NBA 2k is arguably the best basketball video game on the market to date. The only contender would be NBA Live which according to gamespot.com’s Josiah Renaudian, “NBA Live is a franchise desperately searching for its identity, and its deficiencies are only more glaring with NBA 2K15 reaching such great heights.” So there you have it great heights…

It’s obvious that 2k would be the basketball video game of choice for NBA players. The only downfall to 2k, and other sporting games for that matter, is the notorious “cover curse” – See an article on that here

The cover curse for 2k and NBA Players was broken when Dwayne Wade became the first player to be on the cover and win a the NBA Finals in 2006. He was the first cover athlete to win a title the same year he appeared on the cover. At that point, the game had a 3.4% championship success rate.

NBA Superstars that mastered NBA 2K also enjoy basketball games NBA Hangtime and NBA Jam. Neither have the realistic simulation effect of 2K. They both are arcade games, so they aren’t meant to be played in the same fashion as 2k.

But, I think any game where you can have a basketball head, shot fireballs, and literally do somersaults over the basket then dunk might be classified as awesome.

Even with the cover curse the relationship between 2k and NBA Players thrives.

2k and NBA Players

In a sit down interview with Jimmy Fallon, Kevin Durant owns up to summer long 2k tournaments and that he has broken “many controllers” due to the game. Durant goes on to admit he doesn’t play as himself in the game, but as Lebron James. He says playing as himself is “kinda arrogant.”

The full interview on K.D. and 2k is here:

Durant was on the cover of 2k15, and found himself sidelined for the majority of the season with injuries. Hopefully the cover curse isn’t alive and well.

Hassan Whiteside, a relatively unknown name who plays for the Miami Heat, made headlines for his dedication to 2k. Following a record-setting performance of 14 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 blocks in only 24 minutes, Hassan had an on the court post game interview with ESPN’s Heather Cox.

When asked what inspired him, Hassan responded, “I’m just trying to get my NBA 2k rating up.”


I’d argue that’s dedication, and probably a form of motivation coaches don’t use. Also 2k took note of Whiteside’s request and upped his ratings.

Paul George who missed this season after a devastating injury playing Team USA Basketball. Spent some of his free time on the sticks. Saying “I won’t lose.”

I doubt he gave his Xbox live gamer tag out to his twitter followers to test that theory.

Lebron who has made the 2k cover in the past has a relationship with 2k only the cover athletes have. And he tweeted for 2k14 to celebrate the occasion.

J.R. Smith who plays for the Cavaliers was suspended for the first two games of the Bulls/Cavs series following an altercation with Jae Crowder. By altercation, I mean J.R. punched Crowder: The Story Here

He spent some of his newfound free time playing 2k according to his twitter.

Andrew Wiggins doesn’t specify his game of choice, but video games is his method of relaxing.

I guess he doesn’t throw controllers like Kevin Durant…

James Harden love for 2k goes hand in hand with his love for savings.

2k isn’t the only video game NBA players play

Zach Lavine, the slam dunk contest champ, plays Destiny.

Roy Hibbert plays black ops.

As does Deandre Jordan

And Chandler Parson, well, he appreciates the classics.

2k games will be coming out with 2k16 at the end of this summer, and many hope that Steph Curry, the MVP, will grace the cover. Polygon has already leaked 2k16 cover possibilities and Steph is one of them.

Regardless, the relationship between 2k and NBA Players is one that is here to stay, so pass the sticks and play on.

Join the Conversation