From my own personal experience if I had to guess these modes are meant for children and young teens?
Around when I was in middle school I sunk hours into NBA Ballers on PS2 and got hype about a demo for “The Life” version of Sony’s NBA game that was a predecessor for the much more popular-- and from what I understand better-- MLB “The Show.”
The primary appeal of those games to me was that they provided my younger self the opportunity to live out the stylized dream of being an NBA player with all the drama, cars, clothes and tattoos.
As I got older obviously my interests and goals shifted, but those games still try to hit on a lot of those same notes which is why I would say I no longer care for them.
Modes that allow you to create a player and live out their career with some light RPG elements can still be enjoyable, but the writing and some of the other cinematic story elements tend to get in the way too much and make the player you’re controlling seem more like a poorly executed character than an avatar for yourself.
Aside from that as @nykgordon said, when playing sports games I much prefer to just play through the standard simulation modes and construct my own narrative rather than having the game cook one up for me.
2K’s earliest versions of MyPlayer were much better at allowing you to do that and slowly improved over time by adding in elements and rewards outside of the games such as postgame interviews, shoe deals and magazine covers that helped simulate the idea of a pro-athletes life while still allowing the player to fill in their motivations and story details.
MyPlayer lost me around 2K14 when they added in elements like your in-game teammates hazing you and requesting that you play a certain way. I particularly remember Kevin Love being a real diva and asking that I complete a certain number of assists to him.
I also played a version of “The Show” for the first time somewhere in that time period (whichever one was free on PS Plus if anyone would know) and I really enjoyed the bare bones approach and focus on playing games and building up your character that was reminiscent of the early MyPlayer modes, including working your way up from the minor leagues.
I tried NBA 2K16 the Spike Lee story because I was interested about the college aspect, but noped out of it almost immediately after sitting through the beginning cutscene that explained your motivations.