On a media conference call on Tuesday, the publisher of the uber-popular NBA 2K video game series named Durant as the cover athlete for NBA 2K15, which is due out in the fall.
James graced the cover of NBA 2K14. With this announcement, it's evident Durant's already bright star is gaining even more shine.
He briefly commented on being the cover boy via Alex Kennedy of basketballinsiders.com:
Kevin Durant on earning 2K15 cover: "To be the 2K15 cover athlete is just as important [as winning MVP] to me."— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 6, 2014
Kevin Durant on NBA 2K15: "I begged them to put me on the cover. I don't think anybody plays the game as much as I do. It's so authentic."— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 6, 2014
Even if Durant can’t lead his team over the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round of the Western Conference semifinals, it’s still been a pretty good year for him.
During the 2013-14 regular season, KD posted averages of 32.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He logged 38.5 minutes per contest and missed just one game all season, helping lead OKC to a 59-23 record and a No. 2 seed in the playoffs.
The 25-year-old was named the NBA's 2013-14 MVP on Tuesday, per Sam Amick of USA Today. He won the fourth scoring title of his career and has firmly established himself as a future Hall of Famer.
That's not too bad for a guy one publication called "Mr. Unreliable."
Even if this is Durant's peak on a basketball court, his career averages of 27.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game, his perennial All-Star appearances and this year's MVP trophy make a great early case for him to be enshrined in Springfield one day.
Though KD is a ferocious scorer and one of the biggest stars in the league today, he's also humble. Per ESPN.com, Durant talked about his unselfish approach to the game.
I've always been a player that was excited for my teammates' success. Not just mine, but my teammates' as well. Wanting to see them do well translates to my game, which is wanting to pass the ball and seeing my teammates reap the benefits.
As one of the most likable players in the league, many fans were pining for Durant to be NBA 2K's choice for cover athlete this year.
This tweet is just one example:
Kevin Durant should be on the Cover of NBA 2K15— Just Allen (@makinrice1987) May 6, 2014
Durant had previously appeared on the cover of NBA 2K13, but he wasn’t alone. He shared the honor with fellow rising stars, as the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and the Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose joined KD for a multiathlete cover.
This year, the glory is all Durant’s. And deservedly so.
NBA 2K14 wowed fans with its groundbreaking visuals. From a pure graphics standpoint, it was perhaps the most impressive title on the next-generation consoles. Innovative new features like The Park and tweaks to old favorites like the My Career mode made the game a smash hit.
Per Mike Mahardy of IGN, who was referencing a Take Two Interactive earnings report, NBA 2K14 had shipped five million units on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One by February.
Because of what was accomplished with last year’s version, NBA 2K15 is easily one of the most anticipated releases for sports gamers and the entire video game industry as a whole.
The timing of the announcement was perfect for 2K Sports, as the company was able to capitalize on the excitement surrounding the official word on Durant’s MVP coronation.
Because the series has featured the last two MVPs on the cover of its game in consecutive years, it makes the honor all the more special.
Perhaps the MVP award and the NBA 2K cover will go hand in hand for years to come.
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