Jon Robinson of ESPN recently brought to light the rumor of His Airness gracing the cover of NBA 2K11.
While rumors pegged LeBron James, Derrick Rose and even Tyreke Evans as favorites to appear on the cover of "NBA 2K11," multiple sources have told ESPN that the company has gone in a completely different direction, signing basketball legend Michael Jordan as its new spokesman.
This will be the first time that a former player will appear on the front of the box for 2K, and with Jordan taking over majority ownership of the Charlotte Bobcats, it will also be the first time that a team owner will endorse the popular franchise.
I actually asked 2K Sports during last year’s NBA 2K10 Conference Call (1:01:30 mark) if we would ever be seeing MJ again in digital form. Their response was, “I will say that unless things change in terms of sponsorship and his managing of his own licensing and licensing of his persona, the 2K version will not have Michael Jordan for the forseeable future.” Being the new owner of the Charlotte Bobcats must have brought about some sort of change.
Every year, enthusiastic players create their own digital version of Michael and share it with other users via 2K Share. While their efforts are greatly appreciated, no one ever really gets it quite right. There’s always something off. Hopefully these rumors are true and we finally get destroy opponents left and right with the authentic MJ.
There’s more. I’ve even heard whispers that 2K has been in negotiations with several players (both teammates and opponents) from the Jordan era to appear in "2K11" to help gamers and history buffs accurately recreate the heated competition between the classic Bulls and rivals like the Celtics, Knicks and Cavaliers. But since 2K needs to ink all former players to individual contracts, it’s still up in the air whom the company will be able to sign in time to appear in the game.
It will be a bit more difficult to sign all the players that MJ has embarassed over his career, but one can only hope to recreate all the amazing moments he has given us. E3 should provide final confirmation on this eagerly anticipated rumor.