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.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.