2K selected three players to be on the cover of NBA 2K13, and not one of them is a member of the Heat’s Big Three. The cover displays what Jason Argent, Vice President of 2K Sports, refers to as the “legends in the making:” Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, and Derrick Rose.
No disrespect to any of these fine players, but… really? Just a week ago, LeBron James took the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals, and brought home his very first championship trophy. King James was crowned with an unbelievable trifecta: League MVP, championship winner, NBA Finals MVP. There’s a laundry list of other stats to rattle, but the bottom line: what does a guy have to do to land himself on the cover of a game cover these days?
2K6 featured Shaq in his new championship winning Heat team. 2K8 featured an explosive Chris Paul who led the Hornets to their best season in team history and first ever playoff series victory. 2K9 featured Boston’s Kevin “Anything is Possible” Garnett. Bryant got the 2K10 cover after the Lakers’ championship in 2009, and that was before he won the 2nd year running (when EA decided to go with MJ for the cover). Sure, Dirk got passed up for the cover of 2K12 by three players, but the three players were Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird.
What could possibly be 2K’s reason for leaving Lebron off the cover? “LeBron is no slouch, obviously,” Argent said. “He’s always a part of the conversation with this kind of new dynasty… That takes nothing away from LeBron. We’re just focusing on the new guys on the cover this year.”
Argent and the 2K gang have a good marketing strategy. Three legends on one cover and three “future legends” on the next isn’t a bad idea. But how can anyone dub someone else as a future legend when all three are under the age of 25? So many times young stars pop and fizzle. There’s no argument that it looks like Rose, Griffin, and Durant are here to stay. Still, James is significantly closer to being considered a future legend (so is Wade for that matter).
So then what’s the real reason behind keeping James off the cover of NBA 2K?