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Wayback Wednesday: International Cover Players

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content. This week, I’m taking a look back at the history of international cover players for various basketball video games.

Cover players are an aspect of basketball gaming that has become more important over time. The player on the box and the title screen may not always have much of an impact on the game beyond pre-order cosmetic items in career modes and a card in the team building modes, but they’re nevertheless a talking point. After all, the reveal of the cover player generally signifies the beginning of a new game’s preview season, tipping off weeks and months of discussion about what we’re hoping to see from an upcoming release.

As basketball games have increased in popularity, cover players have become selling points and an indication of a game’s brand strength, if not necessarily its quality. Both EA Sports and 2K Sports have sought to appeal to local markets with regional covers that feature a player from the country in question (or in a pinch, have some connection with said nation). They’ve resulted in the international editions of games becoming collector’s items due to their novelty, and are of course interesting trivia notes. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Aussies in Basketball Games

Wayback Wednesdays: Aussies in Basketball Games

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content. This week, I’m taking a look back at the history of Aussies in basketball games.

If you listen to the NLSC Podcast or pay close attention to the way I spell certain words, you’ll know that I’m an Aussie. Being a basketball fan in Australia hasn’t always been easy, even with the NBA’s explosion in popularity in the 90s, as well as the heyday of our own local league, the NBL. Sadly, the sport hasn’t always had the most favourable reputation with many of my fellow Aussies. While those of us who love hoops do so passionately, it’s always battled cricket, tennis, and at least three different codes of football (rugby, Australian Rules, and soccer) for popularity.

I’ve always felt that our struggles on the world stage have contributed to the game’s up-and-down popularity down under. The Boomers are yet to win an Olympic medal, but just this past week, they scored a huge win over the USA in the second exhibition game played in Melbourne; the first time they’ve ever defeated the US. It helps that we have a few more Aussies in the NBA these days, which also means that we see them on the virtual hardwood. In honour of the Boomers’ big win, I’m reflecting on the history of Aussies in basketball games. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA 2K19 First Look Screenshot: Ben Simmons

NBA 2K19: Ben Simmons First Look

The latest NBA 2K19 First Look screenshot has revealed the next member of Team 2K: Australian cover player and 2018 Rookie of the Year, Ben Simmons.

As with the other First Look screenshots, Simmons’ Overall Rating has also been revealed. He will be an 87 Overall in the default roster, which places him on par with fellow standout Class of 2018 rookies Jayson Tatum and Donovan Mitchell. His 87 Overall rating is also up from the 85 he had achieved by the final official roster for NBA 2K18.

Check out the screenshot below, as well as here in our NBA 2K19 gallery. As always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion taking place in this topic in the NLSC Forum.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #256

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Episode #256 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we chat about the past week in basketball gaming and NBA news. Topics include the latest NBA Live 19 previews, the NBA 2K19 cover reveals, allegations and speculation about 2K’s business practice, and big offseason moves.

On this week’s show…

  • A brief trailer and a few screenshots spotlighting Quai 54 in NBA Live 19 have been released. In our opinion, the venue and the game are both looking very nice.
  • Rookies are getting their faces scanned for NBA Live 19 during the NBA Summer League. This leads to a discussion of the development cycle, and the increasingly early release dates for NBA Live and NBA 2K.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo has been officially revealed as the cover player for the Standard Edition of NBA 2K19. Ben Simmons, meanwhile, will grace the first ever Australian cover.
  • A recent video discusses an allegedly since-deleted Reddit post, purported to contain damning leaks from an ex-2K employee regarding the company’s business practices. While the claims are unconfirmed and the video quite possibly unsubstantiated clickbait, the alleged explanations for certain design choices are eerily plausible.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming featured a few more challenges in Ultimate Team and new additions to the squad, as well as a couple of modding developments including a potential roster update for NBA 2K11 PC.
  • We wrap up Episode #256 of the NLSC Podcast with a discussion of the latest NBA offseason news. LeBron James, DeMarcus Cousins, and Tony Parker surprised us with their decisions, while Carmelo Anthony remains one of the biggest names left on the market.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

Ben Simmons Appearing on Australian NBA 2K19 Cover

NBA 2K19 Australian Cover featuring Ben Simmons

PlayStation Australia has revealed that 2018 Rookie of the Year and former number one overall draft pick Ben Simmons will appear on the Australian cover of NBA 2K19. This marks the first time that Australia has received a regional NBA 2K cover.

As reported by Operation Sports’ Steve Noah, the cover will be available in both Australia and New Zealand. Furthermore, it will apparently be double-sided, with Ben Simmons on one side and Standard Edition cover player Giannis Antetokounmpo on the other.

The cover art is very similar to the Standard Edition and 20th Anniversary Edition, featuring slogans associated with Simmons and his journey to the NBA. As a Novocastrian, I was disappointed to see that there aren’t any references to his time in the city where he played rep basketball (and where his father played professionally in our NBL), but it’s still great to see him on the first Aussie NBA 2K cover.

Ben Simmons is the second Philadelphia 76ers player to appear on an NBA 2K cover, with Hall of Famer and original 2K cover player Allen Iverson being the first. Teammate Joel Embiid was confirmed as the cover player for NBA Live 19 last week.

Check out the full cover art below. As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section, as well as join in the discussion taking place in our NBA 2K19 Forum.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #179

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Episode #179 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss our past week in basketball gaming, a few NBA 2K17 news stories, and a couple of recent events in the NBA.

On this week’s show…

  • Patch 1.03 has now been released for the PC and Xbox One versions of NBA 2K17. Further tweaks are also forthcoming.
  • Our modding community continues to do some fantastic work, as 3D editing has come to this year’s game.
  • It’s been brought to our attention that in order to upgrade your MyPLAYER beyond 95 Overall, you need to level up your reputation in MyPARK. We’re not too thrilled to hear that.
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: 2K Pro-Am has actually been fun! Also, some of our recent achievements in MyCAREER.
  • Bad news for first overall pick Ben Simmons, as he’ll be out for some time after fracturing his foot before his rookie season has even begun.
  • We wrap up Episode #179 of the NLSC Podcast with a nice story about David Blatt.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.