There's a large subset of NBA players who can't reasonably hope for widespread acclaim during a national broadcast or glossy-magazine feature. Instead of those high-profile rewards, they look for recognition wherever they can get it, whether from their fans, local press, or basketball diehards around the country.
A video game rating is one of the easiest ways to get positive attention, mostly because the games are played by lots of basketball fans (casual and otherwise) all over the world. The ratings for "NBA 2K12" were released last week, so this issue is now at the forefront of athlete confidence and popularity. If a player proves useful in the virtual world, he's likely to win over some portion of the public for his basketball abilities. If a player feels slighted by his rating, he'll often complain in public. As far as I'm aware, though, no one has ever claimed to be given an unfairly high rating.
IamaGM.com: 2K12 ratings leaked early, you got a 78 how do you feel about that?
MB: That's higher than I thought.
Indeed, it is higher than I thought he would earn, too. If Dirk Nowitzki is only an 85, then surely Beasley should be in the low 70s. Or, who knows, maybe 2K Sports added new skill attributes like "Hairdo Creativity" or "Best Penmanship on His High School Principal's Car." If that's the case, then, yes, a 78 is right on the money.
It bears noting that Beasley is not stating that he's overrated, just that he expected to receive a lower rating. In fact, it's quite natural that a player who was labeled a bust very early in his career and continues to be the target of jokes regarding marijuana use and general weirdness would expect to be given short shrift by the video game establishment. That "me against the world" mentality is related to the same personal confidence that drives the rating-based complaints of other players, too.
Beasley wasn't perfect for the Wolves last season, but he did manage to average 19.2 ppg on 45 percent shooting, marks that stand as a strong bounceback year for a guy who was given away by the Heat for little more than a bag of balls and some old Frankie Goes to Hollywood cassingles. Given his narrowly defined role as a scorer, Beasley probably didn't deserve such a high rating. But, as far as he's come, it's not crazy to think that he deserves some amount of the acclaim this rating may bring him.
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- Michael Beasley