NBA 2K18's Cover Athlete Kyrie Irving No Longer Plays for the Team He's Representing on the Box Art
Well, this is awkward.
Just a few hours ago, a blockbuster trade went down in the National Basketball League between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics. Normally, this isn’t news that we would report on here at Dualshockers but the ramifications of this trade have now effected the box art for the upcoming release of NBA 2K18.
For those who may not keep up with the NBA, former Cavs star Kyrie Irving expressed last month that he would like to be traded away from Cleveland to another destination. Since being drafted by the Cavaliers in 2011, Kyrie Irving has been one of the game’s elite point guards and has been to the NBA Finals three straight seasons, winning one title 2016. After losing to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals just a few months ago, Irving decided that it was time for him to move on and requested a trade.
That trade finally came to fruition just a few hours ago as the Cleveland Cavaliers traded Irving to the Boston Celtics for all-star point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets 2018 first-round pick.
Irving’s trade to Boston makes things a bit awkward for 2K Sports as Irving is serving as NBA 2K18’s cover athlete….in a Cavaliers uniform. Situations like this are a bit unprecedented and don’t happen often — if ever — in the video game space.
The last time a scenario similar to this played out was in 2008 when Madden 09’s cover athlete Brett Favre had recently retired from the Green Bay Packers. To honor his retirement, Favre was placed on the newest game’s cover in his usual green and yellow Packers uniform. The only problem is that before the season began, Favre decided to come out of retirement and the continuation of his career would not be in Green Bay. As the 2008 NFL season went underway, Favre became a member of the New York Jets. EA Sports shipped Madden 09 with Favre still wearing the Packers jersey on the cover but later allowed fans to download and print off a new box art slip with him in a Jets jersey instead.
As for what 2K Sports might do with Irving, it’s too early to tell. Since NBA 2K18 is due out next month, it’s most likely too late for 2K Sports to make any changes to the box art and add an image of Irving in he new Boston Celtics jersey. Even more, the cover athlete is often times reflected in the game’s menus as well as the box art, so 2K Sports might need to redesign some splash screens within the game as well.
The official NBA 2K Twitter account proceeded to respond to the trade’s announcement just a few minutes ago by simply stating, “Whoops.” We’ll keep our eyes peeled in the coming days and weeks to see if 2K Sports makes any announcements regarding changes to Kyrie Irving’s appearance on the cover. NBA 2K18 is due out next month on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on September 19.
— NBA 2K 2K18 (@NBA2K) August 22, 2017