Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of the five worst prizes that you can get on the Daily Spin in MyCAREER.
We’ve taken a look at the best, so now it’s time to check out the worst! Last week, I listed my picks for the best Daily Spin prizes; the most desirable freebies that the wheel had to offer. This week, it’s all about the prizes that feel like a slap in the face. You’d almost rather win nothing than see the wheel land on these prizes, and when your player pumps their fist at seeing the result, it’s like it’s rubbing it in. Sure, free is free and we shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but in our disappointment, it’s difficult to even call these “prizes”.
Once again, these are my personal picks, and at least a couple of them are subjective. The usefulness of certain prizes does depend on your choice of modes, and what’s useful to one gamer may be utterly useless to another. There’s certainly room for discussion and disagreement, just as there was when it came to the best prizes to get on the Daily Spin. However, based on my experiences and habits in MyCAREER, as well as taking into account how appropriate certain prizes are for different gamers, these are my picks. By all means feel free to disagree and suggest your own picks in the comments. With that being said, here are the worst Daily Spin prizes, in my view.
1. Swag’s Item
Of all the free clothing item prizes you can win on the Daily Spin, the Swag’s Item would have to objectively, consistently be the worst. There are other ill-fitting prizes you can win – more on that later – but landing on Swag’s is always tremendously disappointing. The simple reason for that is that the range of items that are actually prize eligible is extremely limited. There are a lot of fancy and potentially appealing items for sale in Swag’s, many of them carrying hefty price tags, but you’ll never be able to snag them with a Daily Spin prize. No, you’ll only be getting the designer clothes, watches, and other expensive gear if you shell out upwards of 25,000 VC.
What do you get with a free Swag’s Item from the Daily Spin? One of the plain t-shirts, basketball shorts, maybe one or two other cheap items…and that’s basically it. You’ve got a bit more to choose from if you happen to win an item of a specific brand, but if it’s just the free Swag’s Item, you might as well not bother heading there to pick up your prize. You can’t even use it to buy accessories for 2K Pro-Am and The Rec, which would at least be useful (and like NBA accessories, probably should be free anyway). Some of these other Daily Spin prizes, while somewhat underwhelming, are still useful or desirable in their own right. A free item from Swag’s is a complete bust.
2. 2x MyREP…If You Don’t Play Online
Now, I do venture online and I have an interest in raising my MyREP, so this isn’t a bad prize for me personally. However, for gamers who only play the NBA side of MyCAREER, it’s a completely useless prize that they’ll never take advantage of. Even if you are an online gamer, if you don’t have the time or inclination to play at that very moment, it can also go to waste. The duration that the 2x MyREP bonus lasts has also been nerfed in NBA 2K21 Current Gen, with the five hour prize being eliminated. I can understand that on one hand, but if you’re a 2K Pro-Am or Rec baller, then the one hour boost is really only good for one game, and that’s if you get in straight away.
Honestly, this emphasises the problem with the MyREP system. As I’ve discussed in previous articles, it’s an online-only rewards system, yet it also includes content that strictly offline/NBA MyCAREER gamers would be interested in, such as animations and MyCOURT customisation. The rewards were also poorly distributed once again in NBA 2K21. I’d say that it was a copy and paste job, but they actually made a few changes that placed certain rewards at even worse levels. In short, anything to do with MyREP is a disappointment for offline gamers, and honestly, not that much better for online gamers, either. Even though I’ve made use of it, it’s one of the worst prizes.
3. Free Tattoo
I’m sure this is the one that comes to mind for a lot of people when they hear “worst Daily Spin prizes”. Imagine heading to the Daily Spin, hoping for some VC, some shoes, or at least some apparel you can wear in The Playground, such as a Hardwood Classics jersey or a branded t-shirt. The wheel goes round and round, slows down, and then finally…you win a free tattoo. On the plus side, you can now pick the tattoo if you decide to claim it, whereas in NBA 2K19 it just randomly assigned you one. Unfortunately, your choices are limited to what’s prize eligible, and not surprisingly, that excludes the premium tattoos, as well as a bulk of the cheaper ones, too.
Granted, if you do want to give your MyPLAYER some ink without breaking the bank, it’s convenient. I’ve often ignored the free tattoos that I win, but just for fun, I did claim and place them in my NBA 2K20 MyCAREER. Of course, I also had to place them all again after I won another one and tried to claim it, so it seems there’s a bug on top of everything else. I’m not saying you can’t have fun giving your player tattoos, and hey, it’s a lot cheaper than having to spend ridiculous amounts of VC on them. It’s a letdown when there are much better prizes on offer though, and “free tattoo” has become something of a running gag to sum up disappointing wheel spins.
4. Gatorade Boosts
This is one that some MyCAREER gamers may disagree with, but I’ve never found the Gatorade Boosts very useful. They just haven’t seemed to make much difference in my experience. Perhaps I’m careful enough with my sprint usage that I don’t find my player is winded very often once I’ve increased their Stamina attribute, or maybe I’m taking it for granted. Either way, I’m never thrilled when the wheel lands on one of the Gatorade Boosts prizes, which seems to be fairly often. With that in mind, I suppose I’ve rarely played without a decent supply of them, so there’s a chance that I’m not appreciating the usefulness of those virtual Gatorade products.
In any case, their benefit has never felt tangible to me; not in the same way as winning VC, shoes and clothing that I want, or even Skill Boosts. I always wish that I landed on one of those prizes when I end up with Gatorade Boosts, which I’ve never felt inclined to buy from the Gatorade Gym, either. If I may go on another tangent here, the whole extra sprint/working out for boosts mechanic is pointless busywork, and another way to waste VC that’s better spent on attribute upgrades. At least we don’t have to visit the Freshly Squeezed juice stand to unlock the full number of practice drills anymore. Remember when games used to be about playing virtual basketball?
5. Any Prizes that Don’t Match Endorsements
The ability to choose specific prizes from the various stores is an improvement over the approach in NBA 2K19, which was basically “Here’s what you’ve won, take it or leave it.” Once again, the range of items that are actually prize eligible isn’t always that broad, but you can usually find something that you’re grateful to pick up for free. The various apparel brands – Jordan, Nike, Under Armour, etc – are stingy with their premium items, but you can choose some clothing that’ll help you to stand out in The Playground. This prize can alternatively be used to pick up a pair of shoes, though the selection of eligible items in 2K Shoes is quite limited compared to its own giveaway.
So, what’s the drawback? Well, at some point in your MyCAREER, you’re going to get the endorsement deal of your choice. Once you’ve inked that contract, you’ll need to stick to your brand’s apparel. That means if you’ve signed with Jordan and you win an Under Armour prize, it’s going to go to waste. You can add it to your inventory, of course, but Jordan Brand is not going to be pleased if you ever don it. This is where it’d be extremely handy to be able to trade in unsuitable prizes – or indeed, any prizes that you don’t want – for a token amount of VC, like quick-selling a MyTEAM card for MT. Sadly, I can’t see that level of generosity coming to the Daily Spin prizes.
What are your picks for the worst Daily Spin prizes? Let me know in the comments, and as always, feel free to take the discussion to the NLSC Forum! That’s all for this week, so thanks for checking in, have a great weekend, and please join me again next Friday for another Five.