NBA

NBA 2K22: Luka Dončić and NBA scoring legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant announced as cover athletes

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant [NBA2K]

2K has announced the full roster of cover athletes for NBA 2K22, the next installment of the top-rated and top-selling NBA video game simulation series of the past 20 years.

Global phenomenon and two-time NBA All-Star, Luka Dončić, graces the Standard Edition and Cross-Gen Digital Bundle, while a trio of the NBA's most impactful big men - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant - feature in a premium, NBA 75th Anniversary Edition, showcasing how each of these athletes changed the game.

All editions of NBA 2K22 are currently scheduled for worldwide release on September 10, 2021 and are available for pre-order today. Featuring best-in-class visual presentation and player AI, historic teams and a wide variety of hoops experiences, NBA 2K22 puts the entire basketball universe in the player's hands.

"Making the global cover of NBA 2K22 is special for me," said Dončić. "I'm proud to represent my country in a special cover that honors the colors of the Slovenian flag. Basketball has given me so much and I'm excited to give back and work together with 2K Foundations this year to help the lives of young kids around the globe."

This year, NBA 2K22 will offer three editions of the game available on digital and physical formats: Standard Edition, a Cross-Gen Digital Bundle and a special NBA 75th Anniversary Edition.

The NBA 75th Anniversary Edition celebrates three of the league's most iconic big men who revolutionized the league over its 75 years:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Hall of Famer, six-time NBA Champion and six-time MVP, and all-time NBA scoring leader. A legend who still influences today's game, from his patented Skyhook to his activism on social issues.
  • Dirk Nowitzki: 14-time All-Star, NBA Champion and MVP. Embodies not only the global expansion of basketball but also the evolution of the game itself as the protoypical sharpshooting big man.
  • Kevin Durant: 11-time All-Star, league MVP and two-time NBA Champion. A legend in his own right and known for his one-of-a-kind presence in the league appears for the third time as an NBA® 2K cover athlete.

The NBA 75th Anniversary Edition and Cross-Gen Digital Bundle feature cover artwork painted by Atlanta-based artist, Charly Palmer, whose work in fine art is defined by complex compositions and a unique technique and style. Palmer's work is exhibited across the nation; he is most recently known for his "Civil Rights" series of paintings and compositions titled "America Must Change," which made waves as TIME Magazine's cover in July 2020.

"The NBA 2K cover has always been a vehicle for storytelling and a way to showcase the unique and diverse backgrounds of the athletes," said Alfie Brody, Vice President of Global Marketing Strategy at NBA 2K. "The culture around the game of basketball is vibrant and transcends geographical boundaries. This year, we want to showcase that global diversity via Charly's amazing, one-of-a-kind art."

In North America, players can purchase a special version of the Standard Edition featuring six-time WNBA All Star and WNBA Champion, Candace Parker, on the cover and available exclusively through GameStop and EB Games.

Parker's appearance is a milestone for NBA 2K: the first female cover athlete in the history of the franchise. The Chicago Sky star's cover feature is the latest step in NBA 2K's ongoing initiatives to feature women prominently in the game. In Japan, players can also purchase a special version of the Standard Edition that features Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura, a rising star who was the first Japanese player to be drafted in the first round in 2019 and first Japanese player to reach the NBA Playoffs.

Check out the NBA 2K22 official site for a full breakdown of the pre-order details and more info on the cover athletes featured across the different editions of this year's game.

2K will also be releasing additional announcements about NBA 2K22 in the coming weeks, including first looks at features, the soundtrack reveal, live service updates, and much more. With ever-expanding content and one of the most passionate hoops communities, basketball never stops in NBA 2K.

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