I agree with what Andrew said, some things I want to mention though.
The likeness issue will forever be there, we will never have a game that produces full historical teams 100% completed. Why? Well, some of these players have passed away, some want nothing to do with the NBA, and even some don't think they get paid enough to be in the game (For example, the Charles Barkley situation). Charles Barkley wanted equal billing to Julius Erving and Michael Jordan, and 2k wasn't having it, so he said he wouldn't sign on with the game. I've read a couple articles on this, and I do believe that this story is true. It's why you havn't seen Barkley in any of the regular rosters. So I get it... however. 2k could do a much better job of working around It, if they are not restrained on which classic teams (which years) they put in the game.
For example, instead of the 84-85 76ers which they put in the games for years, why not put the 82-83 76ers? The 84-85 76ers looked silly and empty without Barkley, but that team didn't win the championship, they didn't even make the finals, the 82-83 76ers won the title, and they had 7 or 8 players for that team already in the game. It is a much more logical choice. Why put the 90-91 TrailBlazers in the game? They were the team IN BETWEEN the two finals Blazers teams, why not the 89-90 Blazers that went to the finals and played the Pistons? or the 91-92 Blazers that went to the finals and played the Bulls?. Why not get a primed David Robinson team in there, you have like 9 or 10 guys that you have rights to for the 94-95 Spurs team? Why is there a gap between 76-77 and 84-85? Surely you can fill that gap with a couple teams (Like I said, the 82-83 76ers). When you implemented the new classic teams, how were the 04-05 Spurs (Who you have rights to most of the players) not included? I know Lebrons popular, but they are more relevant than the 06-07 Cavs, you released the Kobe edition of the game, but didn't include the 08-09 Lakers or the 09-10 Lakers, wouldn't that have made a lot of sense in honor of Kobe? you have most or all the guys from those teams. You have the rights to all of the 10-11 Mavericks, why not them?
I think part of the frustration from people is the common sense stuff that we say "Wait, how could that have been put through production, and not seen or fixed?". Like the blunders on portraits, the simming seasons and finding out power forwards/centers have like 5 assists and 3 steals for the whole season, guards have 0 blocks and like 20 rebounds for a whole season. And we, as the user, have to go in and fix all the tendencies and some of the attributes for it to be right. The classic teams issue above is another one, common sense choices bypassed for question marks. Now, maybe they reached out to the organizations and they said "No, I don't want you to represent us with that team", but I doubt that the 76ers would say no to honoring the 1983 championship team, or the Lakers being upset about honoring the late 2000's championship teams, or the Spurs scoffing at the 2005 Spurs championship team. Another frustration stems from recycled faces, or just bad unrealistic faces, that again the user questions how it got passed production. We have someone like PeacemanNOT, a 19 year old kid from Ireland going to school, modding during his breaks and producing amazing faces, how can he see how bad these faces are, fix them, release them, and it be better than the art department at 2k? Hakeem Olajuwon default in game looks nothing like him, I won't go down the list, but many of them are just way off. Now, they did produce some solid fixes this year (Bill Russell, Allen Iverson, David Robinson, etc). But why were those players so off for so many years, and why are so many players still off.
It's the same as the skinny body types, if 99% of the regular human population looks at these body types, and goes "WOW, these are NOT GOOD", and scoffs at them. How did the art department let that get passed production? Look at Dominiquie Wilkins, Kevin Willis, John Stockton, etc for classic players, and current players like Greek Freak, Jason Terry, Gordon Haywood... look at a picture of those guys, and than look at them in game... in game they look like me when I was 13, in real life they look like athletes with muscle. So how did that body type get passed production, when 99% of the people who play the game notice how bad it looks? Signature shots is another one where a user notices it right off the bat, some of them are just way off. How do we see that, the user, right off the bat, but it makes it through production?
It's the same when we watch some of the 2k crew sit down and play the game before launch (When they play on 2k view), and they are saying that certain things in the game that are happening are realistic, when cleary it's not, the consumer goes... wait.. what are they talking about? I know that 2k has a product to sell, and it is a business, but it's another situation where the consumer gets frustrated. Also, playing on the 2k view doesn't show off the game at all, or the realism of the game. I know that it's the "classic view", but no basketball game has ever been on tv with that view. All of the consumers moments/memories watching the NBA are on the broadcast view, why do they continue to push the 2k view so hard pre and post release?. We would get a better idea of the gameplay pre-release if the guys from 2k were playing it from the broadcast vantage point. Considering we don't get a demo, wouldn't that make more sense? Or, do two games, one on 2k view and one on broadcast? You guys have seen my highlight videos I've posted, they simulate the real life broadcast look. They also give you the real view of the space between players, and you can actually see the baseline and exactly how close to the hoop you are. Now, I know I went off on a little rant there, so I apologize.. but I think you can see where I am coming from. If I, the consumer, watch people who work for 2k or market for 2k, play the game, and they don't look like they are very good at it, or don't represent it the right way, or they call things realistic that are not, what is my trust level for them?
And that goes back to the gameplay things we complain about, like slow motion layups and slow motion dunks. If we, as the consumer, see that and on the first time go "Wait a minute, that looked really unrealistic", we wonder how it got passed production. The legacy issues/gameplay issues have been covered, and I know that these are tougher to fix than my other mentions above, but it just adds to the frustration. The other things I mentioned above, people in THIS community see right away and if they have the ability, they fix it.
So yes, sometimes the community comes off a bit like "know it alls", or acting like "its easy". But honestly, I think most of us just wonder how a lot of these things made it passed production. They are in there doing the faces, signature shots, portraits, teams anyway, why not do it right?
My comments above are more for me to explain in depth why I think the consumer gets frustrated, or why light is placed on other issues outside even the ones I mentioned above. I think its because we are just the consumer, and if we can see these things, how do they make it through production?