NBA 2K21 will have three different cover athletes. Now we know Damian Lillard will be the first.
2K announced the Portland Trail Blazers star will serve as the cover athlete for current-gen systems in a press release Tuesday.
Lillard expressed gratitude for the cover spot:
"This is a special moment for me in my NBA career. I've been a fan of NBA 2K for years and love how they represent all aspects of basketball culture. I'm an avid 2K player so I'm honored to join the other NBA greats who have been on the cover. I'm grateful to all my fans and can't wait for everyone to experience the game later this year."
Lillard will be on the cover of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC and Google Stadia systems. 2K will announce PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X covers Wednesday, along with additional information on the game and pre-order availability Thursday.
Lillard is the first Blazers player to appear on the cover of a 2K game. 2K and Lillard are also partnering through 2K Foundations to renovate an underserved community center and basketball court in Oakland.
Alfie Brody, vice president of marketing for NBA 2K, said of the partnership:
"There are a lot of great players in the NBA today, but Damian Lillard has done a particularly standout job of representing the current generation of NBA superstar. From his cultural influence, musical success, off-the-court leadership and on court domination, he's the perfect fit for our cover of NBA 2K21 on current-generation platforms; we're honored to have him."
Lillard was in the midst of what will likely be his third straight All-NBA season, averaging career highs in points (28.9) and assists (7.8), when the season was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It's unclear if 2K will alter its typical early September release date to fall in line with the pushed-back NBA calendar. The 2020 NBA draft is not slated to take place until Oct. 16, and free agency will begin Oct. 18.
Release information and other details of the game are expected this week.