2K Sports announced Williamson will serve as the cover athlete for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X when those consoles are released.
Williamson said of the honor:
"Being on the cover of NBA 2K has been a dream since I was a kid and to be the first NBA 2K21 cover athlete for the next-generation of gaming is really special. Since the day I joined Team 2K, I've wanted to make an impact on basketball culture both on and off the court, and being the cover athlete for NBA 2K21 on next-gen consoles lets me do that. I can't wait to be part of this global phenomenon and hoop with all the ballers out there on NBA 2K21."
2K hinted at Williamson's involvement when it released preview footage for the PS5 at Sony's launch event earlier this month. The Pelicans star joins Damian Lillard, who 2K announced as the face of the current-gen systems.
"For the cover of the next-generation version of NBA 2K21, we wanted to find someone who could represent the next generation of NBA superstar," said Alfie Brody, VP of marketing at NBA 2K. "Zion is one of the few young players who has met the hype and can be considered a standard-bearer for the next generation. We're thrilled that he is representing the 2K21."
A third athlete, likely a legend, will be announced as the third and final cover athlete Thursday. Fans have overwhelmingly clamored for Kobe Bryant to be on the cover as a way to honor the late Lakers icon.
2K will also announce preorder information, pricing and release dates Thursday. It is unclear if the coronavirus pandemic will result in a delayed release. The game has typically hit shelves in early September, but with the 2020 NBA draft not slated to take place until Oct. 16 and free agency scheduled for Oct. 18, it's possible 2K will hold off to make roster adjustments.
Release dates for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are pending.