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NBA 2K18 Classic Teams: All the New & Returning Squads



Hardcore and casual basketball fans all have their favorite NBA teams, and NBA 2K18 will give both groups a chance to relive their favorite squad’s best moments. 2K Games has confirmed the NBA 2K18 Classic Teams you get when you pick up a copy of the publisher’s premiere basketball game on September 19th.

Classic Teams really are your chance to relive some of the NBA’s best lineups. Each year, developer Visual Concepts looks back at past all-star rosters and includes the best of them in that year’s game. NBA 2K18 Classic Teams are stacked with memorable teams both new and old.

Read: NBA 2K18 Features: 7 Reasons to Upgrade

What are NBA 2K18 Classic Teams?

When a team does exceptionally well in the National Basketball League they’re hard to forget. That’s the point of Classic Teams. Visual Concepts wants people who were around when these teams played to relive the magic. At the same time, the studio is betting that gamers who weren’t around for a team’s reign will want to try them out.

The NBA 2K18 Classic Teams roster includes a total of 62 different teams. Some of these squads are recent, so you may remember them. Other squads were playing basketball back in the 1960s. Visual Concepts divides Classic Teams into squads that were in previous games and all-new squads that buyers of this year’s game can try for the first time.

Classic Teams aren’t to be confused with NBA 2K18’s roster of All-Star Teams. Those squads contain the best players in the league. These teams are classic because they were memorable, not necessarily because everyone on them was a high-percentage scorer or rebounder.

All the New NBA 2K18 Classic Teams Coming

NBA 2K18 has 17 new classic teams this year. Just two of those new teams are from before the year 2000. They are the 1996-1997 Heat and the 1998-1999 New York Knicks. All other new Classic Teams are from this century. They include:

  • 2006-2007 Warriors
  • 2001-2002 Kings
  • 2007-2008 Hornets
  • 2001-2002 Nets
  • 2007-2008 Nuggets
  • 2003-2005 Lakers
  • 2010-2011 Bulls
  • 2001-2011 Mavericks
  • 2011-2012 Knicks
  • 2004-2005 Spurs
  • 2011-2012 Thunder
  • 2005-2006 Grizzlies
  • 2005-2006 Heat
  • 2013-2014 Pacers
  • 2016-2016 Warriors.

If any of these are your favorites, you can look forward to playing as them in exhibition scrimmages.

Returning NBA 2K18 Classic Teams

There are far more returning NBA 2K18 Classic Teams than there are new squads. These returning teams span the entire existence of the National Basketball Association.

  • 1974-1965 Celtics
  • 1985-1986 Celtics
  • 1993-1994 Nuggets
  • 2001-2001 76ers
  • 1964-1965 Lakers
  • 1985-1986 Hawks
  • 1994-1995 Knicks
  • 2000-2001 Lakers
  • 2007-2008 Celtics
  • 1970-1971 Bucks
  • 1986-1987 Lakers
  • 1994-1995 Magic
  • 1970-1971 Lakers
  • 1988-1989 Pistons
  • 1995-1996 Bulls
  • 1970-1971 Hawks
  • 1988-1989 Bulls
  • 1995-1996 SuperSonics
  • 2002-2003 Mavericks
  • 2007-2008 Rockets
  • 1988-1989 Cavaliers
  • 1990-1991 Bulls
  • 1997-1998 Bulls
  • 2003-2004 Pistons
  • 1990-1991 Lakers
  • 1997-1998 Jazz
  • 2003-2004 Timberwolves
  • 1931-1972 Lakers
  • 1990-1991 Trail Blazers
  • 1997-1998 Lakers
  • 1971-1972 Knicks
  • 1901-1991 Warriors
  • 1997-1998 Spurs
  • 2004-2005 Suns
  • 1976-1977 76ers
  • 1992-1993 Bulls
  • 2012-2013 Heat
  • 1984-1985 Bucks
  • 1992-1993 Hornets
  • 1999-2000 Raptors
  • 1905-2006 Heat
  • 1985-1986 Bulls
  • 1993-1994 Rockets
  • 1999-2000 Trail Blazers
  • 2006-2007 Cavaliers

If any of these were your favorite classic teams from past games, they’re sticking around, so you can keep playing with them in NBA 2K18.

Read: NBA 2K18 MyLeague & MyGM – What’s New

Again, all these NBA 2K18 Classic Teams are available in the final version of the game that launches on September 19th. If that’s too far away for you, you can pick up your copy of the game early by placing an NBA 2K18 pre-order now.

The NBA 2K18 Prelude, a free demo that lets you start this year’s MyCareer mode, launches on September 8th on Xbox One and PS4.

NBA 2K18 Features: 8 Reasons to Upgrade

More Realistic Player Movement

More Realistic Player Movement

Speaking to Game Informer, NBA 2K18 gameplay director Mike Wang says that players can expect this year’s title to have a lot less animation in it.

“We’ve been accused of being animation heavy at times, and this year we’ve done a good job of making the game feel like you are in complete control,” Wang told the outlet in August.

The new physics system takes height, weight, acceleration and speed of each player into account before it renders any animation. That way, players react the way that you expect them to. It also means that transitioning for a layup or dunk is less jarring.

The NBA 2k18 images here are from GameInformer, to which 2K games shared new NBA 2K18 details.



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