Candace Parker has become the first WNBA player to appear on the cover of an NBA 2K game. The Chicago Sky forward, a six-time WNBA All-Star, two-time WNBA MVP, and 2016 WNBA Finals MVP, is featured on the cover of the WNBA 25th Anniversary Special Edition of NBA 2K22, which will be released on September 10th.
“I grew up a video game fanatic, that’s what I did, to the point where my brothers would give me the fake controller when I was younger where I think I was playing and I wasn’t,” Parker tells ESPN. “All I wanted to do was just be like them. As a kid growing up, you dream of having your own shoe and dream of being in a video game. Those are an athlete as a kid’s dreams. To be able to experience that, I don’t take it lightly.”
Extremely proud and humbled to be the first female cover athlete in the history of @NBA2K— Candace Parker (@Candace_Parker) July 14, 2021
I’m honored to work with a company that’s investing in women and betting on us to succeed. I’m hopeful there will be many more badass females to follow pic.twitter.com/WJan4YE7Qt
The WNBA was added to 2K three years ago with NBA 2K20, so it’s a little surprising it’s taken this long for a female player to be featured on the cover — particularly since 2K Sports often releases multiple versions of the game starring different athletes. Last year’s 2K21, for example, had Damian Lillard on the last-generation console versions, Zion Williamson on the PS5 and Series X versions, and a special “Mamba Forever” edition honoring the late Kobe Bryant.
This time around, the Dallas Mavericks’ star guard Luka Doncic will be featured on the standard cover, while an NBA 75th Anniversary Edition cover depicts NBA legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Durant. There’s yet another special edition starring the Washington Wizards’ Rui Hachimura, which will only be available in Japan.
NBA 2K22 will be released on the PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Xbox consoles.