NBA 2K3 was the first basketball game I purchased, and it's still the only one I own to date.
NBA 2K3 has extremely good controls, and the controls for this game feel natural as you play. In order to effectively make baskets on a consistent basis you will have to hone your skills and learn how to release your shot at the top of your jump. This is key to making long distance shots in this game.
This game doesn't play like a "Street Hoops" type of game, you will have to run your offense much like an actual NBA team would. Throwing up wild off-balance shots will almost never lead to success, so you will have to use your plays to set up the strengths of the players on your roster. The key to winning in this game is playing solid defense, and getting good shots in your offense to fall.
NBA 2K3 also features presentation in the style of ESPN. You can track stats for every player and team, watch informative intros prior to a game to determine how to attack your opponent, and the commentary in this game is actually pretty good for a game released in 2002.
If you're looking for a basketball game but don't have the cash for the latest release on the PS3 or 360, bust our your PS2 and pick up NBA 2K3 for $.99 at your local used video game store. You'll have just as much fun as you would with a modern-day NBA game, at a fraction of the cost.