“What does appear is something inherently phony and dishonest, punctured by racial caricatures. The white team owner performs an embarrassing mimic of street culture as he discusses Bloomberg and stock markets – an inexcusably broadly drawn, oblivious 1% villain who demands Freq break from his projects-locked brotherhood with childhood friend Vic. Lee isn’t drawing on racial experience; he’s drawing atrocious, even spiteful racial bias based on America’s fair discontent with income inequality. Lee’s contrast of life in the projects to a multi-million dollar office space thus feels counterfeit.
Livin’ da Dream’s story leans on poverty while NBA 2K16’s overlapping exterior begs for microtransaction dollars to make Freq a better player. The dichotomy is gross, more so than it has been in NBA 2K’s prior years. As Livin’ da Dream lambastes the narcissism abundant in wealth, it’s espousing financially beneficial features.”