The Association mode is a very deep simulation experience that should satisfy most simulation fans. There's a wealth of information available and the ability to customize the league and determine how much control the owner has over the team. The in-game engine, while showing some animation weaknesses, still provides a good simulation experience.
2K Sports needs to get the menu and gameplay controls simplified to the point where an advanced degree isn't needed to master the game. As it currently stands, there are a few too many nagging issues to qualify it as a major advancement in this series.