The King is returning to the cover.
2K Sports announced LeBron James will be the cover athlete for NBA2K19's 20th Anniversary Edition Tuesday.
"It’s humbling to be on the 20th anniversary cover of a game I’ve played and loved since I was a little kid," James said. "We were able to do something really unique for the cover that represents everything that drives me and inspires me—from my family to where I come from and words I live by. I’m honored my journey can be part of this special time in 2K history and I’m excited for fans to see it."
NBA2K19 will be released Sept. 11; those who order the special anniversary edition will get the game four days early. James previously served as the cover athlete for NBA 2K14.
The 2K19 cover features James and words with special meaning chosen by the four-time MVP. Those who have followed James' career will immediately recognize phrases like "Strive for Greatness," along with others like "Equality" and "Driven."
Basketball Twitterers will almost certainly notice the "G.O.A.T." featured prominently. Most reasonable basketball minds have narrowed the "greatest-ever" to James and Michael Jordan. Inclusion of the phrase will no doubt spark even more debate, with James and 2K steering into the curve of calling him the greatest to ever play.
"This year marks the 30th anniversary for the development team at Visual Concepts and the 20th for the NBA 2K series, so it was important to commemorate this milestone by partnering with the most iconic athlete of this generation in LeBron James," said Alfie Brody, vice president of marketing for NBA 2K. "LeBron’s carefully crafted wording on the NBA 2K19 20th Anniversary Edition cover encapsulate the passion and drive that have elevated him to all-time greatness making him the perfect cover star."
As is the case with previous special editions, 2K Sports is loading the 20th Anniversary Edition with special features. Those who purchase this particular edition will receive 100,000 Virtual Currency, 50,000 MyTEAM points, 20 MyTEAM League packs and 10 MyTEAM "20th Anniversary" packs.
LeBron-specific items include a sapphire LeBron MyTEAM card, five LeBron-themed murals for MyCOURT, a LeBron MyCOURT design, Nike apparel and 25 different pairs of LeBron's signature shoe. A LeBron wristband and poster is included in the physical edition.
Cleveland Cavaliers fans might notice a complete absence of Cavs colors. While the cover could appear to feature Cleveland's "The Land" jerseys on first glance, 2K Sports told Bleacher Report James is not wearing any team-specific gear on the cover.
LeBron is an unrestricted free agent this summer and is expected to court offers from a number of contenders, including the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets. Having him prominently featuring the Cavs would have set up for a potential cover change. 2K18 had to release an alternate cover when the Cavs traded Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics last August.