Small ball may be killing the traditional NBA center, but it can’t stop Shaq. 2K announced that Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal will grace the cover of the Legend Edition of NBA 2K18.
Arguably the most dominant big man of his era, O’Neal has graced the cover of the series twice before: for NBA 2K6 and NBA 2K7. Also known as “The Big Aristotle,” O’Neal won three championships as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. After his relationship with Kobe Bryant crumbled, Shaq was sent to Miami. There he won another title while paired with Dwyane Wade. After retiring as a player in 2011, O’Neal joined TNT’s Inside the NBA as an analyst.
2K didn’t provide any details on whether there would be special game modes although O’Neal hinted at it. “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,” said O’Neal in the statement.
There will be two special versions of the game, each with a different cover. The Legend Edition maintains the series’ classic red color scheme, and features Shaq during his Heat days. The Legend Edition Gold fittingly features him in his Laker’s uniform. Both versions come with additional Virtual Currency, which is used for microtransactions, as well as Shaq trading cards, MyTeam packs, and other Shaq items in-game. Buying the Legend Edition Gold gives players even more currency, MyTeam packs, and trading cards. The Legend Edition will retail for $99.99. The Legend Edition Gold is available exclusively at GameStop and runs $149.99.
2K didn’t announce who landed on the cover for the standard edition of the game. Last year’s game featured O’Neal’s former teammate, Kobe Bryant, on the Legend Edition cover. Indiana Pacer’s star Paul George was the cover star for the standard edition. NBA 2K18 launces on September 19. The game will be available on both current and last-gen systems, with releases on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.