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NBA 2K24’s cover athlete is both a surprising and obvious choice

2K has confirmed that Basketball icon and LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant is gracing the cover of an NBA game as the NBA 2K24 cover athlete on PS5, and Xbox, and PC.

NBA 2K24 cover athlete: an image of Kobe Bryant from 2K23

Ballers everywhere have been waiting patiently on NBA 2K24 news and it looks like developer Visual Concepts and publisher 2K have finally delivered. Ahead of the NBA 2K24 release date, 2K has revealed that the Black Mamba himself Kobe Bryant is going to be the NBA 2K24 cover athlete with pre-orders going live very shortly. This is the fourth time the Los Angeles Lakers star has featured on the cover of an NBA game – making him the series’ second most prolific star behind Allen Iverson and Michael Jordan. Unexpectedly, NBA 2K24 is his second post-humous cover appearance.

In an effort to continue “sharing the Mamba Mentality with the next generation”, NBA 2K has confirmed that Kobe Bryant will star on the NBA 2K24 cover for both the Kobe Bryant Edition and the Black Mamba Edition. The covers for both special versions of the game, which we’re expecting to find out more about on July 7 when NBA 2K24 pre-orders are scheduled to go live, feature the LA Laker’s iconic combination of yellow and purple.

As you can see for yourself below, the Kobe Bryant Edition shows an image of a younger Bryant leaping through the air, basketball in hand. Meanwhile, the Black Mamba Edition shows a close-up of Bryant looking over his shoulder. Both, as is always the case with NBA 2K’s covers, are stunning.

NBA 2K24 cover athlete Kobe Bryant: an image of the two new editions

The fact that Kobe Bryant has been chosen as this year’s NBA 2K cover star – at least when it comes to these special editions – is an obvious one. Spending his entire 20-year career at the LA Lakers, Bryant won 5 NBA championships with the side, while also being an 18-time All-Star and the 2008 season’s MVP. He was voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Game in 2020 and named in the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team in 2021. He also won Gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics – if you were curious. Whether you’re a fan of the Lakers or not, it’s hard to deny that Kobe Bryant is one of the best to ever play the sport.

What makes this surprising, though, is that this is the second post-humous appearance from Bryant. After the tragic death of Bryant, his daughter Gianna, six family friends, and pilot Ara Zobayan in January 2020, NBA 2K honored Bryant with the Mamba Forever Edition of NBA 2K21 – which featured two varaint designs. Since then, we’ve seen Michael Jordan, Diana Taurasi, Luka Doncic, and Candace Parker all appear. Many thought 2K21 would be the last time we would see Bryant grace the cover.

However, now, almost four years after his death, he’s back to continue sharing the Mamba Mentality with NBA 2K players and the world. With one of Bryant’s jersey numbers being the number 24, we can certainly see why NBA 2K would want to pay homage to him once-again – aside from the obvious fact that he’s one of the best basketball players of all time.

Is this going to be one of the best Xbox games and best PS5 games you play this year? Well, NBA 2K games are almost always some of the best sports games out there – so, we’re certainly hopeful. However, we’ll just have to wait and see how this game delivers on the last. You can find out more about NBA 2K24 soon, though – we’re expecting some new announcements soon.