The cover of "NBA 2K21" featuring New Orleans Pelicans player Zion Williamson. The choice to include Williamson on the cover has been controversial to many due to his missing of many games due to a preseason injury.

With the announcement of the latest entry into “NBA 2K” game series, fans had mixed feelings about the athletes chosen for the cover of the game.

During the PlayStation 5 reveal, the first look at the game was shown showcasing how the graphics were going to look. In the announcement video, it featured New Orleans Pelicans player Zion Williamson.

The announcement video for “NBA 2K21.” (Video courtesy of PlayStation.)

Weeks later on June 30, it was announced that Portland Trail Blazers player Damian Lillard would be the cover athlete for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch versions of the game. In Lillard’s tweet promoting the cover, he stated how excited he was for the opportunity due to playing the “NBA 2K” series ever since it was on the Sega Dreamcast.

The next day, July 1, it was announced that Williamson would be the cover athlete for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X version of “NBA 2K21.” The announcement comes one year after Williamson officially signed with the Pelicans.

However, the choice of Williamson for the cover of the game was met with disapproval from several fans on Twitter. Many thought that Williamson shouldn’t have received the cover due to missing a majority of the season due to an injury during the preseason that pushed back his NBA debut to January 2020.

Others who believed Williamson shouldn’t have gotten the cover said that the cover should’ve gone to Dallas Mavericks player Luka Doncic. The Slovenian player has broken numerous NBA records previously broken by players such as Michael Jordan, James Harden and LeBron James.

On July 2, it was announced that another cover of the game would be released to honor the memory of Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant, who passed away in January 2020 in a helicopter crash that killed his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others. Titled the “Mamba Forever” edition, the cover marks Bryant’s ninth time being the cover athlete for a game going all the way to 1998’s “Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside” for the Nintendo 64.

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