Kyrie Irving Prepared NBA 2K for Lakers’ Anthony Davis Trade

Anthony Davis Kyrie Irving

Getty Anthony Davis and Kyrie Irving

NBA 2K20 released last week. Along with recently retired Miami Heat All Star, Dwyane Wade, Los Angeles Lakers forward, Anthony Davis is a cover athlete for the game.

Davis has been a cover athlete for the game multiple times within a span of only four years.

Davis also appeared on the cover of NBA 2K16 along with his contemporaries, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden who also had their own covers for the game.

If you look at NBA 2K20’s game cover, you’ll see Davis wearing a gold jersey. But, you don’t see the Lakers’ team name on the chest of his jersey.

Safe play. Davis was the subject of multiple NBA trade rumors since October of last year.

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Luckily, the New Orleans Pelicans, his old team also has a gold colorway on their jersey that is similar to the Lakers’ gold on their jerseys.

For those tardy to the party: In recent years many gamers have started conspiracy theories about an NBA 2K curse.

That curse has seen players such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Kyrie Irving get traded or leave in free agency within a year after appearing on the cover.

LeBron James left the Miami Heat to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014. The following year Kevin Durant graces NBA 2K15 and goes to the Golden State Warriors in 2016. Paul George, now a member of the Los Angeles Clippers was on NBA 2K17’s cover and that year he was shipped to the Oklahoma City Thunder this summer.

Then there was the Kyrie Irving issue on NBA 2K18! Irving’s case was the most interesting.

Irving was announced as the cover athlete that spring and was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics that summer for Isaiah Thomas.

While that was great in the NBA world, there was one significant problem: NBA 2K18 had been promoting Kyrie Irving as the game’s cover athlete and he was donning Cavs gear. “I think it’s more of a headache than a lot of people think,” NBA 2K’s Ronnie Singh told me on Scoop B Radio back in the fall of 2017.

Dwyane Wade and Ronnie 2K (Getty)

“The manufacturing doesn’t happen overnight. We don’t turn on a switch and the games are produced. There is a lot of effect to retail, you know? Like there is signage that will be there that is going to be Cavaliers.

“That’s a huge conversation piece. It is nice that people relate that huge transaction in the league to thinking about how it affects a 2K cover, so all in all it’s a good thing. But yeah, obviously there are procedural things that are difficult about it, but nothing that we are challenged by. We make it work.”

Kyrie Irving’s trade set the mandate for Anthony Davis in NBA 2K 20 and 2K was ready.

“I think that Kyrie thing was a learning thing for us,” Ronnie Singh told me last weekend.

“We didn’t know if Anthony Davis was going to get moved, we wanted to protect ourselves, obviously. It’s hard to repurpose the cover with a new team. It’s a production nightmare It was important for us to think about what was next for Anthony and that’s what the homage of that cover really is.”