When it comes to professional sports, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has been my preferred organization throughout the course of my life. I loved the NBA so much growing up that any time I was in the library, I would always search out books on NBA players and would even spend hours in the reference section browsing the books on NBA history. When it comes to the NBA, I can tell you when it started, who all of the NBA champions have been in its history, and can reference many players that a person my age shouldn’t even know about. Being an NBA historian was one of my hobbies growing up.
NBA 2K14 is the most modded NBA video game in history. The sheer number of mods that have come about since the game’s release in 2013 is tremendous. But there is one mod that stands above the rest and is so expansive and vast that when you download it, you’re basically getting a history of the NBA from its inception through the present. I don’t want to take anything away from other mod creators because they all do some excellent work. The mods for games such as The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Star Wars Battlefront II, Grand Theft Auto V, and many others are showcases of amazing talent and work of the highest quality. But with sports games, not only are the modders overhauling aspects such as teams, jerseys, courts, interface, and player likenesses. They also have to do the proper research to assign the players appropriate ratings so that the players will play close to their real counterparts. Research into statistics takes place, along with watching footage of these players. So when a mod such as the Ultimate Base Roster is released, the amount of work that has gone into it is staggering.
What is the Ultimate Base Roster (UBR) mod? It is a modification created by HAWK23 that takes the default PC version of NBA 2K14 and expands it into a virtual history of the NBA from its inception to the present. Yes, you can play as teams from the 1940s. It includes rosters from 67 complete seasons starting from 1952 and then skipping to 1955 through the present. The most recent update was released in January to include the current season’s rosters.
Along with the season-specific rosters, there is a roster that includes the current season rosters along with a plethora of classic teams. So if you want to match up the current Brooklyn Nets with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden against Dr. J’s ABA champion New York Nets team of 1976, have at it. There’s also rosters based on decades, as well as other treats for the user to discover. Any NBA great that you can think of is in this mod.
If you’ve been following the NBA 2K franchise for some time, you’ll notice that when it comes to classic teams and players, there are many missing from their games each year. Notable player absences have included Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, Rasheed Wallace, and Andrew Toney. The classic team omissions consists of the 1993 Phoenix Suns, 1998 Indiana Pacers, 1983 Philadelphia 76ers, 1992 New York Knicks, 1988 Dallas Mavericks, 1987 Seattle Supersonics, 1986 Houston Rockets, and 1999 San Antonio Spurs (instead of ’98).
All that I mentioned in the previous paragraph is found in the UBR mod. You’re basically able to re-create any NBA game in history with real accurate player likenesses, jerseys, courts, and even dornas that display the real sponsors that the teams used and other things such as the “NBA on NBC” when using a 90s team. The possibilities are endless with this mod and if you are an NBA fan, you will not run out of things to do. I have followed this mod since its early days and several years later, it is still going strong.
Over the years, I’ve come across outstanding Madden NFL, MVP Baseball, MLB 2K, and NHL mods. Yet none of them ever had a mod where you were able to experience the entire history of the respective sport with as much detail as the UBR mod. I’ve downloaded many season mods for ESPN NFL 2K5, but is missing all the seasons before 1979 and a few between 1979 and the present. Also, because the game was never ported to PC, there are no mods available to make the jerseys, stadiums, fields, and player likenesses more accurate. These considerations are why the UBR mod is in a class of its own.
I’m so thankful to HAWK23 and whoever he had helping him or contributing to this project. The UBR mod is a true representation of a labor of love. As a longtime NBA that is also a gamer, this is the perfect combination for me. I still play NBA 2K14 as my preferred choice of basketball gaming for two reasons. One is that I find the gameplay more fluid and responsive. And the second is because of the mods like the one shared in this post. If you have NBA 2K14, go to the Ultimate Base Roster website and check it out.
AUGUST 17TH UPDATE: THE ULTIMATE BASE ROSTER MOD IS BACK UP AS THE MOD CREATOR, HAWK23, HAS RETURNED ONLINE. THE MOD CAN BE ACCESSED AT http://www.ultimatenba2k.com.