NBA 2K12 releases names of legends in the game

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With the lockout likely to muck up the season, NBA 2K12 made a smart move — this year’s game is going to have legends of basketball that you can unlock and play.

We knew a few of them — Michael Jordan was back from last season, with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Three names aimed right at the heart of the NBA 2K12 demographic, not so coincidentally.

Now we have the list of the other players in the game, as reported by ESPN:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Jerry West.

And there is more.

Then again, the way the NBA’s Greatest mode is setup in the game, you can almost think of the 15 legends as 30 legendary teams as each legend not only has his actual teammates from the time period, but they are playing a rival from that same year, so although Dominique Wilkins is not among the 15 legends, he is in the game thanks to the matchup created when Larry Bird and the Celtics take on the 1985-86 Hawks.

We are pumped about this because it may be the only basketball on our television this fall.