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Steve Farrelly
AusGamers Editor
Sydney, New South Wales
8956 posts
The points in that headline might not seem linked, but they are. In getting to speak (sort of) with one of the three legends appearing on the 75th Anniversary Edition cover of this year's iteration of the NBA 2K22 series, Kevin Durant, we chose to use our *maybe one question* to him to ask something beyond the requisite "how does it feel being on the cover?" of a game he could be on the cover of every single year, with something a bit more meaningful.

We also asked because he's been a big proponent of highlighting not just the importance of woman's sport, which is a given, but in its lack of exposure and in how that needs to change. And while he's not single-handedly responsible for what has been a massive uptick in that exposure over the past number of years, his voice is one of a chorus helping to highlight it in a meaningful way.

AusGamers:We are finally seeing huge growth in women's sports across the globe. You've been a big supporter in promoting this growth, can you talk about the shifts here...?

Kevin Durant: I mean, well women's sports I always felt was, you know, putting a good product out on the floor but a lot of people weren't recognising it before, and I think with the social media boom, you get a deeper insight into the athletes and you get to see how hard that they work and how tough it is to play their sport so, I think more people start to relate to these athletes, which brings more eyes and I think it's growing exponentially. And as a professional athlete, it's always important to support and to bring awareness to these athletes and what they do on and off the floor, so I only see it getting better from here.

This is related in particular to NBA 2K because that series features the WNBA in as celebrated a fashion as ever, with NBA 2K22 also featuring a cover version of the standard game starring Candace Parker.
In North America, players can purchase a special version of the Standard Edition featuring six-time WNBA All Star and WNBA Champion, Candace Parker, on the cover and available exclusively through GameStop and EB Games. Parker’s appearance is a milestone for NBA 2K: the first female cover athlete in the history of the franchise. The Chicago Sky star’s cover feature is the latest step in NBA 2K’s ongoing initiatives to feature women prominently in the game. In Japan, players can also purchase a special version of the Standard Edition that features Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura, a rising star who was the first Japanese player to be drafted in the first round in 2019 and first Japanese player to reach the NBA Playoffs.
We'd love to see an Aussie like Erin Phillips on our localised cover, 2K Australia ;) *nudge nudge*.

Here's the official breakdown of all the covers and the cover athletes for the 2K22 editions of the game.
Global phenomenon and two-time NBA All-Star, Luka Dončić, graces the Standard Edition and Cross-Gen Digital Bundle, while a trio of the NBA’s most impactful big men – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Durant – feature in a premium, NBA 75th Anniversary Edition, showcasing how each of these athletes changed the game.

All editions of NBA 2K22 are currently scheduled for worldwide release on September 10, 2021 and are available for pre-order today. Featuring best-in-class visual presentation and player AI, historic teams, and a wide variety of hoops experiences, NBA 2K22 puts the entire basketball universe in the player’s hands.

“Making the global cover of NBA 2K22 is special for me,” said Dončić via press release. “I’m proud to represent my country in a special cover that honours the colours 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.”

This year, NBA 2K22 will offer three editions of the game available on digital and physical formats: Standard Edition, a Cross-Gen Digital Bundle and a special NBA 75th Anniversary Edition:
  • The Standard Edition will be available for $99.95 AUD, $109.95 NZ** on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, $89.95 AUD, $99.95 NZ** on Nintendo Switch and PC, and $109.95 AUD, $119.95 NZ** on new-gen consoles (PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S);
  • The Cross-Gen Digital Bundle will be available for $124.95 AUD, $134.95 NZ** and grant players access to the Standard Edition across previous- and new-gen within the same PlayStation and Xbox consoles;
  • NBA 2K22 NBA 75th Anniversary Edition will be available for $149.95 AUD, $159.95 NZ** for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. Dual-gen access is included for both the Cross-Gen Digital Bundle and NBA 75th Anniversary Edition for the PS4/PS5 and Xbox One/Xbox Series X|S platforms and provides a version of the game on each console generation within the same console family. The NBA 75th Anniversary Edition for Nintendo Switch will only be available on digital format in ANZ.
The NBA 75th Anniversary Edition celebrates three of the league’s most iconic big men who revolutionised the league over its 75 years:
  • Hall of Famer, six-time NBA Champion and six-time MVP, and all-time NBA scoring leader, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a legend who still influences today’s game, from his patented Skyhook to his activism on social issues;
  • 14-time All-Star, NBA Champion and MVP, Dirk Nowitzki, embodies not only the global expansion of basketball but also the evolution of the game itself as the protoypical sharpshooting big man;
  • 11-time All-Star, league MVP and two-time NBA Champion, Kevin Durant, a legend in his own right and known for his one-of-a-kind presence in the league appears for the third time as an NBA® 2K cover athlete.

The NBA 75th Anniversary Edition and Cross-Gen Digital Bundle feature cover artwork painted by Atlanta-based artist, Charly Palmer, whose work in fine art is defined by complex compositions and a unique technique and style. Palmer’s work is exhibited across the nation; he is most recently known for his “Civil Rights” series of paintings and compositions titled “America Must Change,” which made waves as TIME Magazine’s cover in July 2020.

“The NBA 2K cover has always been a vehicle for storytelling and a way to showcase the unique and diverse backgrounds of the athletes,” said Alfie Brody, Vice President of Global Marketing Strategy at NBA 2K. “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.”
Covers might seem an arbitrary thing to celebrate. But when you consider the historical depth of the NBA, its standing as an organisation for change, often with push-back for allowing politics and social commentary to enter its fray, and for its standing as one of the most celebrated sports to watch and participate in, worldwide, and then the challenges of pouring through cover options in consideration of all of the above, it definitely presents not only as an honour to be named, but to also be a part of something that transcends the on-court content.

Watch a couple of videos highlighting all of the above, embedded below. NBA 2K22 releases on all major platforms this September 10.

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