NBA 2K19 might play brilliantly, but its own off-the-court issues get in the way of its success. The game provides a tremendous simulation of the 2K19 MT game, with sparkling presentation to match along with also a renewed attention on the inner-city origins that lots of NBA athletes share. Subsequently developer Visual Concepts takes this otherwise stellar game onto a detour toward microtransactions. The NBA 2K series has been on this path for years, but its emphasis on microtransactions reaches a new peak in NBA 2K19. It often feels like the better pieces of the game -- of which there are lots -- get lost in its own obsession with squeezing more money from its players. The growth of microtransactions in the NBA 2K series parallels the increasing tumult of this real-life NBA offseason. This season, 2K Sports had to change NBA 2K19's cover after a blockbuster trade put its cover athlete at a different uniform. To better capture that growing disarray in the league's offices, NBA 2K19 introduces a narrative to its franchise mode, MyGM. A player -- your created MyPlayer, specifically -- suffers a career-ending knee injury and afterwards takes up the reins as general supervisor. Trade Kyrie Irving away or put him at a different position; that's the crux of a group GM gig, with a hint of occasional internal team drama involved. It's a stretch to call it a narrative mode since the menu does, but minor expansions into MyGM contain dialogue exchanges and player interactions fresh to NBA 2K19. Not only is there a story in MyGM, there is still a bevy of MyPlayer options. Rather than invite Spike Lee to direct MyCareer (because he did back in NBA 2K16), Cheap NBA 2K MT Coins's approach settles down, focusing on the tumultuous rookie year of prior street baller DJ. It's largely satirical toward locker room civilization, a reprieve from the thick play of Madden NFL 18's Longshot or even past years of NBA 2K. For example, DJ's agent is not a lot of one, however, he does possess a catchphrase: "Eat what you kill" The characters don't appear to understand what that means (and they say so), but NBA 2K19 runs with it for the comedy.