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NBA 2K2 offers a number of new features designed to improve upon Sega Sports' basketball franchise, which began on the Dreamcast in 1999. In addition to the NBA teams, players, and stadiums from the 2001-2002 season, NBA 2K2 includes five legends teams starring such greats as Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, and Bill Russell. Nine authentic street courts are also available in two-on-two or five-on-five action, from New York City's Rucker Park to Oakland's Mosswood Park.
Modes of play include Exhibition, an adjustable Season (from 14 to 82 games), Practice, Tourney, Playoffs, Fantasy, where players can create a custom tournament or league after drafting, and Franchise, which involves signing free agents, cutting players, making trades, and scouting for new talent before embarking on consecutive seasons. Players can also edit or create a team using ten custom logos as well as design their own star athlete from scratch.
Each player's abilities reflect those based on the 2001-2002 season, so the location of shots is important depending on the athlete. Moves such as crossover dribbles, pump fakes, speed bursts, and both icon and directional passing allow players multiple options to move the ball down the court. While approaching the net, players can press a single button to pass to the man closest to the basket or use their athlete's size advantage to back down a defender. Players can also call for a pick with a press of the button, pass out of a shot, or select one of four in-game offensive plays from a roster of 16.
Defensive moves include steals, a combination block and jump button, as well as the ability to face up a ball handler, double-team a star player, commit an intentional foul, and call one of seven defensive sets such as Man-to-Man or Half-Court Trap. Before playing a game, adjustments can be made for game speed, quarter length, and difficulty. In-game features include instant replay and a choice of five different camera angles. User statistics as well as season and franchise progress can be saved after each game. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide