NBA2K21 names 'walking highlight tape' Zion Williamson as next-gen cover athlete

Cassandra Negley
·2 min read

New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson has already made it on the cover of NBA2K.

The company on Wednesday announced Williamson as its second of three cover athletes for the NBA2K21 game to be released later this year. The TikTok video reveal noted he was the future, a “walking highlight tape” and “will dunk on you.”

Williamson, who turns 20 on July 6, is now the youngest NBA player to be put on the cover. He will be on the next-generation consoles, Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X games.

“It's one of those emotions I'm still processing,” Williamson told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears, via ESPN. “It's a dream come true. At those AAU tournaments, you're looking at the cover thinking, ‘That's gonna be me.’ For it to happen that fast, it's a huge honor.”

He told Sports Illustrated his mother was the one to casually break the news to him.

“It was one of those subtle things, like, ‘Hey Mom, how is it going?’ and she was like, ‘Yeah, 2K is going to put you on the cover.’ And it was one of those things that just grab your whole attention, and you're like, ‘What, for real? Nah, you are playing.’ And when my agent and my team confirmed it ... like I am still processing it. That game is global. Everyone plays that game everywhere. For them to choose me as the cover athlete is a dream, man.”

Damian Lillard was the first cover athlete announced and will be on the current-generation systems. A third athlete will be announced on Thursday.

The game used the former Duke sensation in its commercial earlier this month, which initially sparked talk he would be the cover athlete.

Williamson is the third Pelicans player on the front of the game, joining Chris Paul in the 2008 version, NBA2K8, and Anthony Davis in 2K13. Paul was previously the youngest to be on the cover at 21 years old.

The Pelicans (28-36) are 10th in the Western Conference and will go to Disney World attempting to get into the top eight for the playoffs, or potentially force a play-in series. Williamson only played in 19 games this season due to a knee injury and averaged 23.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per contest.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) dunks the ball against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)
Zion Williamson will be on the cover of the NBA2K21 next-generation games. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)

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