NBA 2K22 has unveiled the 75th Anniversary Edition cover today with three iconic choices to represent the history of the National Basketball Association.
Not only do we know what the cover will look like, but we now have the words of Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as each discussed being chosen for this cover of NBA 2K22.
NBA 2K22 picks three legends for the 75th Anniversary Edition
For the 75th Anniversary season since the National Basketball Association was founded, it's understandable that the iconic NBA 2K franchise would choose to pay homage to the basketball greats of the past.
At a glance, the choices they made for the NBA 2K22: 75th Anniversary Edition cover might seem random, but they represent multiple eras and some of the greatest basketball the league has ever seen.
Starting with the legend of today, Kevin Durant currently plays for the Brooklyn Nets, but has also played for the Seattle SuperSonics, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Golden State Warriors in his 15-year career.
Durant is a 2-time NBA Champion, 2-time NBA Finals MVP, was named NBA's Most Valuable Player in 2014, is an 11-time NBA All-Star, was Rookie of the Year in 2008, and is even a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist with the US Men's National Team in 2012 and 2016.
Dirk Nowitzki only retired a few years ago in 2019, but he did so after more than two decades with the Dallas Mavericks that came after his four years with DJK Würzburg in Germany.
In his lengthy career, Nowitzki led the Mavericks to an NBA Championship and was named NBA Finals MVP in 2011, was the NBA's Most Valuable Player in 2007, and is an amazing 14-time NBA All-Star.
Finally, perhaps the most iconic choice of the trio, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the most recognizable athletes in NBA history who spent two decades playing with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers before transitioning to coaching for several years after his on-court retirement.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a 6-time NBA Champion, 2-time NBA Finals MVP, 6-time NBA Most Valuable Player, 19-time NBA All-Star, College Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995, and was even awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2016.
Each of these three men has left an indelible mark on the sport of basketball and influenced what the sport has become today, making them perfect choices for this 75th Anniversary Edition cover of NBA 2K22.
Nowitzki, Durant, and Abdul-Jabbar discuss being chosen as cover athletes
Prior to the announcement today, 2K Sports organized a trio of virtual press conferences with each of their legendary cover athletes for the 75th Anniversary Edition.
We had the opportunity to participate in the press conference speaking to Dirk Nowitzki, and also view the comments by Kevin Durant and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar about being selected.
When Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki opened his press conference, he spoke both about being on this cover and doing so the same year Luka Doncic is the Standard Edition cover athlete for NBA 2K22.
“I'm of course very honored to be on the legends cover. I think it's, that's a huge honor for me. Of course, with Kevin Durant and Kareem, some of the best players to have ever played this game. You have Luka on the real cover, so two Mavs at the same time on the cover, which is super special, of course, so I'm super happy, super thrilled that I could be on the cover and, you know, with Luka, who I try to help out, who I try to mentor a little bit, and so that's super special. I’m happy for him, what he's been able to achieve in just a couple years in the league and so, I'm so thrilled that it worked out that way,” Dirk Nowitzki said.
“I mean obviously I never really looked myself as a legend, but it is a great honor to be on the cover with Kevin Durant, who I personally know and respect a lot and of course Kareem, who back in the day with his sky hook obviously completely changed the game and had a weapon that nobody's ever seen. So I'm thrilled to be on the cover with these two unbelievable players that I've admired and I’m a fan of, so I'm thrilled. So this is super cool. Of course, I'd rather be still playing. But I guess it's nice to know that, you know, people respected what I've done for this league and what I’ve tried to do for the sport,” he said.
Kevin Durant is the only player of the three to have already been on an NBA 2K cover in the past, with this one marking his third, but he was no less humble because of that.
“It's really a true honor to grace the cover. But to be alongside two guys that have meant so much to the game and have meant so much to the communities that they played in and lived in, the basketball community as a whole. I can't really even describe how it feels. When I seen the cover, I was just blown away because I worked my whole life to be in the conversation with those guys. So, to kind of have a stamp with the 2K cover, I can definitely show my friends and brag a little bit, but it's a true honor for sure,” said Kevin Durant.
Finally, it's likely no surprise that the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said a bit less while also reiterating just how important being chosen was for him.
“Well, being on the cover of NBA 2K22 is just a very special achievement for me. You know, I’ve loved this game all my life and to be significant in the way that people who love the game and play on games, you know, to be in their world is a real honor,” said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
NBA 2K22 is scheduled to release on September 10, 2021, is available to pre order now, and it will be a cover for the ages with these three basketball superstars as the faces of the league's diverse history.