If 2K games asked you to make a sequel to NBA 2K12 showcasing 15 legendary teams who would you add?

Interesting question.

For reference, here’s the 15 legends and teams that NBA 2K12 had (with additional HOFers on each team in brackets):

  1. Bill Russell – 1965 Celtics (Sam Jones, Tom Heinsohn, John Havlicek) vs 1965 Lakers (Jerry West, Elgin Baylor)
  2. Oscar Robertson – 1971 Bucks (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Dandridge) vs 1971 Hawks (Pete Maravich)
  3. Jerry West – 1971 Lakers (Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, Wilt Chamberlain) vs 1971 Bucks (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson)
  4. Wilt Chamberlain – 1972 Lakers (Jerry West, Gail Goodrich) vs 1972 Knicks (Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Earl Monroe, Bill Bradley, Dave Debusschere)
  5. Dr J – 1985 76ers (Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks, Charles Barkley) vs 1985 Bucks (Sidney Moncrief)
  6. Larry Bird – 1986 Celtics (Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson, Bill Walton) vs 1986 Hawks (Dominique Wilkins)
  7. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 1987 Lakers (Magic Johnson, James Worthy) vs 1987 Celtics (Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson, Bill Walton)
  8. Isiah Thomas – 1989 Pistons (Joe Dumars, Dennis Rodman) vs 1989 Bulls (Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen)
  9. Magic Johnson – 1991 Lakers (James Worthy) vs 1991 Trailblazers (Clyde Drexler, Drazen Petrovic)
  10. Scottie Pippen – 1993 Bulls (Michael Jordan) vs 1993 Hornets (Alonzo Mourning)
  11. Hakeem Olajuwon – 1994 Rockets vs 1994 Nuggets (Dikembe Mutombo)
  12. Patrick Ewing – 1995 Knicks vs 1995 Magic (Shaq)
  13. Michael Jordan – 1996 Bulls (Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman) vs 1996 Sonics (Gary Payton)
  14. Karl Malone – 1998 Jazz (John Stockton) vs 1998 Lakers (Shaq, Kobe Bryant)
  15. John Stockton – 1998 Jazz (Karl Malone) vs 1998 Spurs (David Robinson, Tim Duncan)

How 2K12 chose their 15 players is interesting to me – I mean they mostly got it right except for the off inclusion of Patrick Ewing who I don’t think anybody besides hardcore Knicks fans would really include as a top 15 player all time. Using the 1985 76ers is also an odd inclusion but it’s most likely because they wanted to get Charles Barkley in (but eventually couldn’t due to licensing issues) – the 1983 version is almost better in every way.

So here’s what I would change to get it up to speed to 2019 (and assuming I have all the licenses of every NBA legend including notoriously Charles Barkley who has been reluctant to include himself in NBA games for years)

  1. Bill Russell – 1960 Celtics (Sam Jones, Bob Cousy, Tom Heinsohn, Bill Sharman) vs 1960 Hawks (Bob Pettit, Cliff Hagan) – I chose the 1960 team because it gives us Cousy and Sharman and we get to see the perennially underrated Bob Pettit as well
  2. Oscar Robertson – 1971 Bucks (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Dandridge) vs 1971 Hawks (Pete Maravich) – I have no problems with keeping this matchup the same
  3. Wilt Chamberlain – 1967 76ers (Chet Walker, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham) vs 1967 Warriors (Rick Barry, Nate Thurmond) – not only is this Wilt’s best team but we get a whopping 5 new HOFers because of it! Have no idea why 2K didn’t use this team in 2K12.
  4. Jerry West – 1970 Lakers (Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, Wilt Chamberlain) vs 1970 Knicks (Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Dave Debusschere, Bill Bradley) – Why not the 1972 version? because I want to keep Elgin Baylor that’s why
  5. Dr J – 1983 76ers (Moses Malone, Bobby Jones, Maurice Cheeks) vs 1983 Bucks (Sidney Moncrief, Bob Lanier, Marques Johnson) – The 1983 version is strictly better than the 1985 version and gives us Bobby Jones as well. Same with the Bucks we get 2 extra HOFers there too.
  6. Larry Bird – 1986 Celtics (Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson, Bill Walton) vs 1986 Rockets (Hakeem Olajuwon, Ralph Sampson) – changing the Hawks to the Rockets, sorry Dominique and sorry Hakeem you’re not headlining a spot anymore
  7. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 1985 Lakers (Magic Johnson, Bob McAdoo, Jamaal Wilkes) vs 1985 Celtics (Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson) – It makes sense for this to be the 1985 Lakers because it’s Kareem’s favorite Showtime team and the one he won Finals MVP with, and also gets us McAdoo and Wilkes as well.
  8. Magic Johnson – 1988 Lakers (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy) vs 1988 Pistons (Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars, Adrian Dantley) – Sorry Isiah I demoted you from headline status but you still get a secondary role as Magic’s opponent
  9. Michael Jordan – 1993 Bulls (Scottie Pippen) vs 1993 Suns (Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson) – This is when MJ was at his peak – and we just gotta include a Barkley team so this is it
  10. Karl Malone – 1998 Jazz (John Stockton) vs 1998 Spurs (David Robinson, Tim Duncan) – keeping this one more or less as is

