One of the greatest honors in the sports world is gracing the cover of one of the most popular sports video games in the world. NBA 2k. It is every athlete’s dream to have their face shown to the world as one of the best basketball players that season. Here is a list of some of the greatest NBA players to never have such an opportunity, despite being extremely productive on the basketball court. There are some that were rewarded a place on other basketball games, but not the one that has monopolized the basketball game market. Here are some honorable mentions.
10. Ray Allen. Because Allen was such a big part of the Celtics Finals teams, and hit one of the biggest shots in Finals history with the Miami Heat, he is seen as just a clutch pure shooter. While this is true, NBA fans tend to forget that Allen was an all-around superstar for the Seattle Super Sonics. There is no question he is one of the greatest shooters to ever live and had ice in his veins. Allen ended his career as a 10x all-star a 2x champion.
9. Paul Pierce. Pierce was a competitor. He is a very underrated player that never really seemed to get the respect that he deserved. “The Truth” was a Boston Celtic for most of his career and will forever be known as such. In 2007, the Celtics created one of the original super teams as superstars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined Pierce in Boston. They went to the Finals back to back years splitting them with Kobe’s Lakers. Pierce was the Finals MVP and was certainly a star in the league.
8. Jason Kidd. Kidd is the definition of a floor general. In the history of the league, he joins just a few as one of the greatest passers to play. He helped a plagued Nets team attend the NBA Finals. During his time in the NBA he led the league in assists five times. He was also known for being a triple-double machine long before it was common in today’s game. When he hung up his sneakers he ended up averaging 8.7 assists a game which is a crazy number. Kidd should have at least been considered as a finalist to have the honor of being on the cover of 2k.
7. Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is one of the few active players on this list. Russ is one of the most polarizing players in the league and plays every night like it is the NBA Finals. His athleticism is mesmerizing as well as his determination on the court. Russ is a player that doesn’t care what you think about him, and that is part of his brand. He has had some criticism as to how he plays in the postseason, but perhaps that may change in the futrue. He is a part of a star-studded Rockets team that has the potential to make some noise in the postseason.
6. Carmelo Anthony. Melo was drafted in 2003 with some pretty big names. He did not waste anytime before making a splash in the league. As a member of the Denver Nuggets he put the league on notice and quickly became a superstar. Anthony is a 10x All-Star that was almost impossible to stop when he had the ball in his hands. Though he hasn’t won an NBA title he will go down as one of the best scoring small forwards to play the game. He always upped his game in the Olympics and destroyed the opposition and was a big reason why we won 3 gold medals. It is truly a wonder he was never was on a game cover.
5. Tracy McGrady. TMAC was one of the best scorers the league had ever seen for a good while before falling to a cascade of injuries that halted his career. Who knows what McGrady could have accomplished if he was to never be plagued with these unfortunate circumstances. He won the scoring title twice and was a 7x all-star. He was one of the most electric players in the NBA for a while, so it is surprising he was not chosen for a game cover.
4. Steve Nash. Nash was a part of a star-studded 1996 draft with legends such as Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, and Ray Allen. He was one of the best point guards of the era, and helped the Phoenix Suns stay in contention year after year. He controversially won back to back MVP awards and was one of the purest shooters in league history. Nash was one of the faces of the league during the 2000’s and it is surprising that he never had the opportunity to be on 2k’s cover.
3. Kawhi Leonard. Leonard is a player that is still active and productive in the NBA today. He is still in the middle of his prime and has the potential to move up on this list if he continues to turn heads. Leonard as won two titles with two different teams and was the Finals MVP in both victories. He has a strange and quiet personality that does not find joy in the spotlight. This may be a reason as to why he has not been selected to grace a 2k cover. His Clippers have a very good chance of making it to the Finals if the season continues this season. Time will tell where Leonard will land on the list of all-time greats.
2. Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki may have one of the most impressive title wins in the history of the NBA. In 2011, his Mavericks took down Kobe’s Lakers, Durant’s Thunder, and then beat Lebron’s Heat in the Finals. Though the Mavericks had some highly skilled role players they won the championship with only one major star. Nowitzki revolutionized the game and was anomaly, it was extremely rare for a tall player like himself to have a great shot. There are few signature shots as unblockable as the Nowitzki fadeaway. He was a league MVP and was an NBA All-Star a whopping 14 times. He paved the wat for many other European stars that play in the league today, and certainly should have been on the face of 2k in America.
- Tim Duncan. Duncan should be an obvious choice as the number one player to have never graced the face of NBA 2k. He was the face of the San Antonio Spurs’ dynasty for the duration of the 2000’s and was the main reason the Spurs won 5 championships. He was the MVP for three of those championship victories. He was also awarded the MVP of the league honors twice in his career and could be the best Power Forward to ever play the game. Duncan was always known as being a low-key that didn’t seem to enjoy the spotlight. Maybe this was the reason he was never chosen to be on the cover of this particular video game.