Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving was announced as the cover star of NBA 2K18 back in June before the NBA Finals kicked off. Fast forward to today and we’re on verge of seeing Kyrie Irving being traded away from the Cavaliers which leaves us in an interesting situation in having a player on the cover that actually doesn’t play for the team he’s representing anymore.
There actually is a precedent for something like this because a similar thing happen to Madden 09. Then-retired quarterback Brett Favre was the cover athlete of that year’s installment of Madden to honor his career and to assume he’d stay retired. The Hall-of-Fame quarterback then came out of retirement and joined the New York Jets – five days before the release of Madden NFL 09.
EA decided to just let it roll and kept the cover the same but instead offered an alternative cover featuring Favre in a Jets jersey that could be printed out and used as a new cover. It’s possible that was a different circumstance given that was only five days before release while an Irving trade today will give 2K sports ample time to find a new cover star.
Another interesting thing to look at is NBA 2K cover athletes of the last few years. If we go back to NBA 2K14, we see a Miami Heat LeBron James on the cover and the next year he rejoined the Cleveland Cavaliers. For 2K15, we had Kevin Durant on the cover and he’s now a member of the Golden State Warriors. NBA 2K16 was safe but then disaster struck again with NBA 2K17 and Indiana Pacers forward Paul George being traded to the Thunder. Now we’re looking at something similar with Kyrie Irving looking at a potential trade. There isn’t much talk about an NBA 2K cover curse but it might be something to look into for the future.
NBA 2K18 releases September 19 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC. We’ll let you know if the game ends up getting a new cover star.