Tongue-y: Michael Jordan appears on cover of NBA 2K11

It’s been more than seven years since Michael Jordan appeared in an NBA game, but there’s no doubt the basketball legend is as iconic as ever. Game developer 2K Sports certainly thinks so, because it chose Jordan as this year’s cover athlete for its flagship basketball game, NBA 2K11.

While the cover of these mega-selling annual sports games is normally graced by a current star, 2K11 will feature Jordan with his trademark tongue out. And because he’s Michael Jordan, His Airness gets to appear on the cover three times. Fair enough. I think the results are pretty striking.

“This could possibly be the most highly anticipated cover art in the history of sports games,” exaggerated Jason Argent, VP of marketing for 2K Sports and Director of Outlandish Claims.

“It’s exciting to see it all come together,” said the basketball legend himself. “I am looking forward to seeing the final product, but my kids might have to give me some lessons.”

NBA 2K11 is out October 5th for Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, Wii, PC, and as an app on the iPhone.

[Via press release]