Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans only had to play 19 games to snatch his first NBA 2K cover. 😳
As the first rookie to ever receive the honor, Zion barely broke in his Jordans before being named the second of three NBA 2K21 cover athletes, this time for next-gen consoles, like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
He joins Blazers star Damian Lillard, who was announced on Tuesday as the first cover star for current-generation systems, including PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC and Google Stadia systems.
The soon-to-be 20-year-old summed up his reaction by telling Marc J. Spears that it's "a dream come true" and reminds him of countless times at AAU tournaments when he would compete in 2K tournaments against other players.
"It's always been a fun game, especially when you have your friends at AAU tournaments," Zion said. "It's nothing but 2K and 2K tournaments and who thinks they're the best at 2K. Even sometimes meeting up with other teams at the same hotel and seeing how far your 2K skills carry into other states.
"It's a dream come true, man. For it to happen this fast, it's a huge honor."
This move confirms previous rumblings of Zion as the cover athlete that came around the PS5 reveal when the (very sweaty) rookie was featured as the main character in the opening trailer.
He's now the third player from a New Orleans team to grace the cover – Chris Paul was on the front of 2K8 and Anthony Davis for 2K16.
Yet, this news didn't come without its fair share of pushback, as some fans voiced their disappointment in 2K for handing Zion the cover so quickly while more proven young stars like Ja Morant and Luka Doncic are still waiting on their co-sign.