Los Angeles Lakers’ legend Kobe Bryant was named the final
cover athlete on Thursday for the basketball video game NBA 2K21.
The late Bryant was tragically killed in a helicopter crash in January along with eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. NBA2K21 released two different versions of the cover on their Twitter account including a video of the artist painting them that was posted by Bryant’s widow Vanessa on Instagram.
The first cover is a painting of Bryant after he scored 60
points against the Utah Jazz in his final NBA game on April 13, 2016.
The second cover features a painting of Bryant flying in for a one-handed slam early in his career as he donned the No. 8 jersey. Both covers have the title: “Mamba Forever Edition.”
Earlier in the week, NBA2K21 announced that New Orleans
Pelicans’ rookie Zion Williamson and Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian
Lillard would also be featured on covers of the game.
“Each of our cover athletes represent different eras of the game of basketball—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?” said Alfie Brody, VP of global marketing at NBA 2K in an interview with Bleacher Report. “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.”
The game will launch worldwide on Sept. 4.