necessary they are in order to genuinely compete. 2K19 costs $50+ depending on the version you buy on release. Add another $20-$30 spent on VC to level up your player. It’s either that or hours of grinding VC with your low-rated untalented player. Then there’s player attribute boosts you can buy which boost your stats. What is the specialty of having a player build/archetype only to then see players boost their stats with money? I have a shot-creating post scorer that I know can shoot open three’s at the same rate as sharpshooters if I boost his jumpshot stats. I doubt players feel this fair to players who are sharpshooting guards.

Career mode grind

NBA 2K19 is Unbearable and Here’s Why. Career Mode Grind

Grinding on games isn’t always fun, and NBA 2K19 isn’t the only game that makes grinding a chore, but for the love of Jordan, why isn’t there more of an attempt by the devs to make career mode more interesting? Players in career mode severely lack character! If takeover mode is an attempt to add character to players, then it has failed immensely. Josh Hart from the Lakers is a good shooter but not once have I seen him pull up from Steph Curry range and destroy a team, we can all agree on this. Then why does he have the same impact when he’s in takeover mode as Curry, the greatest shooter in the history of the sport?

We need more personality that reflects players in real life! I played for the Lakers and not once did I see Lebron James wave off a screen, dribble for a bit and cut into the paint and dominate his opponent. If I get posterized by Joel Embiid, I want him to stare me down so I can run back to the other end and try to get my revenge. I want Draymond Green to try to put me off while I’m at the FT line. Give me the choice to be aggressive after a heated moment and let the ref give me technical. AI is braindead! I saw Draymond Green run over to guard Steven Adams on a corner three on HoF difficulty… What? I want Rob Pelinka and Magic to call me into an office after disappointing performances to tell me I’m getting traded! Give me a reason to want to play career mode, to play against different teams and excite me for my next match up.

The most annoying part about career mode is that it’s the main/most efficient way to level up your character. You’re essentially locked into playing this game mode if you genuinely want to develop your player. The only serious positive step I’ve seen in career mode from 2K18 is that cut-scenes are now skippable. Yay, I’m sure that was a tough task for the devs.

These are only some of the unbearable problems fans of NBA 2K19 are annoyed with. I’m sure I’ve missed out on many issues, particularly in the MyTeam, MyGM and MyLEAGUE sections of the game. Be sure to drop comments on what you think 2K need to focus on, or let me know if you disagree with any points!

To see our overall view of the game, be sure to check out our review.