Each year, the NBA 2K franchise adds to its long list of classic teams These are often legendary squads from the past who accomplished greatness. Even if they didn't win a championship or even make it far in the playoffs, these teams usually have a characteristic about them that stands out. The "We Believe" Golden State Warriors of 2007 or the 1994 Denver Nuggets who pulled off one of the most stunning upsets in basketball history come to mind.
However, with such a large number of classic teams to choose from, not all of them can be great. Some of these selections are kind of questionable and you're left wondering who would ever choose to play as them other than hardcore fans of the franchise. With that in mind, we're ranking the best classic teams in NBA 2K20 and the worst.
10 Worst: 2007 Cleveland Cavaliers
We understand the inclusion of this iteration of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 2007 team made it to the NBA Finals by winning a thrilling series against the Detroit Pistons that featured LeBron James going on an unprecedented scoring run. Unfortunately, that was most of what this team had going for it.
Many consider this to be one of the worst teams to ever make the NBA Finals. It is as if a young LeBron James willed them to that position. Consider that the rest of the roster was led by Larry Hughes, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Drew Gooden, and you'll see that this wasn't exactly a loaded team. There's a reason the Spurs promptly swept them in the finals.
9 Best: 2014 San Antonio Spurs
This is the first year where this team is included. The 2014 San Antonio Spurs is one of the best teams in league history and they're also probably one of the most overlooked. The Spurs have never played the flashiest brand of basketball and they have quiet stars. That was the case in 2014 as well.
But this was the team that put a stop to the seemingly unbeatable Miami Heat led by LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. These Spurs put on an exhibition in passing all season long. They throttled the Heat with an easy Finals win in five games. The quartet of Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili is a lethal one.
8 Worst: 2012 New York Knicks
The inclusion of the 2012 New York Knicks is a head-scratcher. During that lockout-shortened season, it wasn't like these Knicks made an impact in any real way. They went just 36-30 and got trounced in the first round in five games by the eventual NBA champion Miami Heat.
On paper, this roster might be fun to play with. Carmelo Anthony could score with the best of them, JR Smith is always a wild bet for fun, Amar'e Stoudemire is healthy in the game, and Linsanity could be showcased. There was also a slew of veterans like Mike Bibby and Baron Davis on the roster. They just wouldn't compete with some of the other classic teams.
7 Best: 1971 Milwaukee Bucks
With a 66-16 record, the 1970-1971 Milwaukee Bucks were a powerhouse. They also ran through the playoffs, winning two series in five games and then sweeping the NBA Finals to give the franchise its only title in history. Why were they so good? The combination of two Hall of Famers is a major reason why.
These Milwaukee Bucks were led by Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. You may never find a better pair of NBA stars in history. Throw in Bob Dandridge and you've got something unstoppable. They led the league in scoring and had one of the top-ranked defenses, so they dominated on both ends.
6 Worst: 2003 Phoenix Suns
These guys are another new addition to the NBA 2K20 rosters. These 2002-2003 Phoenix Suns are a lot like the 2012 Knicks. There are reasons why they would be fun to play with, like trying to relive the infamous Amar'e Stoudemire dunk that caused Stephon Marbury to show disgust across his face, but they weren't anything special.
You'll find a lot of talent on this roster. Along with Marbury and that season's Rookie of the Year winner Stoudemire, these Suns also boasted Shawn Marion, a veteran Anfernee Hardaway, and a young Joe Johnson. But other than a Marbury buzzer-beater, these Suns didn't have an impact on the playoffs and were sent home quickly.
5 Best: 1986 Boston Celtics
You just knew that one of these '80s Boston Celtics units had to be included. The 1986 team was an absolute juggernaut. They went 67-15 on the season and set a record by finishing a staggering 40-1 on their homecourt. That expanded into a postseason where they went unbeaten at home en route to an NBA Championship.
A roster that included league Most Valuable Player and Finals MVP Larry Bird, as well as legendary Kevin McHale, Dennis Johnson, and Robert Parish was too much for the rest of the NBA. Then they added another Hall of Famer in Bill Walton to really make things difficult on their opponents. Picking them in NBA 2K20 is almost unfair.
4 Worst: 1990 Cleveland Cavaliers
Unfortunately, the Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves on the negative side on this list for the second time. The 1989-1990 version was definitely a talented bunch. Ron Harper, Mark Price, Brad Daugherty, Larry Nance, and Hot Rod Williams all came together to form a strong basketball team.
However, they just weren't good enough to really justify being included in NBA 2k20. The 1988-1989 Cavaliers boasted a similar roster and won 57 games, but they followed it up with a 42 win season. It seems like the 89 version should have been included instead.
3 Best: 1987 Los Angeles Lakers
It's showtime, baby! If it wasn't for the top team on our list, many consider the 1986-1987 Los Angeles Lakers to be the best team in NBA history. They completely changed the game of basketball and made the fast break an art form. It was almost impossible to beat them in any facet of the game.
Magic Johnson dominated as a scorer and passer en route to winning the MVP Award. James Worthy was a clutch scorer. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar still owned the paint. Byron Scott was a defensive stalwart. Guys like A.C. Green, Mychal Thompson, Michael Cooper, and Kurt Rambis all chipped in at key moments. These Lakers were incredible.
2 Worst: 2007 Washington Wizards
This is another case where it is understandable why they're included. While the 2006-2007 Washington Wizards only went a meager 41-41 during the regular season and got swept in the playoffs, their roster was notable. The trio of Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, and Caron Butler was explosive and about as high scoring as they come.
Arenas, Jamison, and Butler were a "Big Three" before that term became popular in the NBA. The problem was that the roster was ridiculously thin. Their next highest scorer was the inconsistent DeShawn Stevenson at 11.2ppg and nobody else averaged close to double digits.
1 Best: 1996 Chicago Bulls
Could it be anyone else? The 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls are the best team in NBA history no matter how you slice it. They set the record by going 72-10 during the regular season and then went 15-3 through the playoffs to come away with an NBA Championship. It certainly helps to have the greatest of all-time on your roster.
Michael Jordan was the clear Most Valuable Player and Scottie Pippen brought his brand of versatile play to make him a perfect compliment to Jordan. Dennis Rodman grabbed rebounds like nobody's business and Toni Kukoč led the way for a barrage of role players who all excelled at what they were tasked with. About as close to a perfect basketball team as you can get.