In this edition of the Four-Point Play, I’ll take a look at whether being on the cover of NBA 2K9 (like Kevin Garnett is this year) is a blessing or a curse. I’ll run down four players who have appeared on the cover in the past.
Not the Madden Curse, But the NBA 2K9 Blessing
Don’t follow? Well in case you haven’t heard, Kevin Garnett has been placed on the cover of the new NBA video game, NBA 2K9. Is it a blessing or a curse? Well, the Madden Curse (NFL) relates to the bad luck that seems to inflict each man who appears on the cover. This is untrue, however, for the NBA 2K series. We should be (I am) glad to see KG on the cover. Why?
1. Looking back to recent players who dawned the cover…we first hit the poster boy for NBA 2K8, Chris Paul.
Paul finished second in the NBA MVP voting, and probably should have won it. He carried his team on his shoulders during the regular season to a 56-26 record, and led the Hornets to the seventh game of the Western Conference Semi-Finals against the Spurs.
Was being placed on the cover a blessing or curse for Chris Paul? Blessing.
2. Shaquille O’Neal appeared on the cover twice before Paul, but first on the NBA 2K6 edition for the 2005-2006 season.
2005-06 Stats: 20.0 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 1.8 BPG
Shaq didn’t really have a particularly strong regular season (by his standards) and definitely showed signs of aging during the season. But the Heat, led by Dwayne Wade and Shaq, finished with a 52-30 record as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Heat stormed through the playoffs, beating the Bulls (4 games to 2), Nets (4-1), and Pistons (4-2) on their way to the NBA Finals against the Mavs. Shaq pulled home an NBA title (that he guaranteed he would get in his tenure with the team), the fourth of his hall-of-fame career.
Blessing or Curse? Blessing.
3. Ben Wallace appeared on the NBA 2K5 cover after winning the NBA Title with the Pistons over the heavily favored Lakers in 2004.
2004-2005 Stats: 9.7 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 2.4 BPG
Well, it’s hard to do better than winning the NBA title, but Ben Wallace had quite a 2004-2005 season. He finally came close to averaging 10 points per game as his offensive game improved. His defensive stats were still gaudy, and the Pistons were still winners (54-26 regular season).
The Pistons made it to the Finals again, but lost in seven games to the Spurs. It’s hard to call it a curse when Wallace started 74 games during the regular season and the Pistons almost won the NBA Title again.
Blessing or Curse? If I had to choose one, definitely a blessing.
4. Before Ben Wallace, NBA 2K covers belonged to Allen Iverson, as the point guard appeared on the covers from the original NBA 2K up to NBA 2K4 (a.k.a. ESPN NBA Basketball). How did it affect him?
Iverson averaged around 29 PPG from 1999-2004, a stretch of five seasons. He led the NBA in scoring twice, and even led the 76ers to the NBA Finals in 2001 (where they lost to the Lakers in 5 games). In those five seasons, Iverson’s teams had four winning seasons (they went 33-49 in his last year on the cover), and averaged 46 wins per season.
Iverson won the NBA MVP in the 2000-2001 season, which was also the year he led the Sixers to an NBA Finals appearance.
Blessing or Curse? Iverson was never injured for long stretches, he never really had a bad season in his entire career, and while he was on the cover, Iverson teams were extremely successful. I personally would call it a blessing. You may call it something else.
So there you have it, four different players have appeared in the NBA 2K covers, and all four have gone on to have very successful seasons after appearing on the cover of the game. I’d give Garnett a good shot to have another very strong season. Just remember, if anything (God forbid) happens to KG, don’t blame NBA 2K9.
Will Kevin Garnett be blessed or cursed in the 2008-09 season?
Blessed (72%, 13 Votes)
There's no such thing as blessings or curses. (28%, 5 Votes)