This is without a doubt a huge leap forward, not just for NBA games but for all sports games. 2K Have really taking this to a whole other level. I stopped following the NBA a few years ago but this game was recommended to me and I don't regret buying it for a second.
The depth in the "My Player" mode goes far beyond anything I have ever seen in a sports game. You can spend your wages on various things including nights out for you and your team (to help raise moral and build chemistry), you can pay for one on one tuition or start up a youth center (to gain support from your local fans) and a whole lot more. You can perform training drills to improve your skills, sign endorsements, request a trade to another team, negotiate your contract and wages, customise your player, track a whole bunch of stats, take part in post-match press conferences where your answers will effect team moral/chemistry, the way NBA fans view you and the way your local fans view you plus a whole bunch of other stuff.
It is unbelievably challenging, during each game you're given a rating (A - brilliant, F - terrible) My average is a C, my best is a B- and my worst is a D- out of twelve games my team has won 5. It is brutally difficult at times, if you make a mistake you're not just punished by losing the game, you lose XP (or skill points as they call it) for every mistake. Miss a shot? You lose XP, the player you're supposed to be marking makes a good pass or gets a basket, you lose XP. Lose the ball? You lose XP. Give away a foul? You lose xp (and are probably benched for a few minutes).
It enrages me at times but when you play well you feel amazing. The depth of the 'My Player' mode alone is completely mind blowing and worth spending 30 quid on. It is hands down the most in depth sports game ever released.
The commentary is also incredible (this review can't do it justice, it is literally the most realistic commentary you will come across this year).
They could do with adding more options for your characters appearance and maybe turning down the difficulty a notch or two (or at least giving a lower difficulty setting for noobs such as myself). But aside from that this game is incredible.
If games like Fifa and UFC want to compete with this then they really need to put more time into their single player modes.