NBA 2K18, this year's version of the popular NBA simulator from 2K Games, suddenly needs a new cover less than a month before its release.
Kyrie Irving, the All-Star point guard who was tapped to be featured in the NBA 2K18 cover, has been traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics.
Irving Traded To Celtics
Irving requested for a trade in July, with sources claiming that the point guard wanted to be in a team where he was the focal point and that Irving no longer wanted to play alongside superstar Lebron James.
By then, the NBA 2K18 cover, released in June, was already in danger. Now 2K Games will need to figure out how to replace it, as Irving's request was just granted.
The Cavaliers have traded Irving to the Celtics in exchange for point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic, and the unprotected first-round pick of the Brooklyn Nets in the 2018 NBA draft, which is expected to be in the top 5.
What Can 2K Games Do?
— NBA 2K 2K18 (@NBA2K) August 22, 2017
That reaction just about sums it up for 2K Games, which now has the task of figuring out what to do with the NBA 2K18 cover as its Sept. 19 release date draws near.
This is not the first time that a cover athlete for a sports video game was traded before the season started. For EA Sports' Madden 09, quarterback Brett Favre was traded from the Green Bay Packers to the New York Jets, and the publisher solved the problem by releasing a printable cover that featured Favre in his proper uniform.
2K Games may do something similar if it is not able to replace the NBA 2K18 covers with Irving in a Celtics uniform. It is unclear what 2K Games is planning at this point, but there will surely be changes coming to NBA 2K18's cover art.
Fortunately for gamers who preordered or are planning to purchase the NBA 2K18 Legend Edition and NBA 2K18 Legend Edition Gold, the issue will not be a problem. The cover player for these two special editions is legendary center Shaquille O'Neal.
NBA fans, however, now believe in the so-called NBA 2K curse, as the players featured in the covers of the games have all changed teams. NBA 2K14 featured LeBron James, who left the Miami Heat the following year to return to the Cavaliers; NBA 2K15 featured Kevin Durant, who left the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the already-strong Golden State Warriors last year; NBA 2K17 featured Paul George, who was traded by the Indiana Pacers to the Thunder; and now NBA 2K18 with Irving, who is on his way to the Celtics.