“Channel your inner-Mamba Mentality”: In Huge Show of Respect, the Late Kobe Bryant Has Been Officially Announced As the NBA 2K24 Cover Athlete

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Kobe Bryant has been officially announced as the next cover, for Visual Concepts’s upcoming title NBA 2K24. In an unsurprising decision, the massively popular basketball game will be using 2024 to coincide with Bryant’s jersey number, which was 24, when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers. While Bryant has appeared on the cover of 2K titles in the past, this game is much more inspired by the late basketball all-star and his path to success. 


Bryant was the first guard drafted out of high school for the Lakers in 1996. He played as number 8 until the 2006-07 season, when he switched to number 24. He never moved from the Los Angeles Lakers team in his entire career and retired after the 2015-16 season at the age of 37.  While he was active he took on the nickname “Black Mamba,” which was a nod to the Quentin Tarantino film, Kill Bill. This will be the fourth time Bryant has appeared on the cover of a 2K game, with the other three appearances being: NBA 2K10, NBA 2K17: Legendary Edition, and NBA 2K21: Mamba Forever Edition.

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This recent cover appears to be a way to honor Bryant after he and his daughter’s untimely death in 2020. The basketball all-star and his 13 year-old, boarded a helicopter on January 26, along with six other family friends and the pilot. Due to inclement foggy and rainy weather, the helicopter pilot lost his bearings and crashed into the Calabasas mountains about 30 miles outside of Los Angeles. All of the occupants were killed in the accident. While many inside and outside the NBA community have mourned the loss of the athlete, others like developers at 2K, are also trying to pay tribute to the legendary basketball player  

The Kobe Bryant Cover Marks the End of An Era, As a New One Begins

Kobe Bryant has been announced as the next NBA 2K24 cover athlete.
Kobe Bryant has been announced as the next NBA 2K24 cover athlete.

Kobe Bryant will be featured on the covers of NBA 2K24: Black Mamba Edition and NBA 2K24: Kobe Bryant Edition, however he will not be the only athlete to grace the cover. Ever since 2019, the NBA 2K games have started including WNBA players. Sabrina Ionescu, a guard for the New York Liberty, has also been selected for the cover and will be featured on the cover of the NBA 2K24: WNBA Edition. This title will mark 25 years since Visual Concepts started putting out 2K games, so it only makes sense to honor past NBA legends and celebrate new WNBA stars.

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NBA 2K24 will release on September 8th, 2023 for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows. Although there has not been too much information on the features of the title, Visual Concepts has announced the game will include crossplay, ProPLAY, and “Mamba Mode.” ProPLAY will take footage clips from real NBA matches and animate them into the game, while “Mamba Mode” will allow players to experience the career of Kobe Bryant through recreated moments. According to the PlayStation Store, “Mamba Moments” will allow players to:

“Channel your inner-Mamba Mentality as you recreate Kobe’s most dominant and captivating performances during his rise to global superstardom. Revisit his early career triumphs as a young phenom, and progress through his transcendent journey from elite scorer to one of the greatest players of all time.”

As September gets closer, there is no doubt Kobe Bryant fans are excited for NBA 2K24, and to again experience the all-star in animated form. Are you excited to see the LA Lakers guard return to the 2K courts? Leave a comment and share what you’re looking forward to about the new 2K title.

Source: NBA and PlayStation


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Written by Ezekiel Hall

Articles Published: 169

Ezekiel is an avid gamer, film enthusiast, and has a love for technology. When he has free time you are most likely to find him playing something on PlayStation or binge watching a new show. He is a fan of all things DC, Marvel, and Star Wars.