‘NBA 2K18’ Release Date Confirmed, Shaq Revealed As Legend Edition Cover Player
Shaq Is NBA 2K18 Legend Edition Cover Player

‘NBA 2K18’ Release Date Confirmed, Shaq Revealed As Legend Edition Cover Player

NBA 2K18 has a confirmed release date of September 19 on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The game is also heading to PS3, Xbox 360, and Windows PC. 2K fans who pre-order any edition of the game can it pick up or download it four days early to play in the “Early Tip-Off Weekend” that begins September 15. Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal is the cover player for both the Legend Edition and Legend Edition Gold.

The NBA 2K franchise continues their series of player-centric collectible editions that started with the Michael Jordan Special Edition for 2K16 and Kobe Bryant’s Legend Edition and Legend Edition Gold for 2K17. The special edition covers for 2K18 add two more to Superman’s list; it marks the third time he’s been asked to be a cover athlete for the series, as he was previously featured on the covers of 2K6 and 2K7. In a statement to the press, Shaq expressed his gratitude.

“I want to thank NBA 2K for their continuous support of my basketball and broadcast career. I’m excited to be on the cover of the NBA 2K18 Legend Edition and I hope my fans have a blast playing it up big man style and re-creating my most legendary in-game moments!”

Fans interested in the NBA 2K18 Legend Edition are encouraged to pre-order, as quantities are limited. The set is being sold for $99.99 and it includes the following.

  • A limited-edition Shaq poster
  • Exclusive stickers and five trading cards
  • 100,000 Virtual Currency (VC)
  • 20 weekly MyTEAM Packs
  • Shaq-themed DLC, including Shaq Attaq Shoes and a Championship Ring

The NBA 2K18 Legend Edition Gold is exclusive to GameStop, and it includes everything found in the Legend Edition plus several additional digital goodies. Priced at a suggested price of $149.99, it comes with these digital goods.

  • 150,000 additional VC (250,000 total)
  • 20 additional weekly MyTEAM Packs (40 total)
  • Shaq’s Jersey Collection DLC

The extra physical goodies include the lenticular cover art and five more trading cards from Panini (which adds up to 10 cards total).

Those who don’t opt for one of the collectible editions can still pre-order to play the game early. Pre-ordering the Standard edition also nets players 5,000 VC, 10 weekly MyTeam Packs, and some other digital bonuses that have yet to be determined. The final cover art is also pending.

Fans can watch last year’s Legend Edition cover athlete, Kobe Bryant, as he’s “Shaqtin’ a fool” by tampering with the teleprompter to dress up Shaquille O’Neal’s acceptance speech in NBA 2K18’s latest commercial (video is embedded below). A dynamic duo on the L.A. Lakers, Shaq and Kobe won three championships together in a row in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Their relationship wasn’t all roses and rings, though, and the rivalry that resulted from the Shaq-Kobe Feud gave fans yet another reason to watch them play.

Shaq was recently honored by the Lakers with a bronze statue on display outside the Staples Center. Immortalized in his signature dunk pose, O’Neal is on a short list of Lakers players to receive such recognition that includes Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Magic Johnson, and Jerry West. He was also inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in September 2016 in recognition of his 19 years on the court.

Today, Shaq shares his insight on the game as an analyst and commentator on Inside the NBA. The TNT postgame show was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and Shaq also earned an Emmy for his work on the show in 2012. Host Ernie Johnson and fellow analyst Kenny “The Jet” Smith celebrated Shaq’s NBA 2K18 cover announcement on Inside with a fun song and dance routine as their in-game avatars (see the video embedded in the tweet below). The trio has appeared in previous NBA 2K games, delivering the pre-game shows and half-time reports.

Are you excited to relive the glory days of the Shaq-Kobe era in NBA 2K18? Are you hoping there will be a “Hack-a-Shaq” trophy or achievement? Sound off in the comments below.

[Featured Image by 2K/Take-Two Interactive]