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Paul George and Kobe Bryant grace cover of NBA 2K17 game

Yash Matange
1.20K   //    02 Jun 2016, 11:39 IST
Paul George and Kobe Bryant

After suffering one of the toughest leg injuries ever in the summer of 2014 while on duty for the USA National Basketball Team, Paul George made an inspiring comeback, returning to the sport in less the eight months. That comeback seems to have caught the eye of the NBA 2K franchise, as they announced yesterday that George will be the cover athlete for the 2017 edition of their NBA game:

George joins other modern greats of the game, who’ve headlined the cover in previous years. Recent 2K editions had Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant (twice) on their cover. With the ability to dominate the game on both ends of the floor, George certainly deserves to be named among the illustrious players, who’ve been here before. George’s comeback being among the better stories of the 2015-16 NBA season, just adds fuel to the fire. 

George's gruesome leg injury in August ruled him out for all but the last six games of the Indiana Pacers’ 2014-15 season. That too ended in scary fashion as he needed to be taken off the floor on a stretcher during the season finale, last April. For months, many wondered if that was the end of George's career in basketball but he cleared all doubts in the opening months of the 2015-16 season.

He came out strong and looked better than ever, being named the Eastern Conference Player of the month for the months of October and November. He finished the season with career highs in points, steals, assists and 3-pointers, and signed off with an incredible performance in the first round of the Playoffs against the Toronto Raptors, pushing the East’s second-seeded team to seven games.

2K had already announced on April 13th, the date of Kobe Bryant’s final game, that the Los Angeles Lakers superstar was to headline the Legends Edition of the game. George has made his admiration for Bryant very public, even pointing out that he wore #24 the first five season of his NBA career to honor the Laker great. 

"It's very special for that reason alone. I think it would be pretty cool being the cover guy, but having Kobe there makes it even more special," George said. "It's really fulfilling."

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Yash Matange
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