NBA 2K should be ashamed of themselves. Today, 2K announced that their final cover athelete for NBA 2K21 is none other than Kobe Bryant. We all saw this coming and we all hoped it would. Kobe’s passing was tragic and for many hardcore NBA fans it still hurts. 2K possibly could’ve convinced me to buy the game this year if Kobe was on the standard cover. Instead, he will be on the $100 Legend Edition. Tell me, how does making people pay more money for a game with little to no changes in the past 5 years honor Kobe’s legacy?

If this is the cover, I will admit that it does look cool. I’m all for honoring and Gigi in every way possible. What I am not ok with is monetizing the shit out of it to maximize the profits of a billion dollar company. Many games have opted into programs presented by Sony and Microsoft that allow developers to give free copies of their games to people who buy a game on the current generation. For instance, if you buy Cyberpunk 2077 on Xbox One, you’ll automatically have the game in your library if you buy the next Xbox. But 2K isn’t doing that. If you buy the Legend Edition on current consoles, then you’ll have to pay for it again if you want all the extra’s that come with it.

I’ll go ahead and link the full article from IGN just so you can have context to everything. I’ve already dogged 2K for Zion being on the cover. Like I said, it’s cute because of the “next-gen” theme but Kobe should have been on all covers. They are playing on people’s heart strings and the memory of Kobe to try and squeeze an extra $40 out of your wallets. I’m calling bullshit on this entire thing.

I am a HUGE 2K fan. Pretty sure I’ve bought every 2K since 2K10, which also had Kobe on the cover. I’ve done countless of rebuilds, expansion teams, and the Park. But as with Madden, the monetization has run amuck and the entire point of a sports game, playing a season with your favorite team, gets pushed to the side. The “story” for myGM is lame and makes no sense. Stories for myCareer are always odd, like the one directed by Spike Lee where I’m pretty sure a cutscene insinuates that you kill someone? And don’t get me started on how the Park from 2K19 and 2K20 are literally the same park. You can’t add a witch flying around on Halloween or a limited time 3v3 court and call it a different park.

I’m fed up and disgusted with 2K. I won’t be buying it this year, just like I won’t buy Madden. I can’t wait to rip them once the gameplay trailer comes out or once the “new” features are released. We as lovers of the sport and game deserve much better than what we are handed. We deserve a true basketball game, not a casino geared towards children. We deserve better. Kobe deserves better.