NBA 2K’s Rob Jones Dropped By Scoop B Radio With Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson & Discussed His Personal Journey and the new NBA 2K18
Unless you’re the man upstairs, nobody knows the interworking of the popular NBA 2K video game better than Rob Jones.
Jones, a senior producer of visual concepts at 2K has been part of the game since it was only available on Sega Dreamcast and the game boasted Allen Iverson as their cover athlete.
On Friday, NBA 2K18 was released on a day marked as 2K day. Although you can go head to head with your friends at the house or online, NBA 2K18, the 19th game of the NBA 2K series, features an all-new new Neighborhood feature.
In simpler terms, Neighborhood ties together game modes and allows for virtual interaction with other people playing the game. You can text message Lavar Ball, TNT’s Ros Gold Onwude and others. “The neighborhood is big because basketball is about competition and we’ve always known that but it’s also the lifestyle and it’s also social,” Rob Jones told me on Scoop B Radio. “The neighborhood is this open environment where we’re all together and socializing and doing things together and I’m still competing in basketball in different ways whether it’s mini basketball in the 2K zone or playing in the park, or playing in pro-am, or playing NBA games.
“We’re giving you these different ways to play but instead of compartmentalizing it like well I got to go to the pro-am instead it’s all in one place and it’s unified so all of your rewards are the same. I mean the ultimate reward is I start with my guy at a 60 and I want to be a 99, the only way to do that last year was to play My Career this year it doesn’t matter you play whatever you want to so we are letting you dictate the way you want to play our game.”
In between his busy schedule of navigating folks through the new version of NBA 2K18, Jones discussed his journey of being with the company since 2011.”It’s big because it tells me that people appreciate our game and it shows me how far we’ve come,” he said.
“We go back and look at the older games some days and we’re like: ‘man basketball was in sad shape back then.’ Even though for people who were playing it, it was like they were phenomenal, but we’re way ahead of where we were when we first started.”
Speaking of past to present, being part of the 2K family for some time, Jones said he has a few favorite installments of the game.
The floor is yours Mr. Jones:
“2K7 because it was the first game that gave me a glimpse of fluid basketball and 2K11 with Mike [Jordan] on it so it’s hard to top those two,” he said.
“The next one would be 2K14 with the story LeBron and I think ’18 is about to sneak in. I think we’re breaking the odd year curse when people would say we only put a good game out in odd years but I think 2K18 is going to be pretty good.”
Ahh yes, the odd year NBA 2K NBA curse.
For years, folks talked about a ‘Madden curse.’
Now it seems that a NBA 2K curse is ‘a thing’ for cover athletes too!
Most recently, Kyrie Irving, an NBA champ with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 is now a member of the Boston Celtics. NBA 2K18 had been promoting Irving as the game’s cover athlete, donning Cavs garb. This is the first time that a player on NBA 2K has been traded before a game has been released, but it’s not the first time conspiracy theorists have put together their theory.
It all started in NBA 2K14 when LeBron James left the Miami Heat to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014. The following year Kevin Durant graces NBA 2K15 and goes to the Golden State Warriors in 2016. Paul George lands on NBA 2K17’s cover and heads over to the Oklahoma City Thunder this summer. “I think it’s coincidental first of all,” Rob Jones said. “Secondly I think that free agency in the NBA as we know it has changed dramatically over the last three years and I think you’re going to see more of it.”
Jones thinks that the trend will continue and he likes the real life attention that it brings. “We just happen to be picking the guys who have the most to gain by leaving,” he said. “For whatever reason they are making these choices, so it’s not a curse. It’s just that the ‘loyalty’ aspect is just no longer the way I came up on it. So I think you’re going to see more players making these choices to go to different teams every year.”