The NBA 2K series is apparently so realistic that the best basketball player on the planet uses it to test out lineups and matchups.
LeBron James said he's used the videogame to visualize how the team can best use Isaiah Thomas, the All-Star guard whom the Cavaliers acquired in the deal that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston before the season. Thomas has not played this season as he recovers from a labral tear in his hip. He's expected to return around Christmas.
Cleveland got off to a disappointing 5–7 start but have won 12 straight and now sit in second in the Eastern Conference. Thomas reportedly scrimmaged with the team this week.
ESPN's Dave McMenamin reported that James uses the game, with James saying "It’s the most realistic basketball game you could ever play. I mix and match a lot of lineup changes to see how we can be really good. I’ve done that."
Firstly, LeBron is a basketball genius who will go to any length to give his team a competitive advantage—James is apparently so well-versed in both his and his opponents' styles that he routinely calls out the other team's plays while he's on defense. So it really shouldn't come as a surprise that James is using 2K as a resource rather than just a fun diversion.
The real winner here is the 2K franchise; what better advertising than the biggest basketball player in the world saying that your game is real enough to use as sort of virtual reality film study?