You can’t teach height, and standing at 7ft 5” (with shoes on), Victor Wembanyama already has the NBA on notice. The number one draft pick in the 2023 NBA Draft also has NBA 2K24 players planning their MyTeam moves around the French prodigy and it’s easy to see why.
While he is yet to step foot on an NBA court, it’s clear to the hardcore audience that Victor Wembanyama is going to be an absolute menace once the NBA 2K24 release date arrives.
It’s not often an entirely new meta surfaces due to the introduction of one new player, but that’s exactly what I expect to happen this year. With a 90-rated Wembanyama card being dished out as an NBA 2K24 pre-order item as well, you bet that this guy is going to take over in MyTeam. Prepare for the Wemby era.
More than just a number
It needs stating that Victor Wembanyama is more than just a tall guy who can touch the rim without jumping. No, Wembanyama is a threat in every sense of the word on a basketball court. He can drive the paint, light you up from three-point range, and do everything in between. Yes, the NBA is very different to the French league, but in one sense, he has a major advantage over your standard college draftee – he’s already played with pros who are stronger and wiser to the game. They still couldn’t stop him and it’s believed that not many in the NBA will be able to either.
All this hype is for real and I’m also looking forward to how NBA 2K24 handles such an enigma. My best guess is that he’ll be the starting center for most serious players, at least until some game-breaking legend cards are released for the likes of Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, ‘The Admiral’ David Robinson, and Yao Ming. What’s clear to many experienced MyTeam players, however, is that if Wembanyama hits the league hard, his cards will be without a weakness.
I imagine his base NBA 2K24 rating will sit in the high 70s or low 80s, with effective stats that spread evenly, but it won’t take long for him to get some special cards that will break the game. Speed, strength, finishing, shooting, and defense. He has it all whereas other cards, even Pink Diamond legends, still have their downsides. Victor Wembanyama could be basketball’s equivalent of a five-tool player.
Too much of a good thing
My biggest fear right now heading into NBA 2K24 is that the center position becomes stale and uninteresting. I’m sure there will be plenty of variety in cards floating around with some of the aforementioned names and modern players like Nikola Jokic to take into consideration, but the physical presence of Wembanyama on the court might be too much for gamers to resist.
This begs the question, how would 2K handle everyone effectively using the same cheat code of a player? Well, they could try and manage the market by making any of his cards incredibly hard to pack but this would be a very controversial move and perhaps could even be seen as encouraging gambling with the pack system in MyTeam.
Another route they could take is reviewing their in-game animations and ensuring that the frame of Victor Wembanyama meshes well and doesn’t create problems. Any changes that can be made to keep things fair should be done prior to release.
I can take some solace in the knowledge that other tall players like Bol Bol, Yao Ming, and Ji Lianlian have all been managed very effectively either because they didn’t justify a complete set of dominating stats or because the gameplay mechanics prevented them from being too much for players to handle. There’s also the NBA 2K24 MyCareer factor to consider, where fans have created tall players and had them be quite well rounded with 90+ overall ratings. These custom players still feel limited in some sense due to the way that stat building is handled.
A lot of my concern only really comes into play if Wemby lives up to the hype – if he is the real deal, I remain genuinely curious and ever so slightly concerned as to how MyTeam will look in NBA 2K24.
For more on the new 2K game, find out the latest news as to whether an NBA 2K24 Game Pass release is on the cards.