Removed Patrick Ewing, demoted Hakeem, Isiah, Stockton and Pippen to make way for:

11. John Havlicek – 1976 Celtics (Dave Cowens, Jo Jo White) vs 1976 Bullets (Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes, Dave Bing) – we get a whopping 5 new HOFers to play with in this matchup!

12. Shaq – 2001 Lakers (Kobe Bryant) vs 2001 76ers (Allen Iverson, Dikembe Mutombo) – this is clearly the best team of the Shaq-Kobe Lakers and we get the ever popular Iverson here as well

13. Kobe Bryant – 2008 Lakers (Pau Gasol) vs 2008 Celtics (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo) – we get an extra 5 HoFers added in this matchup as well

14. Lebron James – 2013 Heat (Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen) vs 2013 Spurs (Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard) – we get probably the best matchup between the two leading dynasties of the era and a whopping 8 HoFers playing in this matchup!

15. Stephen Curry – 2018 Warriors (Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green) vs 2018 Rockets (James Harden, Chris Paul) – the Rockets were the toughest matchup for the Warriors Dynasty (sorry Cavs) and this way we get a good 6 HoFers out of it. Sorry KD I put Curry as the headliner because he was the de facto leader of the dynasty.

That’s the 15 teams I would choose for the next ‘Legends’ showcase I think these are better choices and add considerably more depth and more HoF talent for players to play with

Can you make a cheap electric guitar good by switching the pickups for good ones? What else can you do to it to make it sound better?

Yes but there are a few upgrades that you can do to keep improving it. In order, I think these are the tone upgrades you should be looking for.

  1. Adjust your bridge saddles, pickup heights, action, and intonation – this costs 0$ and will improve the sound of your guitar greatly. Also if you have a strat, take off the back tremolo cover. This is a simple thing that Eric Johnson, John Mayer, SRV etc all did because it improves your tone and it takes like 1 minute to do.
  2. Pickup swap – pickups are the most significant guitar hardware upgrade you can do, and this can cost anywhere between $30 for GFS pickups to $1000+ for Seymour Duncan Zephyr, Abigail Ybarra or Tom Holmes pickups, pickups makers can really run the gamut and there’s a whole cottage industry out there. Also keep in mind you are using the correct pots and cap values, and with Fenders you should keep your volume and tone at full unless you have a treble bleed circuit or ‘Greasebucket’ circuit that correctly balances the treble/bass with the volume.
  3. Strings. Upgrade your strings, I’ve used Elixir coated strings for many years, but some people may prefer the traditional pure nickel strings, or nickel plated steel or some of Ernie Ball or D’addario’s or Dean Markley Blue Steel or DR Veritas new strings.
  4. Cables. If you are using a longer cable, try using a shorter one. The longer the cable length, the more highs you will lose from your tone.
  5. Pick. You can change out your picks, and Dunlop has virtually every pick type covered, different picks will produce different tone
  6. Tremolo / bridge / springs – you can swap out the bridge saddles for titanium ones (ie. KTS), add a brass sustain block (Schaller, KGC etc), and change out the springs (i.e Raw Vintage )
  7. Nut. You can change out the nut to get better tuning stability and a minor improvement in tone (i.e Graphtech)
  8. If you are using a few pedals, getting true bypass ones are fine but if you have many, make sure you put at least one buffered bypass pedal in your chain to offset the treble loss

There’s also other upgrades you can make to improve convenience and playability (locking tuners, different bridge types, neck radius, locking straps etc) but these won’t generally improve your tone.