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NBA 2K18 Will Release New Cover After Kyrie Irving Trade

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 6:39:36 PM America/Los_Angeles

Kyrie Irving, that will appear on the cover of NBA 2K18 in a uniform that he no longer wears, will find another edition in his new threads sometime later.

Irving, announced for its NBA 2K18 cover on June 1, was traded to the Boston Celtics yesterday. Back in July, it had been learned that Irving, a four-time NBA all-star and the 2012 rookie of the year, had asked the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade him, apparently to get out of the shadow of LeBron James.

Irving goes into the Celtics because of their star, Isaiah Thomas, two other players along with a draft pick next year that may be quite valuable.

 

 

The NBA 2K Twitter accounts noticed the trade when it was announced last night, but could not say much at the time.

This is not a special situation in sports gaming. NFL quarterback Brett Favre had retired in March 2008 after 16 seasons in Green Bay, which makes his choice for Madden's cover something of a life achievement award. But Favre later reconsidered and, in August 2008 -- four days before Madden NFL 09 launched -- the Packers traded him to the New York Jets. EA Sports later made a new replica of the cover revealing Favre in a Jets uniform for fans to download and print.

To get NBA 2K18, a brand new cover picture should be easy to swap in. In what is either a happy coincidence or a remarkable piece of far-sightedness, the performer of the NBA 2K18 packshot obscures the Cavaliers' uniform lettering with Irving's right arm.

There are just two other NBA stars on NBA 2K18 boxes. Three-time NBA all-star DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors is about the box That's shipping to Canada. And NBA 2K18's deluxe Legend Edition features Shaquille O'Neal, the celebrity of 1996's Kazaam.

Update: In a revised statement, Jason Argent, 2K's senior vice president for basketball operations, given that Irving would star on "a variant of 2K18 comprising Kyrie in a Boston Celtics uniform" -- meaning a product that goes on shelves rather than only a replacement cover to slip in a instance. Argent didn't state when that version would come out specifically. This post had speculated that it could be a new printed cover just, and has since been revised.

Yesterday, the Celtics and the Cavs announced a blockbuster trade sending Kyrie Irving to Boston and Isaiah Thomas to Cleveland. This put NBA 2K18 in something of an awkward position, as Irving will be shown on the game's cover nevertheless in a Cavs jersey. Now, 2K has issued a statement on the matter and also confirmed that it will release a version of NBA 2K18 with Irving at a Celtics jersey "at a later date." 

"We are excited to be part of one of the most memorable NBA offseasons in history with Kyrie, our 2K18 cover athlete, and Isaiah, one of the stars of our 2K roster, trading places," 2K's SVP of basketball operations, Jason Argent, said in a statement.

"This isn't an unprecedented event, a cover athlete being traded--but it's certainly interesting timing with 2K18 being released in less than a month. The good news is that as the most authentic and realistic basketball game on the market, we're used to being nimble and responding to changes in the NBA. Fans should be thrilled to know that we will issue a version of 2K18 featuring Kyrie in a Boston Celtics uniform at a later date."

This is technically 2K's second reaction to the trade, since the official NBA 2K Twitter accounts yesterday stated "whoops" at a tweet about NBA 2K18's cover.

2K's marketing team might have had more time to prepare for this, as Irving had reportedly been asking for a trade for a while now. Though the move to the Celtics for Thomas (and Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and a draft selection) came as a surprise for many.

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