The Specializations Debate

One of the many new additions that has been unveiled in MyNBA2K16 is Specializations. Like Enhancements, Specializations increase specific categories for each player. Each card has one Specialization, while foil cards have two specializations. Specialization cards can upgrade the strength of a player card’s specializations.

With the description out of the way I’d like to discuss the controversy around specializations, going through the pros and the cons.


They don’t always make sense. MyNBA grinders always cringe when they pull a Point Guard with a specialization in rebounding, it just doesn’t make sense. You’re trying to tell me that my Muggsy Bogues card (a player that averaged 2.6 RPG) specializes in rebounding?!? Or how about my Kareem Abdul-Jabbar specializing in playmaking?? When you get pulls like that it’s easy to question the sense in having specializations at all.


Because Whiteside is known for everything but his rebounding, right?!?!


It’s harder to have OP cards. It’s always fun to have those cards that kill all the others in specific categories. A Kevin Durant card with offensive enhancements and offensive specialization would be an unstoppable offensive force; however, you pull that card with, say, playmaking specialization and your dreams of dominance fade faster than Lance Stephenson’s NBA ability. If you’re even remotely OCD then the randomness of specializations will drive you up a wall.

They’re redundant. Why do we even need specializations if you have enhancements? They’re basically the same thing, only you have less control over them. It’s like coaching for the 76ers rather than the Spurs; same job, less control.

Most foil cards are a waste/letdown. A foil common card is the prettiest completely-insignificant card in existence. Whenever you pull one and you see the shiny gold border there’s a moment of elation before you realize it’s only training fodder. It’s like hearing a new Batman movie is coming out, only to hear Ben Affleck is playing Batman. Really there’s no reason to allow anything under a Rare card to be a foil.

Pulling one of these is like getting choked out by Latrell Sprewell.

Pulling one of these is like getting choked out by Latrell Sprewell.


At this point you may be asking, “specializations sounds pretty stupid, why have them at all?” Stay tuned for the pros…



Each card is truly different. Between the RTTC and RC events, thousands and thousands of MyNBA players are getting the same cards. However, thanks to enhancements, specializations and foils, most of those cards are not exactly the same. There’s something cool about having a card that isn’t exactly the same as what everyone else out there has.

They can make a card that much more awesome. If you happen to be the lucky one that gets the right variation of specializations and if you use your enhancements right then you can make some truly beastly cards. Cards that (like pointed out above) others may not be so lucky to have pulled, due to the allotted specializations.


Pretty hard to complain about these specs!


Foils are pretty awesome. I don’t know about you, but I win most of my quick games using a foil card as the x-factor. If you play your cards right you end up winning quick games using a foil card that can beast other cards in its tier. It’s just another way to dominate the game if you’re a smart player.

Specializations can help players be more well-rounded. There’s an ongoing debate as to how enhancements should be used: either you can pump them into a card’s top categories to make it as OP as possible, or add them towards the weaker categories to make the card more balanced. If you’re in the latter camp then you’re more likely to appreciate specializations. When I pull a card I put my enhancements on the non-specialized categories and then I have well-balanced cards that are less likely to fall short in quick games. Yes, a well-rounded Blake Griffin card seems absurd in real life but I’ve mostly given up on this app having true-to-life abilities (i.e. Kevin Durant’s offense higher than Michael Jordan, James Harden defense higher than Scottie Pippen, Russell Westbrook’s offense as his lowest category, etc, etc, etc).


Now there’s a well-rounded card!



When all is said and done I find specializations intriguing, and I’ve found that I like them more than I hate them; I DO believe I’m in the minority in that, but I could be wrong; usually the malcontent are the most vocal.

My suggestion is that they either make specializations position-specific (Centers and Power Forwards never get PM and Guards never get REB) or ability-specific, like Roy Hibbert never getting PM specialization but Paul Gasol can (because Gasol is actually a very good passer). To me that would be the perfect compromise so specializations could still be kept and the outcomes wouldn’t be as outrageous. What do you think? Join the discussion HERE and let us know!

3 years ago
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Written by McDiddy
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