Yesterday morning, NBA 2K announced on Twitter that Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks will be on the cover of 2K22. Doncic is the first ever Maverick to be featured on the cover of 2K.
— NBA 2K (@NBA2K) July 14, 2021
Doncic is currently a rising star in the NBA and is on his way to elite status in the league. The guard just wrapped up his third year of play and has rightfully earned this recognition. The negative conversation surrounding the decision should stop; Doncic’s stats over his last three years has proved he is more than deserving of a spot on the cover of a 2K game.
The Young All-Star
Doncic at the ripe age of 22 has already broken records within the Mavericks franchise and the league. He is the fastest player in the Mavericks team history to reach 5,000 points. The original feat was set by Dirk Nowitzki after four seasons of play; Doncic did it within 3 years of being in the NBA.
No. 77 even crushed one of Michael Jordan’s records. Doncic now holds the record for most consecutive games with 20 points, five assists and five rebounds. Doncic, at only 20 years old, surpassed a record from the legendary Jordan.
In December 2019, the same month he set the record mentioned above, he became the first player in the history of the league to put up 30+ points, 12+ rebounds and 15+ assists in a single game while playing for less than 30 minutes. Think about the athleticism and talent that it takes to put up those numbers in that amount of time.
These are just a few of the records the young future-legend has already cemented and he is only three years in. Who knows what we will see from him as he has more time to learn the league.
Why Not Him?
Yes, it is still early in Doncic’s career and there are certainly other athletes with better stats than him. However, considering everything he has completed in just three short years in the NBA, he is more than deserving. Someone had to get it; why not him?
There are going to be people unhappy with any decision NBA 2K made. Just because Doncic isn’t someone’s favorite player or doesn’t play for someone’s team, does not give anyone the right to diminish this decision.
As stated, he is young. At only 22 years old he has blown everyone away enough to even be considered for the cover athlete spot. His competitors for the position may have better numbers, stats and accolades than him, but they have had more of a chance to earn these. When you are in the stats category with Jordan at 22, that should be enough of a reason to be the cover athlete of the popular game.
If Not Him, Then Who?
Giannis Antetentokounmpo, who is having an incredible run in the NBA Finals, already had his time in the spotlight with 2K19. Stephen Curry graced the cover in 2016, Lebron James made an appearance in the 2014 edition and Chris Paul was featured way back in 2008. All the “greats” have had their moment.
A couple athletes I could have seen making the cover as well would have been Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard or Nikola Jokic. Butler is instrumental to his team, Leonard has won a championship and Jokic is the MVP. Still, I think the right choice was made. Luka Doncic is a great basketball player; there is no reason he shouldn’t be on the cover of the legendary game.