Before anyone beats me to the punch, I get it Zion is marketable. Just because he’s marketable doesn’t mean he deserves to be on the cover of 2k. Through 19 games this season, Zion is averaging 23.6 points, 6.8 boards, and 2.2 assists in 30 minutes, with a 24.32 PER. The numbers look promising, but he needs to prove a few things before we start to throw him in as a cover athlete.
Reason #1 – It’s Too Soon
When it comes to Zion there’s no debating that he’s a well talked about and popular player, but when he hasn’t even gotten his feet wet in the NBA when do we say ‘say slow down’?
The cover athlete isn’t an MVP award so we shouldn’t be mad over it right ? The 2k community is the most toxic, and fun environment all into one. So when someone says that it’s not an MVP award a lot of people will disagree with you.
If we look at the past editions of 2k we see a pattern:
- 2k14: LeBron
- 2k15: KD
- 2k16: James Harden, Steph Curry, AD
- 2k17: Paul George
- 2k18: Kyrie Irving
- 2k19: Giannis
- 2k20: AD
The past 2k cover athletes have all been in the league for years and have proven their worth all around to be a cover athlete. These cover athletes that have the accolades to further their resume as everyone on the cover of 2k has been an all star.
Now, I’m not knocking Zion’s potential or skill because it is a fact that he is a great talent, but why would you put someone on the cover who has played 19 games and has been injured through most of the season? It is clear that 2k is transitioning to a a different dynamic by shifting their attention to younger, under-qualified athletes on the rise.
It isn’t inevitable that Zion will turn into someone great because it is too soon to find that out at the moment.
Reason #2 – Change
Throughout the years we’ve been accustomed to seeing the athlete that is a clear representation of the league being on the cover of 2k. As a whole, most of us hate change, but 2k is switching it up. Could this be the start of giving promising young guys a chance?
That hasn’t gone over well with the 2k community. Zion hasn’t accomplished nearly as much as Trae Young, Luka Doncic (who is signed with EA), Jayson Tatum, and evening Ja Morant. So, when we look at all these young guys and then look at Zion can you understand why he doesn’t deserve to be on the cover? My guess is probably not.
Reason #3 – Taking the attention off of Dame
Lillard being on the cover is interesting and surprising, but not as surprising as announcing Zion on the cover of the next-gen console. Talk about disrespect! Not only does that take away from Lillard’s spotlight, but putting him on the Xbox One & PS5 – months before a new console drops, is cold. I bet if you ask anyone what they think about Lillard being in the cover they would have to think for a minute.
Dame has had to go through a lot of obstacles to prove his worth in the league and even maintain his star status. Being outshined by a 19 year old rookie has got to upset a lot of fans, especially when the more deserving candidate was Lillard if we are looking at it from a full perspective not a one sided one.
Reason #4 – The NBA has a lot of Influence on 2k
Marketability is something that every business needs and strives for. That’s why it was weird when we are seeing the NBA pull for Zion to be in the playoffs and even opening more opportunities for the Pelicans.
The 9th seed is allowed to have a chance to beat the 8th seed in a two game series if both teams are within four games of each other. There’s only one problem. The Trailblazers (Lillard) and the Pelicans (Zion) are both 3.5 games back.
Don’t you think it’s odd that 2k later announced both Lillard and Zion cover athletes? As if they are creating this rivalry between the two heading into the NBA restart. By adding fuel to the fire that Lillard is on the old console and Zion is on the new console.
It all comes down to marketability and why else wouldn’t 2k and the NBA team up? Both are huge profiting organizations that gravitate towards a Monet opportunity. If you can’t see the correlation on this, then you’ve been living under a rock.
Zion is the youngest athlete to be on the cover of 2k making history, which is a milestone in itself. Another reason to make fans think he’s more than he actually is. There’s a lot to question and I love the rally behind supporting Zion, but he hasn’t proven much at all, but Gina Ford is genius. Even if Zion were to fall completely off the map, financially he would be set for the rest of his life.