Devin Booker was chosen as the cover athlete for this year’s installment of NBA 2K. Booker is coming off the best season of his career. The 25-year old Booker set career highs in points per game (26.8), rebound per game (5.0) and just complete his first season in which he average more than one steal per game (1.1). Booker also led the Phoenix Suns to the best record in the NBA and made his first of many All-NBA First Team selections. While this season seemed like it was a coming out party for Booker, there were five other athletes (not named LeBron James) that would have been a better choice than Booker as the NBA 2K23 cover athlete.
NBA 2K23: 5 Other Options for the Cover Athlete
Jayson Tatum was receiving lots of unnecessary comments after his performance in the NBA Finals, but make no mistake about it Tatum is the real deal. After a slow start to the season for the Boston Celtics, Tatum led this team to the second seed in the playoffs and made quick work of the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, outplaying one of the best this league has seen in Kevin Durant. Tatum then followed that up by beating the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in seven games, going toe-to-toe with Giannis Antetokounmpo. Tatum posted the best numbers in his young career. He posted career highs in points per game, rebounds per game and assist per game at 26.9, 8.0 and 4.4 respectively. He was also the first recipient of the Eastern Conference Finals MVP award as well. There are far too many accolades to list here for Tatum but he is definitely deserving of being the cover athlete for NBA 2K23.
Ja Morant started this season on fire. In the season, Morant torched the Cavs with 37 points and six assists. If that’s not good enough for you, in the next game against the Lakers, Morant dropped a cool 40 points and 10 assists. It just seemed like every other week, Morant was doing some incredible. In the span of 12 days (February 16th-February 28th), Morant dropped 44,46 and 52 points. The 52 point game was the first 50 point game in Grizzlies history. Morant was well on his way to possibly winning the NBA MVP this season if it weren’t for those 25 missed games. Morant was clearly on another level this season and officially turned himself into a superstar, having a season that was 2K cover athlete worthy.
A two-time MVP will always be a great choice for a cover athlete. Nikola Jokic might have had the best case of anyone to be on the cover of NBA 2K23. Some people thought that last season’s MVP award was a fluke. All he did this season was win another MVP with an even better season. Without Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr, Jokic was still able to lead his team to the playoffs posting career highs in points per game (27.1) and rebounds (13.8). Jokic is the best passing big man in the league, averaging more than seven assists for the fourth consecutive year (7.9). This season, Jokic became the second fastest player to record 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists (516 games), falling one game short of the record held by Larry Bird. Jokic was constantly putting himself in elite company, matching numbers we haven’t seen since the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robinson and Michael Jordan. Jokic is well on his way to being an all-time great and all-time greats deserve NBA 2K video game covers.
Trae Young is one of the more electrifying young players we currently have in the league. Young isn’t the most athletic guy in the league. Using his quickness, dribbling ability and the ability to shoot from anywhere in Georgia, Young can put on a show. The young point guard was acquired in a draft night trade with the Dallas Mavericks when last year’s cover athlete Luka Doncic was traded for young. Let’s just say the trade worked out for both sides. Young has given the Atlanta Hawks a breath of fresh air from a basketball standpoint. This season was no different. He dropped a career high 56 points against the Blazers. Young was also selected once again as a back-court starter in the NBA All-Star game for the second consecutive season. While the Hawks didn’t enjoy the amount of playoff success they had last year, Young played a huge role in getting the Hawks back in the playoffs. In the play-in tournament, Young dropped 38 points and 9 assists to get the Hawks past the Cavaliers. It’s only a matter of time before Young finds himself on the cover of an NBA 2K game.
There may be no such thing, but Stephen Curry might’ve pulled off the perfect NBA season. NBA Championship? Check. NBA Finals MVP? Check. First ever Western Conference Finals MVP? Check that one off the list too. Do you need more ammo for why Curry should’ve been the NBA 2K23 cover athlete? Curry was the oldest player in NBA history to put up 50 points and 10 assists in a game. On November 12th, Curry became the NBA’s all-time leaders in made three-pointers, passing Ray Allen. Speaking of three point records, Curry also now holds the record for most three pointers made in an All-Star game with 16. Breaking the record helped Curry win All Star Game MVP. Curry has been an NBA 2K cover athlete before but Curry made this season all about him. Curry would definitely be a better option as the NBA 2K cover athlete.