NBA 2K Covers
The NBA 2K covers have each featured at least one NBA player, beginning with Allen Iverson in the original NBA 2K. In contrast to the NBA Live series, the NBA 2K games have repeated cover players, notably featuring Iverson on the cover for the first five games in the series and Shaquille O'Neal in back-to-back appearances for NBA 2K6 and NBA 2K7. Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant have also appeared on multiple covers.
In 2010, NBA 2K11 became the first game in the series to feature a retired player on the cover, namely Michael Jordan. Jordan returned as the cover player for NBA 2K12, with limited edition Magic Johnson and Larry Bird covers also being made available. NBA 2K13 marks the first time that multiple players appear on the same cover, with Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose appearing together. NBA 2K16, NBA 2K17, and NBA 2K18 featured special collector's editions with a retired player on the cover, labelled the Legend Edition for NBA 2K17 and NBA 2K18. NBA 2K19 saw the release of a 20th Anniversary Edition, featuring LeBron James on the cover.
|First repeat cover player. Won the regular season MVP award the same year.
|ESPN NBA Basketball 2K4
|The most cover appearances to date, with five.
|ESPN NBA 2K5
|The Detroit Pistons were the defending champions, and appeared in the 2005 NBA Finals.
|First player to win the championship the same season as appearing on the NBA 2K cover. Previously appeared on the NBA Live 96 cover.
|Second repeat cover player.
|The Boston Celtics were the defending champions coming into the season.
|Second player to win the championship the same season as appearing on the NBA 2K cover; also the defending champions.
|First retired player to appear on an NBA 2K cover.
|Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson
|The Larry Bird and Magic Johnson covers were limited edition. Michael Jordan was the third repeat cover player.
|Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose
|First cover to feature multiple players.
|The Miami Heat were the defending champions, and appeared in the 2014 NBA Finals.
|Fourth repeat cover player, first solo appearance.
|Stephen Curry, James Harden, Anthony Davis
Special Edition: Michael Jordan
|All three covers were available as an insert in the regular edition, so that they could be swapped according to preference. First Special Edition, featuring the third cover for Michael Jordan.
Legend Edition: Kobe Bryant
|Paul George was previously the "cover" player for the MyNBA2K16 companion app. Second cover for Kobe Bryant.
Legend Edition: Shaquille O'Neal
|Kyrie Irving previously appeared on the cover of NBA Live 14. Third cover for Shaquille O'Neal.
20th Anniversary Edition: LeBron James
|LeBron James previously appeared on the cover of NBA 2K14.
Legend Edition: Dwyane Wade
|Anthony Davis was previously one of three cover players for NBA 2K16.
|Damian Lillard (PS4/Xbox One)
Zion Williamson (PS5/Xbox Series X/S)
|Lillard previously appeared on the cover of NBA Live 15. Third cover for Kobe Bryant whose special edition was published as a tribute after his passing in an helicopter crash on January 26th, 2020.
Japan: Rui Hachimura
|Third cover for Kevin Durant.
Michael Jordan & Championship Edition: Michael Jordan
|Fourth cover for Michael Jordan, this time for both the limited editions of the game; in the Michael Jordan edition, he is portrayed celebrating a win, whilst in the Championship edition, only the back of his jersey is displayed.
Black Mamba Edition: Kobe Bryant
|Fourth cover for Kobe Bryant. Featured on both the regular edition and Black Mamba special edition.