Zion named one of 3 NBA 2K21 cover athletes

Growing up playing NBA 2K games, Zion Williamson dreamed of one day being on the cover. After just one season in the NBA, the New Orleans Pelicans rookie has turned that dream into a reality.

Williamson was named one of the three cover athletes for NBA 2K21 on Wednesday morning.

“It’s one of those emotions I’m still processing,” Williamson told The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears in a video interview. “It’s a dream come true. At those AAU tournaments, you’re looking at the cover thinking, ‘That’s gonna be me.’ For it to happen that fast, it’s a huge honor.”

Williamson will be the cover athlete for the next-generation systems PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. He joins Damian Lillard, who will be featured on the current-generation systems, as one of the announced cover athletes. The final cover athlete will be announced Thursday.

During the PS5 reveal event June 11, Williamson was featured to show off the game’s new graphics.

“My first thoughts on the commercial was this is super dope,” Williamson said. “It’s crazy that it’s me. Then the thoughts after when I let it process was, ‘Man, that was really me.’ They chose me to be the guy to introduce 2K21. It’s just an honor. It’s like a dream come true.”

Williamson said 2K takes him back to his days on the AAU circuit and all the hours he put in playing the game.

“It’s always been a fun game, especially when you’re with your friends at AAU tournaments,” Williamson said. “It’s nothing but 2K, 2K tournaments and whoever thinks they’re the best. Sometimes it’s meeting up with other teams at the same hotel and seeing how far your 2K skills carry.”

Williamson becomes the third player from the New Orleans organization to grace the cover after Chris Paul did so for 2K8 and Anthony Davis for 2K16.

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