We’re still months away from the expected NBA 2K18 release. It’s still early for definite updates, but we’re expecting that the first one we’ll get is the cover athlete of this year’s entry to the franchise.
We can recall 2K Sports announced Indiana Pacers star Paul George as the face of the last installment sometime in June last year. Word is that he was already notified months before the publisher broke the news to the public. Assuming the timeline would be the same this year, it’s very likely that 2K has already picked his successor.
So, who could be the cover athlete for NBA 2K18? It could be anyone, but we’d like to see at least one of these players become the titleholder:
Houston Rockets’ point guard seems to be one of 2K’s favorite picks for the NBA franchise. Harden landed one of the three covers for NBA 2K16 and also graced the cover for NBA 2K15. Fans think he could be this season’s MVP. If predictions are to be believed, he could also lead the NBA in assists and finish as one of the top three in scoring. However, the question is if 2K will consider featuring him again on the cover after a two-year interval.
Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook would make a great NBA 2K18 cover athlete. Also a crowd favorite, he is expected to make history this season either by winning the MVP title or ending up second in the voting. However, Westbrook could still be tied with EA Sports since he just graced the cover of NBA Live 16. In case he doesn’t make it to the cut, he could at least inspire a Triple-Doubler Badge for 2K’s next NBA game given he has already 20 triple-doubles this season, according to ESPN.
The San Antonio Spurs player is a huge favorite amongst basketball supporters. He may not be the most flamboyant superstar, but Leonard has both individual and team success that makes him worthy of the cover. At 25, he has seen his point-per-game average increase each of the last five years. Just like the first two players, Leonard is an MVP pick too.
Touted as one of the coolest athletes in the league, Irving’s jersey sales rank the fourth highest after Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (1st) and Kevin Durant (3rd), and Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (2nd). That alone already makes him a logical choice for the game cover, although he’s already been the cover of NBA Live 14. Still, it is not entirely impossible for the Cavaliers star to make it to the cut as several faces from the rivaling game were also featured in 2K’s version in the past.
Iverson was the face of NBA 2K for the first five editions. During that course, he made the All-Star team all five years, won the MVP in 2001, made All-NBA First Team once, and All-NBA Second Team three times. Currently, his name is still ringing bells among basketball fans as he has just been just inducted into the Hall of Fame. However, there’s more to him as an easy choice for the cover than just that.
As CBS Sports describes: “Iverson has put entire heart into the game of basketball. He was smaller than most, but his heart was bigger than just about everybody’s. It’s what endeared fans to him and made a generation of basketball lovers either fall in love with his game or at least respect it as they feared him on a nightly basis.”
2K featured Kobe Bryant on The Legends Edition cover last year and they have previously reached back for nostalgic purposes. It would make sense if they do the same to Iverson for the next NBA 2K title.
Other suggestions include Damian Lillard, Kemba Walker, Kobe Bryant, and Paul George. Then again, it could be anyone. 2K has not provided an exact release date for the game yet. However, 2K has launched a new game in the series every September for years, so we’ll likely get it on the same month this year.