Play like Mike

August, 31, 2010
By Jon Robinson
Michael JordanAndrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty ImagesPlaying as Michael Jordan in "NBA 2K11" brings the fun back to virtual dunking.

Has dunking the ball in a video game lost its luster? We've all probably done it millions of times by now. Just another move. But when I dunk the ball as Michael Jordan in "NBA 2K11", tongue out as he throws down a tomahawk jam over Patrick Ewing, knocking the Knicks star to the ground as I watch MJ swing on the rim, I can't wipe the smile off my face. The shine is back.

Next time down the floor, I pass the ball to Michael and as I pump fake, he holds the ball up with one hand in John Starks' face. Starks takes a swipe at the rock then is left looking like a fool as MJ drives baseline for the reverse. Magic.

NBA 2K11
2K Sports2K Sports has done an awesome job capturing MJ's moves.

Playing as the old-school Bulls, I battled everyone from the Bad Boys in Detroit to Bird, Ainge, McHale, and Parish on the Celtics. I got dunked on by Shawn Kemp, swatted Isiah's jumper, and was roughed up by the Pistons D.

As a basketball fan (or more accurately, a self-diagnosed hoops nut), these moments are amazing and really make "NBA 2K11" a must-own. I played the game for a couple of hours, first playing the classic match-ups in The Jordan Challenge, then drafting Michael to the Heat in MJ: Creating a Legend mode (MJ, LeBron, and Wade ... oh my!), and I have to say, I haven't had this much fun playing a basketball game in years.

Highlights of my virtual time with Mike include:

  • Went up for a right-handed dunk and switched mid-air to the left-handed layup that MJ made famous against the Lakers.
  • Scottie Pippen actually helps MJ off the court after his famous flu game.
  • Patrick Ewing threw down some nasty dunks for the Knicks, and Starks caught fire for four three-pointers in a row (where's Reggie Miller when you need him?).
  • The roster of historic players is deeper than I initially thought as 2K went out and got just about every big-name player (and the not-so-big names) into the game.
  • Disappointing that the Bulls/Suns match-up isn't in the Jordan Challenge, but Barkley is one of the few players that didn't want to be in the game (what, is he still bitter about "Shut Up and Jam"?).
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