Success can change people. In my case, my success as a game-changing superstar athlete in NBA 2K21 has cost me my relationship with my virtual best friend Archie Baldwin. He’s still my agent and confidant but our friendship has clearly been deteriorating and neither of us nor videogame will let us address it.
(Warning: Spoilers for NBA 2K21 MyCareer: The Long Shadow)
We met after one of my character’s high school basketball games. As a fully-grown man standing 6”10 in a sea of young Newark East High teens, it was easy for me to dominate the game. I bullied my way into 15 points and 10 rebounds in a win against some other children from another highschool.
Archie came up to me after the game to give me some kind words. He was polite enough not to mention the fact that again, I was a grown-ass man playing with 7th graders. We became fast friends.
He said that I had potential and that he had connections in the basketball world that would be very interested in my talents. That I could make a career out of playing basketball just like my old man— the legendary Duke. Archie said that I could be just like my dad, despite him being 2 feet shorter than me, play a different position, and have no physical resemblance to him whatsoever, I believed him.
Since that day, Archie and I have become best friends. He’d watch every single one of my games, and helped me get to the college that I wanted to play for. I stuck up for him and he stuck up for me. He was even there for me during my abrupt and irrational break-up with a girl I really liked but only saw for like 3 whole cutscenes.
He knew me and treated me like his own son. That’s why even though Harper Dell, a bigtime agent who handles all the superstar athletes, reached out to represent me, I still stuck by my man Arch even after I got drafted into the league.
Archie and I have gone through a lot together and through it all but what I remember most was the restaurant. Whenever there was a looming life decision, we’d always talk it over in that Latin restaurant that he always loved. We’d sit at the same table but we’d never really order any food (which is mind-blowing that they kept letting us do that) and we’d take our time to talk and mull over stuff. I always cherished those times in that nameless, foodless restaurant.
Right now, as I type this, I have been thriving in my rookie year in the NBA. I’m leading the Dallas Mavericks to the number 3 spot in the West where we’re looking at possibly winning a championship. I have endorsement from Beats by Dre, Mobil 1, Nike, and Gatorade. I’ve been on magazine covers and I’m being billed as a bigger star than my father ever was. However, I can’t help but feel like this has come at a heavy cost. I can’t help but feel like my friendship with Archie is now just a shadow of its former self.
Archie is still around. He’s still my agent. He still gives me solid praise and advice after a big game and he still does the best for my career. However, I never really see him anymore. All our conversations have now been reduced to text exchanges and emails. He’d set me up with his contacts in the different brands that he knew but he’d never be there with me to negotiate the terms of the deal.
On big paydays, I’d at least hope to catch a glimpse of him as he handed in our earnings or possibly even grab a Gatorade from the gym next to his office to celebrate. Instead whenever I’d come to his building, he doesn’t even open the door or come out to see me. He just wires me the money with a generic message that he uses every time—just like how he does with the other faceless talents that come up collecting.
“Junior! Thanks for stopping by. Here’s your VC. Treat yourself to something nice” Yeah, thanks Arch.
Was it something I said? Is it our schedules? Does friendship have to be pencilled in now? Has he moved on to other clients to form an hours long bond with? We can never really know for sure. The fact of the matter is that we are slowly drifting apart and there seems to be no way in the game that we can fix things.
I really miss Archie. I miss hanging out with him. I miss the Latin restaurant. I miss my best friend. I feel like he was such a big part of my journey it feels weird to not have him around when we’re at the destination. Maybe we can keep in better touch if I start a new MyCareer.
Will NBA 2K21 ever let us reconnect with Arch? Give us some feedback in the comments below. For more NBA stuff check out NBA 2K’s $250,000 USD MyTeam Unlimited Tournament is Kicking Off Right Now! and Cover 2 Cover: A Retrospective on 20 Years of NBA 2K Cover Athletes | Part 1
And while you’re at it leave us a like on the GG Network Facebook Page so we can keep you entertained with more videogames and geek stuff! Take care and stay safe out there!
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