by Aaron Jaffe ’21
In the real world, Lebron James is arguably the face of the NBA, and maybe the greatest player of all-time depending on who you ask. After yesterday’s announcement James is also the face of the basketball gaming world. James was named the cover of NBA 2K19 for the second time in his career, the first being in 2014 while a member of the Miami Heat. While some may consider this a great honor and especially to be named cover athlete twice while still being an active player, it’s a curse for the fans.
In the previous 5 years, almost every player featured (or at least one in the years with multiple players on the cover) has then gone on to a different team after being featured.
In 2013, it was Blake Griffin who was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Detroit Pistons. In 2014, Lebron James took his talents back to Cleveland from Miami. In 2015, maybe the biggest change was seen when MVP Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder for their biggest rival, the Golden State Warriors. 2016 was an exception for the curse but in 2017, Paul George was traded from the Indiana Pacers to the Thunder. Finally in 2018 the blockbuster trade saw Kyrie Irving go from the Cavaliers to rival Boston Celtics.
As this years’ finals is going on and it seems James has taken the Cavs as far as they can go, it is only human to wonder what James being named to the cover means for the future. Will he leave for LA and a young promising Lakers team? Or will he complete the process by joining Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in Philly? Only time will tell but for Cavs fans, don’t sleep on the 2K curse.