In MyCareer, you create your own NBA player. You play a few college games before the NBA draft, which determines your placing in the draft. You are then drafted and become a bench player on a team, where you must work your way up to a starter. In newer NBA 2K games, there are cutscenes which tell a story. The ultimate end goal is to meet the Hall of Fame requirements and retire.
You can also schedule get-togethers with current and former players, your GM, your coach, and even high-school friends, along with endorsement appearances. You must make sure that your schedule doesn't overlap. Along with this, you must attend team practices along with the choice of attending open gym practices.
You create your own playable character, either straight out of college or high school. You have the ability to create his appearance, determine his personality, upgrade his stats and even choose the type of shoes he wears. Along with this, you can choose archetypes specific to your position, such as Sharpshooter for guards and Glass Cleaner for big men. You may also customize things such as height, weight and wingspan, which can lower or raise the stats that you start with.
Eventually, you may be asked to create your own shoe with the company you signed a contract.
- Player Character - The player you control and play with.
- Jackson Ellis - The playable character's rival. He wears the jersey number 99.
- Agent - He is the playable character's agent and representative.
- "Super" Agent - Super Agent attempts to become the playable character's new agent by promising him bigger and better deals than he would have with the regular agent.
- General Manger - He interacts with the playable character to determine how he can help out. Interactions include Everything is Great, Give Me the Ball More, More Minutes, Not getting along with Coach, Not getting along with teammate, Request a Trade.
- Assistant Coach - The assistant coach helps the Coach out with the team and shows up to help or praise the playable character.
In MyCareer, MyPlayers own a MyCourt. You can customize it, adding things such as custom backboards, courts, balls and even a wall mural. Your Player of the Game, Week, Month and Year awards hang on the wall, above your trophies on shelves, which hang above your shoe collection. You can invite anybody to hang out with you on your MyCourt. You can also play drills with NBA players in order to fill up your Doin' Work meter. It is possible in NBA2k17 to change your MyCourt location, however MyCourt has been completely removed in NBA 2K21.
You have the ability to upgrade your attributes, which raise your overall as they raise. You can choose to play online or offline MyCareer. Choosing online gives you Virtual Currency, while offline gives you Special Points. You can spend either to purchase attribute upgrades. However, your player has an attribute upgrade cap. You get to a point where you must fill the Doin' Work meter in order to raise your attribute upgrade cap. You fill this meter by attending practices and doing drills.
There are a variety of endorsements that are unlocked throughout MyCareer, such as shoe contracts, movie endorsements, magazine covers, billboards, and even being on the cover of the next NBA 2K game. Some of these have an impact on the story, such as the ability to get a new agent. The more fans you get the bigger endorsement deals you get. The bigger the deal is, the more VC you gain.
You can get in contact with people through your phone in MyCareer. You can use this text messaging to communicate with your GM, coach, agent, other players, and even your girlfriend. You also use the messaging system to create your schedule. Overlapping your schedule causes you to miss meetings, which brings down your reputation and causes you to miss out on rewards. Missing meetings with your GM, coach or assistant coach can even bring down your playing minutes.
There is also a feature in MyCareer that allows the player to view Social Media, which is a similar version of Twitter in real life. The player is met with messages such as a legend calling the player out for not playing defense correctly, fans complimenting the player for an amount of points they got, or even people rooting for you as MVP.