The King will be making his return to the cover of NBA 2K.

2K Sports has announced that LeBron James will be the featured athlete on the games 20th-anniversary edition. This will be James’ first appearance on the cover of the game since the release of NBA 2K14.

While congratulations may be in order for The King, this reveal may tell the public a little more about LeBron’s free agency plans.

Over the past few years, NBA fans have noticed a trend regarding the cover athletes of the video game. Each cover athlete has changed teams the next season following the release of the game.

Here is a more in-depth look at the infamous 2K curse:

NBA 2K14 (Cover Athlete- LeBron James):

It all started when LeBron James chose to leave the Miami Heat to return to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.

LeBron had initially left the Cavs in 2010 to continue his pursuit for his first NBA championship in South Beach. After winning two titles alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, he would come back to Cleveland to finish what he started. He wanted to bring a championship to Cleveland, and he did just that in 2016 when he defeated the Golden State Warriors and earned recognition as NBA Finals MVP.

NBA 2K15 (Cover Athlete- Kevin Durant):

Kevin Durant was the face of the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2015. Alongside Russell Westbrook, these two-star players combined to make up one of the deadliest duos in the NBA at the time. Despite their dominance, however, the Thunder were unable to compete for the NBA championship. This was primarily because of the Golden State Warriors. With Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the Warriors were almost unstoppable.

Durant wanted to make it to the finals but knew he wasn’t going to be able to beat Golden State. As a result, he decided if you can’t beat them, join them.

In keeping with the curse, KD would sign a contract with the Warriors and go on to win the 2017 NBA Finals.

NBA 2K16 (Cover Athletes- James Harden, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis)

Although none of these players have switched teams, this edition of NBA 2K does not qualify since it featured multiple cover athletes. The curse only applies to games that had a solo cover player.

NBA 2K17 (Cover Athlete- Paul George)

Paul George had spent the first seven years of his career in a Pacers uniform, that is until he was put on the cover of NBA 2K.

On July 6, 2017, George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a package of Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. His first season in Oklahoma City was subpar, putting up his lowest averages in the last three years.

NBA 2K18(Cover Athlete- Kyrie Irving)

Kyrie Irving was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016-2017 season when the company was considering putting him on the cover for the 2018 edition of the game.

However, Kyrie Irving demanded a trade in the offseason to escape LeBron’s shadows and find his spotlight. Much to the surprise of everyone, this request was granted, and he was dealt to the Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets 2018 first round pick.

This occurred before the game was released, so NBA 2K18 featured Kyrie Irving in a Cavaliers uniform even though he began the season in Boston.

NBA 2K19 (Cover Athlete- LeBron James)

Now that it is known that LeBron will appear on the cover of 2K19, the question that you might be wondering is whether this decision is foreshadowing James’ second potential departure from Cleveland?

Well according to Oddshark, James isn’t likely to stay with his current team which would keep the curse alive. The 76ers currently have the best odds to land the services of LeBron as he continues his legendary career.

Even NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith said that he “cannot see any scenario in which LeBron will stay in Cleveland.”

It certainly wouldn’t be surprising if he left. He has already kept his promise to deliver a championship to Cleveland, and as the finals progress, it becomes more and more apparent that he will not be able to overcome the superteams of the Western Conference.

If he wants to add more titles to his resume to compete with Michael Jordan for bragging rights as the greatest player of all-time, James will have to leave the Cavs and join a franchise that is more ready to contend.


Featured Image Via Wikimedia Commons