The NBA 2K covers have each featured at least one NBA player, beginning with Allen Iverson in the original NBA 2K. In contrast to the NBA Live series, the NBA 2K games have repeated cover players, notably featuring Iverson on the cover for the first five games in the series and Shaquille O’Neal in back-to-back appearances for NBA 2K6 and NBA 2K7. Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant have also appeared on multiple covers.
In 2010, NBA 2K11 became the first game in the series to feature a retired player on the cover, namely Michael Jordan. Jordan returned as the cover player for NBA 2K12, with limited edition Magic Johnson and Larry Bird covers also being made available. NBA 2K13 marks the first time that multiple players appear on the same cover, with Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose appearing together.
NBA 2k14 had the first cover with LeBron James. NBA 2K15 had Kevin Durant, and NBA 2K16 had three covers with superstars James Harden, Stephen Curry and Anthony Davis.
NBA 2K17 has Paul George and Legend Edition with Kobe Bryant.
Check NBA 2K covers through the years.
NBA 2K – Allen Iverson
NBA 2K1 – Allen Iverson
NBA 2K2 – Allen Iverson
NBA 2K3 – Allen Iverson
NBA 2K4 – Allen Iverson
NBA 2K5 – Ben Wallace
NBA 2K6 – Shaquille O’Neal
* First player to win the championship the same season as appearing on the NBA 2K cover
NBA 2K7 – Shaquille O’Neal
NBA 2k8 – Chris Paul
NBA 2K9 – Kevin Garnett
NBA 2K10 – Kobe Bryant
* Second player to win the championship the same season as appearing on the NBA 2K cover
NBA 2k11 – Michael Jordan
* First retired player to appear on an NBA 2K cover
NBA 2K12 – Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson
* The Larry Bird and Magic Johnson covers were limited edition
NBA 2K13 – Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose
* First cover to feature multiple players
NBA 2K14 – LeBron James
NBA 2K15 – Kevin Durant
NBA 2K16 – Stephen Curry, James Harden, Anthony Davis
* All three covers were available as an insert in the regular edition, so that they could be swapped according to preference
NBA 2K16 SPECIAL EDITION – Michael Jordan
NBA 2K16 – Paul George
NBA 2K16 LEGEND EDITION – Kobe Bryant
Source: NBA 2K Covers