With Kobe Bryant set to grace the Legend Editions cover of NBA2K17, he helped officially introduce Paul George as the NBA2K17 cover athlete at the NBA2K16 Road To The Finals Championship on Wednesday. Alongside former Lakers champion Rick Fox, Bryant talked about what a dream come true it is to be on the Legends cover after 20 years in the NBA, expecting George to grace that same cover years down the line.
“Legends Edition – who would’ve thought? Time goes by fast, he’ll (Paul George) be standing here at the bat of an eye in his Legends Edition,” Bryant said at the reveal.
Of course, it isn’t Bryant’s first cover, as he was the face of NBA2K10, seven years ago.
“I never would have thought about this happening growing up as a kid. It’s really a dream come true to be on the cover. 2K is such an iconic brand, what they’ve done for the gaming industry, they’ve just taken it to another level, so to be a part of this environment is sweet.”
For George, who grew up playing 2K, and was even sideline reporting during the NBA2K16 Road To The Finals, the announcement was definitely a special moment for him.
“I’m excited,” George said. “To piggy back off what Kobe said, growing up, this comes with wanting to be in the NBA, you want to be on the cover, you want to be the best, I followed 2K since AI (Allen Iverson) was on the cover, so I’ve been with 2K and this is locking me in for life right here.”
George, who grew up in Palmdale, stood beside his childhood idol on Tuesday, Kobe Bryant, now retired after 20 legendary seasons in the NBA. George was one of many to receive a pair of signed sneakers from Bryant during his farewell tour.
“His tenacity,” George said about what he’ll miss most about Bryant. “That’s why I love him, and play the way that I play the game, wanting to play both sides of the ball. One statement that always stood out was you (Bryant) said: ‘Guys are going to embarrass you, that’s part of the game, but you live for those match ups.’ That’s why I love playing defense, I love being a star on offense. It’s only a certain few guys that want that challenge and thanks to Kobe I’m able to make my way.”
When Bryant stepped away from the game on April 13th, 2016, he finished with an incredible 60-point performance, one that left every fan in attendance with a memory they will never forget.
“I still can’t believe that happened,” Bryant told Rick Fox before the event kicked off. “I don’t know where the hell it came from. There were no signs of that happening and then there it was. I was really excited, because my kids were there and my kids got a chance to experience the younger Kobe for once. I got a chance to be cool in front of them for once.”
Speaking of being cool in front of their audience of current and former NBA athletes and 2K fans, The Drewkerbockers beat GFG to take home $250,000 at the NBA2K16 Road To The Finals Championship on Tuesday, a tournament that started back in February. It was an evening paralleling the NBA and 2K, as the eSports landscape continues to dominate the video game industry.