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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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NBA 2K19 Screenshots: LeBron, Antetokounmpo & Russell

NBA 2K19: LeBron James

The latest First Look screenshots for NBA 2K19 reveal the final two members of Team 2K. Standard Edition cover player Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and D’Angelo Russell of the Brooklyn Nets are the featured players this time around.

As with all of the other First Look screenshots, their initial Overall Ratings have been revealed. The Greek Freak will be rated 94 Overall, the same as in the final roster for NBA 2K18. Conversely, Russell has had a small jump, increasing from 82 to 83 Overall.

2K has also posted a high resolution screenshot of LeBron James in the newly unveiled Los Angeles Lakers uniform. Check out all of the latest screenshots below, as well as here in our NBA 2K19 Screenshots gallery. Another D’Angelo Russell screenshot with updated tattoos is apparently also forthcoming.

The preview season is about to kick into high gear, as Operation Sports will have some developer blogs on MyLEAGUE, MyGM, MyLEAGUE Online, and more later in the week. Stay tuned for more information, and in the meantime, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below, as well as join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #256

NLSC Podcast Logo

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.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is NBA 2K19 Cover Player; First Screenshot

NBA 2K19 Cover Art

Following what seems to have been a completely inadvertent leak last week, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo has been officially revealed as the cover player for the Standard Edition of NBA 2K19. The cover art is similar in theme to the 20th Anniversary Edition cover featuring LeBron James, who has just signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Antetokounmpo becomes the first European player and Milwaukee Buck to appear on the primary cover of NBA 2K. Pre-order customers will receive a Sapphire Giannis Antetokounmpo MyTEAM card, along with 10 MyPLAYER packs (one delivered each week), and 5000 VC.

In addition to the cover reveal, we also have our first “First Look” screenshot of the year, naturally featuring The Greek Freak. Check it out below, along with the full cover art.

The 20th Anniversary Edition of NBA 2K19 comes out on September 7th, while the Standard Edition drops on September 11th. This year’s Prelude, once again only available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, will be coming out on August 31st. What do you make of the cover reveal? Do you have any thoughts on NBA 2K19 so far? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

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