Pelicans’ Zion Williamson to be cover athlete on next-gen version of ‘NBA 2K21’

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New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson was revealed as the second cover athlete for NBA 2K21 on Wednesday.

“It’s one of those emotions I’m still processing,” Williamson told The Undefeated in a video interview. “It’s a dream come true. At those AAU tournaments, you’re looking at the cover thinking, ‘That’s going to be me.’ For it to happen that fast, it’s a huge honor.”

Williamson will be the cover star for the next-generation edition of the popular basketball video game on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. He joins Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, who will be displayed on the current-generation version of the game.

During the PlayStation 5 reveal event last month, Williamson was featured in a trailer showing off the game’s enhanced graphics.

“My first thoughts on the commercial was this is super dope,” Williamson said. “It’s crazy that it’s me. Then the thoughts after when I let it process was, ‘Man, that was really me.’ They chose me to be the guy to introduce 2K21. It’s just an honor. It’s like a dream come true.”

Williamson becomes the third player from the New Orleans franchise to grace the cover of the NBA 2K series. Chris Paul appeared on the cover of NBA 2K8, followed by Anthony Davis for 2K16.

He also is the first rookie to ever appear on the cover of NBA 2K.

The final cover athlete for the “Legends Edition” will be announced Thursday. Late Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in January, is widely anticipated to appear on the cover.

NBA 2K21 will be available for preorder July 2 and will be released in October. At that time, the game will be playable on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch. It will later ship for Xbox Series X and the PS5.

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