Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Back when PlayStation One existed in its bulky grey form many moons ago, the NBA Live series of basketball games were consistently amazing. You got to use the rookies before they even took the court, you could create your own teams and logos; you could do pretty much anything in those games. Except play as Michael Jordan on the Chicago Bulls.

For whatever reason (read: financial concerns), Jordan was never a playable character back then. And since he wasn't in the game, he wasn't on the cover despite multiple titles and MVPs. As a tiny Bulls fan, this was disconcerting.

But now, 12 years since Michael Jordan wore a Chicago Bulls uniform for the last time, he's going to be on the cover of — and in — a full-featured basketball video game. From ESPN's Jon Robinson:

While rumors pegged LeBron James(notes), Derrick Rose(notes) and even Tyreke Evans(notes) as favorites to appear on the cover of "NBA 2K11," multiple sources have told ESPN that the company has gone in a completely different direction, signing basketball legend Michael Jordan as its new spokesman.

This will be the first time that a former player will appear on the front of the box for 2K, and with Jordan taking over majority ownership of the Charlotte Bobcats, it will also be the first time that a team owner will endorse the popular franchise. [...]

In addition to acting as cover model for "NBA 2K11," the speculation is that Jordan will also be digitized into a playable character.

This is great news. The 11-year-old Trey Kerby is very happy and probably wants some Taco Bell. Grown-up Trey is more delighted than anything, and just had a glass of ginger ale, so he's OK.

As Robinson reports, the rumors are that some of Jordan's contemporaries are going to be joining him in the game. So if you were a fan of playing with the "NBA Legends" teams back in the day, they'll be even better now. Dibs on Sam Perkins.

The game won't be officially unveiled until the E3 gaming expo in June, but Ball Don't Lie got our hands on an exclusive "first look" at the probable cover. It's after the jump.

Perfect. It's just how I imagined it as a wee lad.

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