If NBA 2K6 was not available at such a low price (I managed to obtain a copy for 5$ albeit used). I would have never thought of buying an older sports game. I also acquired a copy of NBA 06 at the same time. Seeing that I played them both until completing their respective achievements, I will use the other game in comparison in all aspect of the game.
Game play: 7/10
The game is setup with fairly easy controls to learn to play the game. Offense setup is fairly easy to learn as with the defense controls. All basics moves are there. Passing is not complicated as all you have to do is face the teammate to pass the ball to. In harder difficulties you just have to be aware of the opponents in the way to force turnovers. Depending on the distance to the basket you have two types of shots to use to score. The same can be said for defense moves in stealing, jumping to block and intercepting the pass. With the use of each of the NBA teams, their superstars have certain moves that will help you score slightly easier.
There are quick games, season mode and multi player options. In local multi-player the game allows you to have up to four controllers. I did not play this game online and thus I cannot comment on it.
The graphics are quite good. Not only can you tell their faces from their real life counterpart, you can notice height and weight differences between the players. Not everyone is a clone with a face rendered on. Only the crowd looks a bit two dimensional.
Sound and Music: 7/10
I like the in game sound as you hear sneakers squeaking and the crow cheering. Seems like most sports games has real songs in the menu screens, the songs are good but get fairly boring with its repetitiveness.
Difficulty: 1/10 (Degree of skill to enjoy the game)
Basketball is a simple game. The game offers a variety of ways to adjust to your skill level. From changing rules to creating rosters you can adjust the game to suit your needs and help balance out matches between friends.
In comparison to NBA Live06 I would have to say as a single player game both are about even. I see in most places the prices are the same. For the price I am sure you will have some fun with the game and look forward to future releases.