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NBA 2K19 gameplay trailer shows off LeBron, Giannis and others

Oh right, LeBron is a Laker now

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

With a month to go until NBA 2K19’s launch, publisher 2K Sports has released the first gameplay footage of the annual basketball sim in its debut trailer.

Dubbed “Take the Crown,” the minutelong trailer is set to Jay Rock’s “Win.” Both of NBA 2K19’s cover athletes are featured heavily in the trailer: LeBron James, now of the Los Angeles Lakers, and young Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

James appears on the $99.99 20th Anniversary Edition of NBA 2K19 — the artwork didn’t feature his old Cleveland Cavaliers jersey, so 2K didn’t have to worry about making any changes to the imagery — while the Greek Freak graces the cover of the stand-alone game. (NBA 2K19 is the 20th iteration of the NBA 2K franchise; its 20th anniversary will technically come next year, since the series began in 1999 with NBA 2K on the Dreamcast.)

Plenty of other stars from around the league also show up in the trailer. That includes 2018 MVP winner James Harden, and members of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, such as Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. Of course, there are a couple of faces in new places this year in addition to LeBron — early in the trailer, we see the Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard ready for tipoff against his former team, the San Antonio Spurs.

At this point, we don’t know much about Visual Concepts’ plans for gameplay improvements in NBA 2K19, although we did recently learn about changes to the game’s Franchise mode thanks to Game Informer. Here’s hoping we’ll find out more before NBA 2K19 launches Sept. 7 for 20th Anniversary Edition buyers and Sept. 11 for everyone else. The game will be available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.

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