Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard was announced as the cover athlete for NBA 2K21 this morning. This is the star Blazer’s first time gracing the cover of the game.
The news was first reported The Athletic’s Shams Charania in an exclusive interview between Charania and Lillard on Stadium. NBA 2K also released a video announcing Lillard as the cover athlete featuring former Blazers Outsiders host Shain Brenden.
Lillard told Charania the honor meant a great deal to him, equating it to an joining an exclusive club of athletes.
It’s an honor. It’s one of those things like a signature shoe, everybody just don’t get it. To be able to join the line of players that have been on the cover of 2K, it’s an honor.
When Lillard first found out that he would be on the cover, he didn’t fully believe it.
I was like ‘The actual cover or the game in China?’ because it’s always something...and they was like ‘No, like the real cover athlete,’ and I was like ‘Dang, that’s what’s up. I made it. I’m going to be on the cover of 2K.’
In a separate statement, Lillard called it a special moment for him and he was grateful for the opportunity.
“This is a special moment for me in my NBA career,” Lillard said in a statement. “I’ve been a fan of NBA 2K for years and love how they represent all aspects of basketball culture. I’m an avid 2K player, so I’m honored to join the other NBA greats who have been on the cover. I’m grateful to all my fans and can’t wait for everyone to experience the game later this year.”
Lillard will be one of three cover athletes for the series. NBA 2K21 will be available for preorder on July 2 and will be released in October.