“This Has Become Laughable”: Kevin Durant Wants An Explanation About “Why I’m Not 99” On NBA2K

(Photo: Getty Images)

Kevin Durant wants some respect put on his digital name, image, and likeness, and he’s not talking about a NIL deal. The Brooklyn Nets star recently took umbrage with the NBA2K video game franchise over what he feels is a ranking that is not representative of his actual in-game play and abilities.

Durant was given a 96 overall rating for NBA 2K23, and although that makes him one of the best players in the game, he wanted that elusive 99 rating, because since 100 is impossible, Durant wants the next best thing. It all started when the official NBA2K Twitter account posted a picture of Durant’s digital likeness with a “96” and captioned, “@KDTrey5 is a 96 in 2K23 Agree or Nah? #2KRatings”

“Aye @Ronnie2K I’m gonna need an explanation on why I’m not a 99? This has become laughable,” Durant posted on Twitter.

When Durant posts the question, you answer, especially when its something as sacred as your video game avatar’s rank. After all, this is a global representation of real skills turned digital.

True to form as a Twitter troll, Durant called out Ronnie Singh aka “Ronnie 2K,” a social media influencer known for his role as the “face” of the NBA 2K franchise.

“I am petitioning for us to remove MJ from the cover and replacing with you, the real 99,” Ronnie 2K responded.

Durant turned to Ronnie, who’s unique business model transcends the gaming industry and has led him to become an influential figure across the sports and entertainment landscape. He’s even produced and hosted the NBA 2K Player’s Tournament on ESPN during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For two decades, NBA 2K has redefined sports entertainment, establishing itself as an essential part of hoops culture. The basketball video games from the franchise provide an immersive pro league experience in the palm of your hand.

The latest version features Michael Jordan as the cover athlete for NBA 2K23, the third time the game will honor the consensus GOAT, barring his feature on a special edition cover in 2016. Jordan is featured on both the Michael Jordan Edition and Championship Edition and apparently has Durant’s coveted 99 ranking. NBA 2K also announced a new Jordan Challenge game mode that will allow fans to relive their favorite and most memorable moments from Michael Jordan’s storied career, per the NBA2K website.

The Jordan Challenge was pioneered in NBA 2K11, but this version allows players to revisit Jordan’s ascension from college standout to NBA legend in NBA 2K23 on both new gen and current gen. The video game creators are leaning into recreating the era for today’s generation that never had the experience of watching Michael Jordan play in-person or live on television.

In this new world of YouTube videos, short clips, and old head tales, now this generation can experience highlights like winning six NBA championships in a single decade. So perhaps this is why Durant hasn’t received his 99 rank flowers yet.

As Jordan is the story of the newest [email protected] rendition, Durant has to take a back seat to the GOAT, which isn’t a blemish on his video game legacy.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.