Click to enlarge (Provided by 2K Sports)He might not have stopped LeBron James from winning it all this year, but Kevin Durant just one-upped the newly-crowned NBA champ in another field: video game covers.
The Oklahoma City Thunder forward will be joined by Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose and L.A. Clippers highlight-machine Blake Griffin on the cover of the upcoming NBA 2K13. Unlike last year's cover trio of Magic, Bird and Jordan, however, the three stars will share one cover rather than have separate covers of their own.
"Because of the company they were in -- and the passing of the torch from Jordan, Bird and Magic, so to speak -- they were all really happy to share it together," said 2K Sports' VP of Marketing, Jason Argent.
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The decision marks a change in direction for 2K, who previously made headlines by focusing on old-school greats. This year, they wanted to highlight the next generation of superstars.
"This is a transition year for us" Argent told Yahoo! Games. "We've [recently] focused so much on legends in the past. We believe these are the legends in the making."
Yep, pretty much. Durant put on an offensive clinic this year, leading the NBA in scoring for the third consecutive season while leading the Thunder to the Finals. In just his second full season as a pro, Griffin was an All-Star starter and made the league's All-NBA Second team. And while former MVP Rose missed much of the season due to injury (he's currently rehabbing a torn ACL), when healthy he's arguably the best guard in the league. All three were also Rookie of the Year winners.
"Being crowned as one of the NBA 2K13 cover athletes is a huge honor and something I always dreamt about," Durant said in a statement. "It's definitely humbling to grace the cover after the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird."
Scoring the 2K cover is indeed a big deal for NBA players these days. The last two entries in the series -- 2K11 and 2K12 -- are among the highest-rated basketball games of all time, though the franchise will finally get its rival back when EA re-launches the troubled NBA Live later this year. That series went on hiatus after getting trounced by 2K for a few years in a row.
2K Sports has been coy about what kinds of new features fans can expect out of this year's game, thus far only revealing an emphasis on defense and the inclusion of All-Star weekend, including a timing-based dunk contest. The game comes out on October 2 for the Xbox 360 and PS3.