NBA

NBA 2K18 unveils Kyrie Irving as the cover athlete for this year's upcoming game

Thursday evening, Kyrie Irvingand his Cleveland Cavaliers will take on the Golden State Warriors in a third consecutive NBA Finals matchup.

It's shaping up as a busy day for the Cavaliers' star point guard. On Thursday morning,Ivringhad the honor of being named the NBA 2K18 cover athlete, joining Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal, who will grace the cover of the Legend Edition of the game.

Lsat year's cover athlete was Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, who was on hand alongside Kobe Bryant and Rick Fox for 2K's first official esports tournament held in Los Angeles in June2016.

NBA 2K18 is scheduled to release on September 19, 2017.

Via NBA 2K:

The selection ofIrving marks his first appearance on the cover of NBA 2K and comes at a pinnacle point in his career after consecutive dominant years with the Cavaliers and a repeat appearance at the NBA Finals this season, which has appropriately earned him the nickname,"Ankletaker."

It is well known that Im an avid player of this series and I am honored to be the cover athlete of NBA 2K18, saidKyrie Irving, who has his sights set on another ring and is making a run for back-to-back championships. Its surreal to be featured on the cover and I cant wait to dominate on the virtual court with all of my fans this fall.

Kyries basketball resume includes a Rookie of the Year award in 2012, NBA All-Star Game MVP in 2014, and the 2016 NBA championship that marked one of the most incredible upsets in NBA Finals history with a team-high 27.1 points per game, making him the unquestioned choice in bringing NBA 2K18 to fans around the world.

Its obvious thatKyrie isnt disappearing from the spotlight anytime soon, so were thrilled to have him as our cover athlete, alongside Shaq for the NBA 2K18 Legend Edition, said Alfie Brody, Vice President of Marketing for NBA 2K. Hes a more-than-worthy recipient of this honor, and joins so many other greats who were cover athletes before him.

Fans who pre-order NBA 2K18 at participating North American retail and online vendors receive Early Tip-Off Access, ensuring they receive their copy and in-game bonuses four days early beginning on September 15, 2017.

Irving averaged a career-high 25.2 points per game in 2016-17 on 47.3 percent shooting, adding 5.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds. He also attempted 6.1 3-pointers per game this season, making 40.1 percent of them.

Now, he's ready to show off just how clutch he is once more and perhaps give us a few video-game-worthy moments like last year's Game 7 dagger yet again.

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