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Who will be the three NBA2K21 cover athletes?

Anthony Davis took to TikTok recently to tease the NBA2K21 cover athlete announcement slated for, June 30 and July 1 and 2. To change it up, 2K Games is bringing three cover athletes for this year’s edition of the game. It’s uncertain if all three athletes will be on one cover, or if they deliver different editions of the game.

While one cover athlete was recently hinted at, lets see if SQUAD can guess the trio.

Zion Williamson

Zion is all but guaranteed as the NBA2K21 cover athlete since being the featured player for 2K’s game announcement for the upcoming PS5. Journalists have covered this freak of a player since his early high school days, and his mixtapes from when he was 16 are also insane relics of the past.

His vertical makes him seem like he’s playing at zero gravity, and clearly the New Orleans po’ boys aren’t bogging him down weight wise. If there were ever a slam-dunk (or home-run, if you hate puns) of a pick, this guy would be it. Zion’s 99% going to be an NBA2K21 cover athlete.

NBA 2K21 - Announcement Trailer | PS5

Youngins (Luka Doncic & Trae Young)

Whenever there have been three on the cover, there’s usually been a theme. Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson were for the old heads. Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, and Derek Rose were the future. Steph Curry, James Harden, and Anthony Davis were the ones that reinvented the game. Three NBA2K21 cover athletes must have a theme, and it might go back to the future of the game. That future is: Zion Williamson, Luka Doncic, and Trae Young.

Luka Doncic and Trae Young will forever be linked because of a draft night trade that had them swap teams. Until the day they retire, the comparisons won’t stop about which team won the trade and who had the better career. Arguments aside, there might not be a better duo to flank Zion Williamson than these two guys.

They are just as much the present as they are the future of the NBA, and there is no doubting their star power as marketable stars and ambassadors of the game. How can you deny Young (#4) and Doncic (#6) when they sit at the top of the NBA PPG leaders?

luka doncic and trae young
Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard

Now that Kawhi Leonard has signed with the Clippers, there’s zero risk to include him on the cover. The reigning NBA Finals MVP is probably the best player in the NBA to not have his own cover yet, so he’s due. Kawhi’s a “Fun Guy” and his winning pedigree should leave plenty of inspiration to create amazing cover art.

The Clippers aren’t a laughing stock of the NBA anymore, so it wouldn’t take a hit at NBA2K21’s marketability, especially with the Los Angeles market now backing them up. Load Management is over, and now it’s his time to shine.

Kawhi Leonard laughs at Media Day and says he is a fun guy

Vince Carter

Vinsanity is finally calling it a career. After retiring last week, Vince Carter might have his last shot at being on a NBA2K cover. He’s the only player to play 22 seasons, and the only player to play across four decades. He evolved his game from being a superstar, to gracefully aging himself out of the league. His play put Canada on the basketball map, and who knows if he would have won multiple championships had his cousin, Tracy McGrady, not left Toronto.

Chances are he probably doesn’t care too much for video games, but there’s no denying his importance to the game as arguably the greatest dunker to ever play basketball.

Vince Carter puts on a show in legendary 2000 Slam Dunk Contest | NBA Highlights

Sabrina Ionescu

The WNBA got introduced in NBA2K20, and it might’ve been long overdue. While there are plenty of high profile players to choose from – Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Breanna Stewart come to mind – Sabrina Ionescu arguably had one of the most illustrious college basketball careers of all-time.

She’s the only basketball player, man or woman, to record 2000 points, 1000 assists, and 1000 rebounds in a NCAA career, and owns the NCAA triple-double record with 18. The WNBA has plenty of candidates for the NBA2K21 cover athlete, but Sabrina Ionescu should be the first woman on the cover.

sabrina ionescu 2k21

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant’s untimely passing rocked the world, as a helicopter accident took his life back on January 26, 2020. Basketball is a game of community, and Kobe Bryant gave so much to the community, shaping the new generation of players now coming up in the NBA. His play style has inspired so many, and his mentality has scared and intimidated many more.

His impact culturally is so omni-present that we don’t even think about why we shout out “KOBE!” when we chuck our crumpled piece of paper in the garbage bin, pretending to sink a game winning shot. His influence has made its way into esports, as evidenced by those players who throw a random grenade to clutch a game.

Despite having already graced NBA game covers in the past, Kobe Bryant still makes a great candidate. NBA2K21 can honor his legacy by putting him on the cover.

NBA 2k21 cover Kobe Bryant

Michael Jordan

It’s an easy pick to make him a NBA2K21 cover athlete. MJ is the GOAT. And sure, he’s been the cover athlete twice already, but what makes it different this time around is the release of ESPN’s The Last Dance. The inside look of Michael Jordan’s NBA career, and the impact of the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty will be studied by athletes for decades to come, inspiring them to be Like Mike. This very well could be his last dance as the cover athlete.

michael jordan nba2k21 cover athlete

Alex Caruso

If LeBron James calls him the GOAT, he might be the GOAT. Sorry MJ, hope it doesn’t become personal.

Jalen Rose reacts to LeBron giving Alex Caruso the nickname 'GOAT' | Jalen & Jacoby

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Aja Jones

Writer from Toronto, Canada. Can taste the difference between Coke and Pepsi. Learned how to play drums through Rock Band. Named after a Steely Dan album.
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