originals\ Aug 17, 2014 at 10:00 am

NBA off-season will help make NBA 2K15 the most successful basketball video game ever

nba 2k15 kevin durant

We're coming off the heels of the most intense, crazy and unpredictable NBA offseason that I've ever seen. Donald Sterling soap opera aside, first round picks were traded, Miami almost lost their entire Big Three, LeBron is in Cleveland forming Miami North, and the Knicks' front office made smart moves?

Seriously, it's been nuts. Here's some of the highlights:

  • Retired PG Derek Fisher is now coaching the New York Knicks
  • Steve Kerr chose to coach the Warriors instead of joining Phil Jackson in New York
  • The Nets are the Nets and Jason Kidd found his way to Milwaukee
  • The Knicks got Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, two 2nd round picks and Shane Larkin, while the Mavericks got Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton
  • The Heat drafted Shabazz Napier, which has no effect on LeBron
  • The Lakers traded for Jeremy Lin
  • Kyle Lowry stayed with Toronto
  • LeBron James returned home to Cleveland, bringing Mike Miller and James Jones with him
  • The Cavs are about to trade Andrew Wiggins and more to get Kevin Love, who said he will sign a long-term deal with them
  • Carmelo Anthony has been flirting with the Bulls and Lakers, resigned with the Knicks
  • Mario Chalmers thinks he's the best player in the league, and chose to stay with the Heat
  • Luol Deng is now in Miami
  • Wade gave up millions of dollars by opting out, then staying with Miami
  • Bosh signed a max deal with Miami, who I'm sure signed him in a panic
  • Pau Gasol joined the Bulls
  • Paul George is probably out for the year after suffering a horrific injury

Me listing all of this doesn't do the drama of this offseason justice. There were 25 new rumors everyday, and Chris Broussard and Brian Windhorst had infinite inside sources. 

kevin durant nba 2k15

I believe that all of the drama and storylines of this offseason will positively impact sales of NBA 2K15

The NBA 2K franchise is already amazing. Year after year, 2K Sports puts out not only a great basketball game, but a great sports game. The combination of visuals, gameplay, simulation, and modes makes it the perfect storm of basketball video games. And if you've been following anything with NBA 2K15, you'll agree that it already looks like a vast improvement over last year's iteration. The real-life drama will only bring the video game to new heights. 

Both the NBA and video games are more popular than ever. The Clippers just sold for a record two billion dollars. And more people than ever -- even people that don't pay attention to basketball -- were tuned in with multiple storylines: Donald Sterling, courtroom drama, LeBron returning to his hometown. The upcoming NBA season will be more intriguing than ever. But why will it translate over to sales for NBA 2K15?

First of all, like Madden, people will buy the game just because it has the latest rosters and supported roster updates throughout the season. Sure, owners of NBA 2K14​ could just make the trades and signings themselves, but that's never stopped people from buying the new Madden game year after year. Cavs fans are going to want to play as LeBron James, Kevin Love, Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving. They're going to want to use LeBron and lead the Cavs to multiple NBA championships.

That's what sports fans who play sports video games do; they take their favorite teams and hope to win championships. Knicks fans are going to want to finish in-game what Phil Jackson started in real life. Heat fans are going to buy the game, play it for three quarters and then turn it off when they're losing in the fourth quarter. Heat fans are going to want to try to win a championship with just D-Wade and Bosh. They're going to want to rebuild the Lakers, or win with the Clippers and rub it in Sterling's face.

lebron james i'm coming home

Second of all, I believe the storylines of this offseason have created more basketball fans. Before LeBron and the Heat lost to the Spurs, I was just a casual basketball fan. But everything since has be checking Reddit.com/r/NBA every day. I'm obsessed. Good storylines have me interested and invested to the point that I can't wait for October to get here so I can play the game. It's made me a basketball fan that wants to play an NBA video game. 

The NBA and NBA 2K15​ is a runaway train; there's no slowing it down. In December, NBA 2K14 beat Madden as the best-selling next-gen sports title -- the firs time an NBA game has outperformed other sports games (namely Madden) during a console's launch. In February of this year, 2K14 became the best selling game in the franchise, shipping five million units to retailers. I expect 2K15​ to break those sales numbers with the return of a robust create-a-player system, full editing over draft classes, and the addition of MyLEAGUE mode.

Only time will tell. 

You can follow Features Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ. Or you can email him at LLiebl@GameZone.com.

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Lance Liebl Ray. If someone asks if you are a god, you say, "yes!"
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