With the start of a new year comes the release of a new NBA 2K game, and with each new release comes a new set of cover athletes. Being featured on the cover of the long-running basketball franchise is unquestionably a high honor for those who are chosen; it is a reflection of their overall success, talent, or influence on the sport of basketball at the highest level. Basketball 2K22 will feature a total of six athletes who will compete for the title of best player in the world.

The cover athletes for NBA 2K22 are all significant figures in the world of professional basketball in their own right. A lot of star power can be found on the covers of this year's edition, including current and former WNBA players, as well as a long-overdue recognition of the women's professional basketball league (WNBA).

Luka Doncic is a Serbian basketball player.
This relatively new face to the NBA has only recently completed his third season in the league, but he already has a long list of career highlights to his credit. Despite being only 19 years old, Luka Doncic began his first season in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks, and the season ended with him setting a number of NBA records, receiving widespread praise from media and fans, and winning the highly coveted NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Doncic would go on to be selected to two consecutive NBA All-Star games, as well as make back-to-back postseason appearances with the Dallas Mavericks, in the following two seasons.


Candace Parker is a young woman who lives in the United States.
Candace Parker is the face of the WNBA edition of NBA 2K22, which is available exclusively at GameStop. She is the first woman to ever appear on the cover of the series. A dominant high school and college basketball career led to Parker being selected first overall by the Los Angeles Sparks in the 2008 WNBA Draft. She went on to have a standout first year in the league, beginning with breaking the all-time record for most points scored by a rookie in their first game and culminating with her being named both the WNBA's Rookie of the Year and league MVP. The point guard has appeared in six WNBA All-Star games since her rookie season, won another Most Valuable Player award, won the WNBA Championship, and was named Finals MVP during her championship run.

By including every WNBA team with up-to-date rosters in the two most recent NBA 2K games, the games took steps toward better representing the league, but they were never intended to be a showcase for the league's presence on store shelves. Candace Parker's inclusion on the cover of the upcoming NBA 2K22 video game is a significant coup for the WNBA, and it is hoped that it will draw more attention to the league's tremendously talented but underpaid and frequently overlooked players than ever before.

Kevin Durant is a basketball player from the United States.
Kevin Durant is currently considered to be one of the best players in the NBA, and some would even argue that he is the best. During his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Durant guided the team to several postseason appearances and was named the league's Most Valuable Player in 2014. Before joining the Brooklyn Nets in 2019, Durant spent three seasons with the Golden State Warriors, during which time he amassed three playoff appearances, two NBA Championships, and two Finals MVP Awards before departing for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019.

Among Durant's other accomplishments are his selection as an NBA All-Star 11 times, his selection as the All-Star Game MVP twice, and his selection as the Rookie of the Year in his rookie season.

Dirk Nowitzki is a professional football player.
Dirk Nowitzki, the second Dallas Mavericks player to appear on the cover of this year's issue, is widely regarded as one of the all-time greats in the National Basketball Association. In addition to having one of the longest careers in league history, he is the only player to have played for more than 20 seasons with a single team in his career. Nowitzki has been named to 14 NBA All-Star teams, and he was instrumental in the Mavericks' first and only NBA Championship, which they won in 2011. In addition, he is the sixth-highest all-time scorer in the NBA's history, having amassed more than 31,000 points over the course of his long career.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a basketball player from the United States.
In the history of the NBA, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is considered to be one of the best players of all time. In addition to being a 19-time NBA All-Star, he has been named the league's MVP six times, has won six NBA titles, and has been named the NBA Finals MVP twice. He is also the league's all-time leading scorer with more than 38,000 career points. His résumé speaks for itself; if there's anyone who deserves to be featured on the cover of NBA 2K, it's him, hands down.

Rui Hachimura is a Japanese artist.
Rui Hachimura became the first Japanese player to be drafted into the NBA when the Washington Wizards selected him with the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. He was the first Japanese player to be drafted into the NBA. The Japanese release of NBA 2K22 will feature a cover featuring Hachimura as the featured athlete, which will be available only in Japan. Hachimura had previously been named to the NBA's All-Rookie Second Team in 2020, and he also represented Japan's national under-19 basketball team in the previous year.