Damian Lillard named NBA 2K21 cover athlete

Chris Burkhardt
·3 min read

Damian Lillard has accomplished a lot in his eight-year career. 

He's a five-time NBA All-Star, four-time All-NBA selection, was 2012-13 Rookie of the Year, and just last season he helped lead the Blazers to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in nearly two decades.

Now he can add one more accomplishment to the list: 2K cover athlete. 

It was announced Tuesday morning that Lillard would be one of three cover athletes for NBA 2K21. 

The news was first announced by Shams Charania of The Athletic, and later confirmed by 2K Sports. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon]

Lillard was averaging a career-high 28.9 points and 7.8 assists per game this year before the season was suspended, and holds averages of 24.0 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.2 rebounds for his career.

"It means a lot. It's one of those things that it's like a signature shoe. Everybody just don't get it," Lillard told Charania. "To be able to join the line of the players that's been on the cover of 2K, it's an honor... Every time I come across a game that is my favorite year of a game, the way that you recognize it is by 'A.I. was on that cover' or 'Kobe was on that cover,' that was my favorite one. Just to join that group and have that honor, man, it's cool. Real cool."

The 2K series debuted on the Sega Dreamcast in 1999 with Allen Iverson on the cover. In the 21 years since, the NBA 2K series has become one of the most popular gaming franchises in the world, and players like Shaq, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant have graced the game's over. 

While this is Lillard's first time on the NBA 2K cover, it's not his first time on a video game cover. He was previously the cover athlete of EA Sports NBA Live 15, as well as NBA 2K Online 2, a spin-off of the NBA 2k franchise that is exclusive to the Chinese market.

"I made it. I'm gonna be on the cover of NBA 2K." - Damian Lillard

 

Damian Lillard named NBA 2K21 cover athlete originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest