Kobe Bryant’s legacy as The Black Mamba’s continues, as 2K Games announced the former Los Angeles Lakers star will feature as the cover athlete of the third and final edition of NBA 2K21.
Celebrating ‘a lifetime achievement of basketball excellence‘, officials from 2K Games stated that Bryant would feature on two versions of the Mamba Forever edition.
Bryant is one of three cover athletes chosen to feature on the 2K21 covers. Damian Lillard, a point guard player for The Portland Trail Blazers, will feature on the Standard Edition for Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC and Google Stadia. Zion Williamson, a power forward player of New Orleans Pelicans fame, will feature on the Standard Edition for the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X versions.
The decision to feature Bryant on both special edition covers will no doubt touch the hearts of many basketball fans. Prior to tragically losing his life in a plane crash last January, Bryant had made left an impressive footprint on the basketball world. As well as being a five-time NBA champion, accolades to the late star’s name include two Olympic Gold medals (2008 and 2012), and an impressive record as an 18-time NBA All Star.
Bryant also holds the record as the all-time leading scorer for the Los Angeles Lakers, accumulating an impressive 33,643 points during his career.
Touchingly, the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One editions will feature an image of Bryant, scoring 60 points during his final NBA game.
Following the announcement of Lillard as an athlete, numerous photoshopped images featured Bryant on the fanmade game covers, in turn leading to Bryant’s name trending on Twitter.
According to Alfie Brody, vice president of global marketing at NBA 2K, each cover pays tribute to different eras in basketball.
Brody explained: “Damian Lillard dominates the court today, Zion Williamson is a standard-bearer for the next generation of NBA superstar – and what more could be said about Kobe? Three athletes representing the current, future and storied history of the game.
“Today’s exciting announcement is just the first of many for NBA 2K21; it’s going to be a huge year for basketball fans and NBA 2K gamers.“
Aside from different artwork, there will also be price differences between the current and next-generation versions of the game.
Purchasers of the “Mamba Forever” edition will receive a Sapphire Kobe MyTeam card, a Mamba MyPlayer uniform and a standard-edition game for the next-generation system within the same console family.
2K Games have revealed they will recommend an additional £5 charge for forthcoming NBA 2K21 games in the UK. In the USA, the next-generation edition of NBA 2K21 will cost $10 more.
However, it is worth noting that the price change only applies to next-gen copies of the game, and no other company has announced a price change between generations so far.
A spokesperson for 2K Games claims that the price tag associated with the new games are easily justified.
They said: “We believe our suggested retail price for NBA 2K21 on next-generation platforms fairly represents the value of what is being offered: power, speed and technology that is only possible on new hardware.”
The NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever edition will release alongside the Standard edition on the 4th September 2020. This will be followed by the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X version, following subsequent console launches.
You can preorder the NBA 2K21 “Mamba Forever” edition here.
Words be April Ryan