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NBA 2K19’s cover star is LeBron James, for the second time

2K Sports’ marquee franchise launches Sept. 11.

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

NBA 2K19 will launch Sept. 11, 2018, and 14-time NBA All-Star LeBron James will make his second cover appearance for 2K Sports’ flagship series, the publisher announced today. The game will launch for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.

The launch on Switch is noteworthy as it’s the second straight year NBA 2K is on Nintendo’s lead console. NBA 2K13 launched for Wii U in 2012 but did not return the next year.

James is currently involved in the NBA Finals (for the eighth consecutive year) where his Cleveland Cavaliers trail 2-0 to Golden State. He appeared on the cover of 2013’s NBA 2K14, the franchise’s debut on this console generation. Here’s the cover shot:

nba 2k19 anniversary edition cover lebron james 2K Sports

This cover commemorates not only the 20th anniversary of the series — which began under Sega as a Dreamcast launch title in 1999 — but also the 30th anniversary of development studio Visual Concepts, according to 2K Sports.

Dreamcast aficionados will no doubt appreciate the console’s cameo in the video announcing James’ cover. The rappers Rapsody, Jerreau and 2 Chainz also appear in the poetry slam/biography/highlight reel (at top).

Apparently LeBron James had a Dreamcast when he was growing up.
2K Sports

NBA 2K19 will again launch with two editions, a $59.99 standard edition carrying the Sept. 11 launch date and no extra goodies, and a $99.99 20th Anniversary Edition loaded with digital content for use in the game’s expansive MyPlayer and MyTeam modes. That one is available Sept. 7.

2K Sports also announced that NBA 2K19: The Prelude will be available for download on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One beginning Aug. 31, 2018. The Prelude is a free introduction to the game’s MyCareer mode, giving players its introductory portions and allowing them to create their basketball star and import him into the main game. The Prelude has been a part of NBA 2K since 2016.

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