With the arrival of 2K Sports' NBA 2K21, gamers got their first basketball simulation title for the next-generation consoles. It brought its fair share of positives and negatives, as one might expect with the first edition on next-gen platforms. Now 2K has had some time to reflect and regroup ahead of their NBA 2K22 release. With that, fans will be hoping for some upgrades and improved features. Ahead of the new game, we give our predictions for potential NBA 2K22 cover star and when the game's release date might be.
Who will be the NBA 2K22 cover star?
With NBA 2K21, fans got three different editions of the game, each with a different star athlete on the cover. Portland Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard was a surprising but very worthy cover star for the Standard Edition. The Next-Gen Edition cover featured rising young star Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans. Last but certainly not least, the late great Kobe Bryant appeared on the Mamba Forever Edition.
That leads to the NBA 2K22 cover star possibilities. One has to wonder if the new game will once again feature three cover stars including an All-Star on the Standard Edition, younger star on the Next Gen, and a legend on the other edition.
Based on the past season, a few stars that could make sense as cover athletes are the Lakers' LeBron James, Sixers' Joel Embiid, and Suns' Devin Booker. Two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry isn't a bad idea either based on his return to form in 2021. As of this report, he leads the league with 31.4 points per game. Steph also has the Warriors looking at a possible return to the playoffs.
Other options for the main cover featuring the trio of Brooklyn Nets stars (Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant), Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, or the Wizards' Bradley Beal.
If 2K22 wants to continue using Zion as their star of the future, he might even grace the Standard Edition. LaMelo Ball could appear on the Next Gen cover, with a star such as Vince Carter on a Legend edition. LeBron James could also grace that Legend cover or future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki.
The NBA 2K22 cover star has to help sell copies so name recognition with fans is often important. That's why stars like LeBron James, Zion Williamson, and Luka Doncic might work best in that role for now. That said, Luka was rumored as EA's NBA Live cover star several seasons ago, before Live was shelved for the time being.
When will the new basketball game's release date be?
Last year, things were shifted around a bit due to the coronavirus pandemic. That affected sports in terms of seasons being put on hold until they could safely play games, and the NBA used a bubble site in Florida to resume their season and playoffs.
The NBA 2K21 game was released on September 4, 2020, worldwide for PCs, Google Stadia, and standard edition consoles the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The Next Gen edition arrived months later when the new consoles officially came out. It had a November 10, 2020, release date for Xbox Series X/S and two days later for the PlayStation 5.
It seems that standard and next-gen versions of the game should arrive around the same timeframe for the NBA 2K22 release date in 2021. For reference, NBA 2K20 had a release date of September 6, 2019, and NBA 2K19 came out worldwide on September 11, 2018. The NBA 2K18 game had a release date later in the month, as it arrived on the 19th.
Based on the release dates, we believe that NBA 2K22 should come out within the first three weeks of September 2021. We're hoping for sooner in that month rather than later, though. Based on the past several releases, the game dropped in that first week of September.
2K will be bringing fans updates about the upcoming game once the NBA season has concluded. So stay tuned as we look forward to another exciting release in the 2K family of basketball titles.
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