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How does NBA2K determine player ratings and team chemistry?

We asked Ronnie Singh, Digital Marketing Director of 2K Games for more. He is also known as Ronnie 2K.

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Fan Controlled Football Season v2.0 - Week Three
We had a chance to interview Ronnie 2K
Photo by Casey Sykes/Fan Controlled Football/Getty Images

Yesterday, we shared player ratings for the Washington Wizards and Mystics on NBA 2K24, which will be released this fall. As promised, I also had a chance to interview 2K Games Digital Marketing Director Ronnie Singh, a/k/a Ronnie 2K last week.

The interview was edited for clarity.

Bullets Forever: Who is the highest rated Wizards player for NBA 2K?

Ronnie 2K: I don’t know if it’s Jordan Poole or Kyle Kuzma off the top of my head. But I’m pretty sure it’s Jordan, because he was an 84.*

But on Jordan specifically, it’s gonna be really interesting to see how he responds [after getting traded last June]. I personally think that he’ll be in contention for Most Improved Player. He will have the freedom to control the ball and be the man on a team. So it’s going to be really freeing for Jordan. Knowing him, living in the Bay Area, we gotta know each other a little bit. I’m really excited to see him run the show in Washington.

*Poole was an 84 in NBA 2K23 but was rated an 82 for 2K24.

BF: Victor Wembanyama’s rating was an 84. His former teammate, Bilal Coulibaly was drafted No. 7 overall and ultimately on the Wizards. We didn’t get a chance to get his rating, but what is it?

Ronnie 2K: I don’t remember the number right away, but we also drop many player ratings in a short period of time. I do remember talking to Bilal about it specifically.

BF: I googled it up, and I’m seeing 73.

Ronnie 2K: Yeah, that sounds about right.

BF: With player ratings, especially players who are playing in other leagues outside of the USA, how do you come up with a number? For someone like Wembanyama or Coulibaly, they had more exposure due to playing on the former’s professional team. But for someone like Tristan Vukcevic, it seems more difficult.

Ronnie 2K: That’s a great question because we don’t have the same sample size.

There’s a lot less buzz around most international draftees because they are so many times zones away. There is a lot of research and watching tape of them before the draft.

Once Summer League happens, we get to see them play against other known players. And after the NBA season starts, we often find that these players’ ratings move the most. So I’m excited about guys like that. For example, Giannis Antetokounmpo started out as a 60 as a 14th pick, like, and now he is a 96, the second highest rating of all NBA players in the game.

BF: Here’s a Mystics question: Is Elena Delle Donne still the highest rated player for Washington in the game?

Ronnie 2K: She is a 91. That rating is actually higher than our WNBA cover athlete Sabrina Ionescu of the New York Liberty, who has a 90.

BF: Final question: Some teams are made of highly rated players like Delle Donne, but the Mystics this season have been injury prone which hurts their real world performance. On the other hand, it’s always possible that someone like Jordan Poole who has a rating in the mid 80s may be on a Wizards team where the rest of the players have significantly lower ratings. But it’s always possible that the Wizards could have much better chemistry than expected. How do you take account player and team ratings for these situations?

Ronnie 2K: I’m glad you mentioned that because there are players that are really good fits together and then there are some that aren’t. Our formula does put that together in terms of how heavy they are in specific positions. I think the Warriors last year were a little bit guard heavy last season, which is part of the reason why they traded Poole. So, we do have a formula just like we have for player ratings that also make up the team ratings, and how they come together.