NBA 2K22: Explaining Luka Dončić, Candace Parker, Other Cover Stars, and each Edition

Here’s a look at the newest collection of cover stars for NBA 2K22, along with an overview of the different editions set to release later this year.


Image Source: 2K Newsroom
Image Source: 2K Newsroom

With NBA 2K22’s release date of September 10 approaching, 2K Sports has decided to reveal the cover stars for the new game. 

This year’s editions of the game will feature Dallas Mavericks star Luka Dončić as the cover athlete for the standard edition and cross-bundle editions of the game. 


Meanwhile, Chicago Sky All-Star forward Candace Parker will be featured as the cover athlete for the WNBA 25th Anniversary Edition of the game.

Furthermore, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki, and the Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant will be showcased as the cover athletes of the NBA 75th Anniversary Edition.

So, why were these athletes selected, and what’s the difference between the many editions of NBA 2K22?

Why is Luka Dončić an NBA 2K22 cover star?

Luka Dončić is one of the NBA’s most prominent budding stars. Only three seasons into his young career, the Slovenian is already a two-time NBA All-Star and one of the top-scorers in the league, averaging 27.7 points during the 2020/21 campaign.  


Dončić’s popularity continues to soar worldwide, and it’s not a surprise that he had one of the best-selling jerseys in the NBA last season. Along with young names like Zion Williamson, Trae Young, and Jayson Tatum, many expect number 77 to become one of the faces of the league in the years to come. 

Why is Candace Parker an NBA 2K22 cover star?

When you talk about the WNBA, and women’s basketball in general, it’s difficult not to mention Candace Parker’s name. Regarded as one of the greatest female basketball players of all time, Parker remains one of the most respected active players in the WNBA today.

Drafted first overall by the Los Angeles Sparks in 2008, Parker has carved out an incredible professional career.  In fourteen seasons, she has been named the WNBA League MVP twice, an WNBA All-Star six times, and has garnered six All-WNBA First Team honors.


Parker makes history as she is set to become the first woman to be featured on an NBA 2K game cover. The studio has made an effort to recognize the WNBA within its gaming franchise over the past few years, and this is another huge step forward for them. 

Why are Abdul-Jabbar, Nowitzki, and Durant joint cover stars for NBA 2K22?

The 75th anniversary of the NBA is a huge celebration for the league. Since the NBA’s founding in 1946, fans have witnessed a plethora of exceptional talent.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Durant can be considered monumental figures of different generations, with all three often regarded among the most notable players of their respective eras. 

Abdul-Jabbar is one of the most highly decorated All-Stars of the 70s and 80s, while Nowitzki is one of the most influential players from the late 90s to the mid-2000s. 

Finally, Durant is one of the best scorers that the league has ever seen. He joined the NBA in 2007 and is still viewed as one of its top players to this day. All in all, the trio is a great representation of the league’s excellence from past and present eras. 

Dissecting the different editions of NBA 2K22

As has been the case over the past several years, 2K has decided to create several different editions of NBA 2K22. Yet again, NBA 2K will be a cross-gen game, making things a little more complicated than in prior years. 

So, NBA 2K22 will have four different versions that are set to release on both current-gen (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) and next-gen consoles (PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S). To help try to make things a little bit simpler, here is a breakdown of all of the NBA 2K22 versions.  

NBA 2K22 Standard Edition 

Image Source: 2K Newsroom

The Standard Edition is the most basic edition of NBA 2K22. Essentially, this version will give you the game and nothing more. It will be available on both current-gen (PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC) and next-gen (PS5 and Xbox Series X|S).

This version is suited to those who just want a copy of the game to play on one generation of consoles. It will be available for $59.99 (£59.99/€59.99) on the current-gen consoles and $69.99 (£64.99/€69.99) on next-gen hardware. 

You’ll know that you’re getting the Standard Edition as Luka Dončić will be on the cover.

NBA 2K22 Cross-Gen Bundle Edition 

Image Source: 2K Newsroom

The Cross-Gen Bundle is essentially an expanded version of the Standard Edition. It gives you the ability to access NBA 2K22 on both current-gen and next-gen consoles, provided that they’re of the same brand, for $79.99 (£74.99/€79.99).

This edition of NBA 2K22 might be the best choice if you are now on a current-gen console, but are planning to upgrade to next-gen hardware. In this case, getting the Cross-Gen Bundle would save you from having to pay full price for a brand new game to get the upgraded version.

As with the Standard Edition, Luka Dončić will be the cover athlete for the Cross-Gen Bundle version of NBA 2K22. 

NBA 2K22 NBA 75th Anniversary Edition

Image Source: 2K Newsroom

The 75th Anniversary Edition will be available for $99.99 (£84.99/€99.99) on all platforms, coming with dual-gen access. 

This edition offers the most by way of pre-order bonuses, including 100,000 Virtual Currency, 10,000 MyTeam Points, 22 MyTeam promo packs, and more. In addition to that, it will also reward you with exclusive Sapphire Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Durant MyTeam Cards.

Finally, the Anniversary Edition offers the most novel cover of the four. It features Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 14-time NBA All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, and modern-day superstar Kevin Durant as the cover’s trio of stars.  

NBA 2K22 WNBA 25th Anniversary Edition

Image Source: 2K Newsroom

The WNBA 25th Anniversary Edition is a new option added into the mix this year. Essentially, it is similar to the Standard Edition of 2K22, but features WNBA star Candace Parker as the cover athlete.

However, it’s important to note that this edition is the most exclusive and hardest to get. There won’t be any digital versions of this edition, and it is only available in North America, exclusively through GameStop and EB Games. 

On top of that, it will only be available on next-gen consoles. So, those without a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S are out of luck.

This copy would be the edition of choice for those looking to celebrate this major milestone for women’s professional basketball. It may even become worthwhile memorabilia to add to a WNBA collection.

So, that’s all of the cover stars of NBA 2K22 and the editions that they’ll front this year. 

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C.P Ching

An avid sports gamer with an open appetite to give any game on the market a shot.
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