NBA Live Covers

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The very first NBA Live cover featured a shot from the 1994 NBA Finals, with Robert Horry and John Starks in the foreground. Beginning with Shaquille O'Neal in NBA Live 96, EA Sports have chosen a lone player to grace the cover of NBA Live, with the exeption of the French cover for NBA Live 07 that featured both Boris Diaw and Tony Parker as well as the Mobile cover for NBA Live 06 that didn't feature any player). Whereas the cover of EA Sports' Madden series is jokingly referred to as being "cursed" due to unfortunate injuries that have been suffered by NFL players who have graced it, NBA Live's cover players have generally avoided such misfortune.

In 2006, Dwyane Wade became the first player to win the NBA Championship in the same year he appeared on the cover of NBA Live. The 2006 NBA Champion Miami Heat featured three former cover players in Wade (NBA Live 06), Shaquille O'Neal (NBA Live 96) and Antoine Walker (NBA Live 99).

Kevin Durant was set to be featured on the cover of the re-branded NBA Elite 11, a game that was ultimately cancelled. Durant would later be recognised along with other former cover players as part of the unlockable "Cover Players" team in EA Sports' NBA Jam: On Fire Edition.

Main Covers[edit]

Game Player Notes
NBA Live 95 Robert Horry/John Starks Shot from the 1994 NBA Finals, with Horry and Starks featured most prominently.
NBA Live 96 Shaquille O'Neal An alternate cover featuring a shot from the 1995 NBA Finals - in which Shaquille O'Neal appeared with the Orlando Magic - was primarily used for the console versions.
NBA Live 97 Mitch Richmond
NBA Live 98 Tim Hardaway
NBA Live 99 Antoine Walker
NBA Live 2000 Tim Duncan Michael Jordan was featured in a sidebar, promoting his first official appearance as a Legend.
NBA Live 2001 Kevin Garnett
NBA Live 2002 Steve Francis Michael Jordan appeared on the Japanese version, released in 2002.
NBA Live 2003 Jason Kidd First player to appear in the NBA Finals the same year as appearing on the NBA Live cover. The New Jersey Nets lost to the San Antonio Spurs in six games.
NBA Live 2004 Vince Carter
NBA Live 2005 Carmelo Anthony Previously appeared on the cover of NCAA March Madness 2004.
NBA Live 06 Dwyane Wade First player to win the championship the same year as appearing on the NBA Live cover. Different covers were used for the prior gen and new gen versions of the game.
NBA Live 07 Tracy McGrady
NBA Live 08 Gilbert Arenas
NBA Live 09 Tony Parker
NBA Live 10 Dwight Howard The Orlando Magic had appeared in the 2009 NBA Finals, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.
NBA Elite 11 Kevin Durant Game cancelled.
NBA Live 13 Dwyane Wade Never officially announced due to the game's cancellation. Confirmed by former Executive Producer Sean O'Brien.
NBA Live 14 Kyrie Irving
NBA Live 15 Damian Lillard
NBA Live 16 Russell Westbrook Westbrook is also the "cover" player for NBA Live Mobile.
NBA Live 18 James Harden Harden was previously one of the cover players for NBA 2K16.
NBA Live 19 Joel Embiid

International Covers[edit]

The first game in the series with a regional cover was the Lithuanian release of NBA Live 2001, which featured Arvydas Sabonis. The Japanese version of NBA Live 2002 featured Michael Jordan on the cover wearing his Washington Wizards uniform, though this was not widely known or promoted outside of the country. From NBA Live 2004 to NBA Live 10, EA Sports featured alternate covers for several international releases in certain regions including Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Game Player & Region
NBA Live 2001 Arvydas Sabonis (Lithuania)
NBA Live 2002 Michael Jordan (Japan)
NBA Live 2004 Raul Lopez (Spain)
NBA Live 2005 Tony Parker (France), Pau Gasol (Spain)
NBA Live 06 Tony Parker (France), Pau Gasol (Spain), Yuta Tabuse (Japan)
NBA Live 07 Dirk Nowitzki (Germany), Tony Parker/Boris Diaw (France), Pau Gasol (Spain)
NBA Live 08 Luol Deng (United Kingdom), Andrea Bargnani (Italy), Pau Gasol (Spain), Tony Parker/Boris Diaw (France)
NBA Live 09 Luol Deng (United Kingdom), Andrea Bargnani (Italy), Pau Gasol (Spain)
NBA Live 10 Pau Gasol (Spain), Luol Deng (United Kingdom)