As the NBA celebrates its 75th anniversary and the WNBA reminisces with their 25th anniversary, the developers of NBA 2K22 are looking to honor the sport’s past and present with a collection of unique covers.
Between four different covers, 2K will highlight six different NBA players and one WNBA star for its 2021 installment, which is slated for a September release.
In the “Standard Edition” and “Cross-Gen Digital Bundle,” NBA fans will see Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic, who’s coming off an All-Star season that saw the Mavericks fall in the first round against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The cover features a painting that shows Doncic on a red, white, and blue background. The design is an homage to the flag of Slovenia, his home country, which is fitting when considering Doncic’s participation in the Summer Olympics.
“Making the global cover of NBA 2K22 is special for me,” Doncic said in a press release. “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.”
The Standard Edition of the game will run $69.99 on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, and will cost $59.99 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. An increase of $20 will allow fans the ability to purchase the “Cross-Gen Digital Bundle” to access the game across console generations.
The first special edition of NBA 2K22 is entitled the “NBA 75th Anniversary Edition,” which features Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki, and current Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant.
The cover utilizes paintings from Atlanta-based artist Charly Palmer.
“The NBA 2K cover has always been a vehicle for storytelling and a way to showcase the unique and diverse backgrounds of the athletes,” Alfie Brody, NBA 2K‘s vice president of global marketing strategy, said in a press release. “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 their press release, the 2K team described the trio as “three of the league’s most iconic big men who revolutionized the league over its 75 years.”
The release will mark Abdul-Jabbar and Nowitzki’s first appearances on a 2K cover, while Durant will be featured for the third time in his career.
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The “NBA 75th Anniversary Edition” will cost $99.99, a $20 increase from the Standard Edition on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, and will provide gamers with the ability for cross-gen access, along with a litany of additional content.
Finally, 2K honored the WNBA as the league celebrates its 25th season, putting together the “WNBA 25th Anniversary Special Edition” that will be exclusive to North American users on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
The WNBA edition will feature Chicago Sky star Candace Parker on the cover, who will make history as the first woman to ever don the cover of an NBA 2K game.
“The cover of NBA 2K is such a pivotal platform to inspire young ballers, and I wanted future WNBA stars to know that they can be cover athletes too,” Parker said in a press release. “Representation matters, so this is a special moment of progress for the sport and the series. To be part of this historic cover is a testament to the growth and rising popularity of the women’s game, and I’m proud to be the first female cover athlete to be the face of NBA 2K.”
Players will gain access to seven WNBA jerseys for female MyPlayer characters, which can be used in the WNBA career mode entitled “The W.”
The “WNBA 25th Anniversary Special Edition” will cost $69.99, and will be sold exclusively at GameStop and EB Games.
Lastly, Washington Wizards star Rui Hachimura, the first Japanese NBA player to ever be selected in the first round, will make more history as he graces the cover of NBA 2K22‘s Standard Edition in Japan.
NBA 2K22 is set to be released on September 10, 2021 around the world, with pre-orders available now.