The massive roster for NBA Playgrounds certainly rivals any basketball game predecessor in memory, but certain players carry magic in their game that’s undeniable on the court and in-game. While this list won’t be limited to the usual greats of the game like Michael Jordan (who aren’t in the game at all, actually), there are certainly some stat-based best players you’ll want to look out for as you round out your team.
So which players made it through our list of the best based solely on their stats? Which ones should you be looking out for when you play the game? Let’s find out.
Lebron James: Cleveland Cavaliers
Well, you knew he’d be on this list, so let’s get “King James” out of the way now. Easily one of the most famous players IRL, his athletic ability and freakish stats transfer into NBA Playgrounds, making him a top-tier player with stamina to match. Currently, his legend card status will make him a harder find for most players, but once you’ve got him, pairing him with any other Cavalier is a good idea.
Lebron James’ Stats:
Stephen Curry: Golden State Warriors
When chef Curry comes into the Playgrounds kitchen, you’re sure to dish baskets beyond the three-point line. Also a legend status card, Curry made it to this list because he’s well rounded offensively. The only setback to using him in the game is a low block or defensive stat. To remedy this, be sure to pair him with a teammate that has strong defensive abilities, which will afford Steph a better chance to shoot and score.
Stephen Curry’s Stats:
Anthony “Spud” Webb: Atlanta Hawks
The first epic card rarity player on the list, Spud Webb is proving you just can’t judge a player by his size. Along with Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins, another epic rarity character, these two bolster the current (and more common) Hawks roster. The likelihood of getting both players around the same time is quite rare, so if you could magically pick one, it ought to be Webb. His speed and stamina stats alone make him an offensive explosion waiting to happen, but like the previous entry, he might need help on defense.
Spud Webb’s Stats:
James Harden: Houston Rockets
Harden solidifies his place on this list due to his well-rounded stats. which lend to more combinations on your roster. “The Beard” may be a step down to legend status in rarity, but players will get more for longer utilizing him. Plus, if you’re waiting to build up to a rarer player card, having Harden on your team will help you grind out some wins to get there.
James Harden’s Stats:
Shaquille O’Neal: Los Angeles Lakers
While most on the list will help you get quick points, no one can put up defense like Shaq. His stats reflect his defensive strength while dominating in the paint on offense as well. The only downside to his dominance is a lower, but not awful, speed and stamina stat. Lucky for us, the game doesn’t factor in any career free throw percentages for his in-game stats. Whew!
Kevin Durant: Golden State Warriors
KD may be a new(er) addition to the Warriors, but his stats reflect the well-rounded play needed to succeed in Playgrounds — at least until the rarer characters are unlocked. While his stats may make him appear average when compared to most on this list, his ability to fit into multiple roles makes him a dynamic character worthy of your roster. It’s odd his rarity level isn’t legend, but maybe future updates and added characters will remedy this.
The “Durantula’s” Stats:
Allen Iverson: Philadelphia 76ers
With a rarity status of legend, some might argue AI still isn’t getting the credit he deserves, but with stats as good as his, it’s hard to fully argue. With the ability to really turn on the jets, once this character gets going it’s going to be hard to stop him — at least until his stamina runs down. Where Iverson’s defense fails, his ability to score away from the basket can provide some interesting plays if utilized correctly.
Patrick Ewing: New York Knicks
This NBA Hall of Fame legend is no stranger to dominating the court, and in Playgrounds, Ewing’s defensive ability is his strong suit as usual. With the ability to transition strong defense into offensive points based purely on his in-game stats, Ewing is vital. One challenge players will have with Ewing, however, is to remain patient: rushing to steal will likely result in failure.
“The Beast of the East’s” Stats:
Dominique Wilkins: Atlanta Hawks
Mentioned earlier in the list, Wilkins maintains a diverse range of abilities that when paired correctly, will lead to more points for players. One aspect that will be difficult to manage when playing as this legend is balancing stamina with other moves. For example, Wilkins’ high-dunking ability will be useless if you can’t make it down the court due to charging through your stamina moments before.
John Stockton: Utah Jazz
Another epic rarity character, Stockton boasts one of the more dangerous combinations in the game. With a whopping 10 pts in both speed and steals stats, utilizing this legend correctly could easily turn the tide of an entire game. Combine those with his high shooting numbers, and you’ve got one player who is seemingly unstoppable. While he can fly down the court and score, his defense is the most lackluster on this list, proving that you’ll truly need a dynamic duo to succeed in this game.
Though an already massive roster, you can tell from even this list that NBA Playgrounds isn’t done adding legends and amazing players to the game. While the format will likely remain similar, adding new dynamic players will have us rethinking this entire list somewhere down the court.
Throughout this article, there are mentions of pairing these greats to make them their most effective selves. As you work to unlock these characters through winsIn Playgrounds, remember that as the game grows, so will the roster. So don’t lose hope: you’ll get that perfect dream team eventually.
Looking for more tips on NBA Playgrounds? Check out this guide of essential tips for starting off strong.