Categories
Gaming

“Jordan Challenges” Returning to ‘NBA 2K23’

The popular sports gaming franchise NBA 2K is going back to its roots by bringing back the popular “Jordan Challenges” from NBA 2K11. It was announced in early July that Michael Jordan would don the cover of the NBA 2K23 legend edition. This is the fourth time the heroic Chicago Bulls shooting guard will grace the cover of a 2K game, with the last being his appearance on NBA2k16. Here is what to expect from the new and improved Jordan Challenge mode in NBA 2K23

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‘NBA 2K11’ Jordan Challenges

The original Jordan challenges in NBA 2K11 were relatively surface level. It would drop you into an iconic game that Jordan played in, and you would be tasked with replicating the stat line he finished with in real life. If Jordan dropped 63 points on the Celtics shooting 50 percent from the field, you’d have to do just that in the challenge. There were only 10 Jordan challenges in this first conception of the game mode, and successfully completing all 10 would unlock a MYCAREER game mode where you can start an NBA career as Michael Jordan. 

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A new aspect being added to this rendition of the Jordan challenges is pre-game interviews with players or coaches who help set the scene for what challenge you’re attempting to beat. The interviews range from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar all the way to Phil Jackson. The game’s developers went as far as to get the actual recording from Bulls PA announcer Ray Clay to make the introductions to games feel as real as life. 

There is a clear emphasis that 2K wants to make this game mode feel as if you were transported back to the 90s. As 2K describes on their website: “Enhancing our on-court experience to support the Jordan Challenge was a major priority for the team this year. The Jordan Challenge is not just the same modern-day gameplay with classic teams and uniforms. We scouted, studied, and made key gameplay changes to fit the feel of each era to make each game feel like time traveling through NBA history.”

The new and improved Jordan challenges in 2K23 will provide five new challenges added on from the 10 in the previous game. Each challenge offers three goals for you to accomplish, with a star earned for each goal achieved. There are 40 total stars and the rewards include jerseys for your MYPLAYER and other MYTEAM bonuses. The five new moments added to the Jordan Challenge will include:

1982 National Championship: University of North Carolina vs. Georgetown

1984 Team USA Basketball Scrimmage

1988 NBA All-Star Game

1989 Eastern Conference First Round vs Cavaliers, Game 5

1997 Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Kobe vs MJ)

*NBA 2K23 is set to release on September 8th, 2022

Categories
Sports

What’s Next For Devin Booker and Nike?

Even though Devin Booker’s season didn’t end the way he wanted, his offseason has gotten off to a great start. Just minutes after free agency started nearly two weeks ago, the Phoenix Suns All-Star signed a super-max extension worth $224 million. Then he was named the cover athlete of the NBA2K23 video game. And now? Booker has signed another new extension– this time with sneaker giant Nike.

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Having been signed to the ‘Swoosh’ since arriving in the NBA seven years ago, Booker has proven to be a successful investment. Despite what some fans say about him, Booker is well-liked and accomplished–a high-level player who is clutch, hasn’t abandoned his team yet, and is racking up endorsements at the same rate as All-Star (three times) and All-NBA team appearances (Just made his first one this year).

So when considering that and the details of Booker’s latest extension, which is rumored to be six years long, the question is, what’s next for Booker and Nike? Suppose you were to go off the company’s current handlings of their NBA stars (Think LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, for example). Would these following options be the most realistic?

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Nike makes D-Book their go-to player to wear new signature sneakers

Similar to what Jordan Brand recently did with Jayson Tatum and the Air Jordan 36, Nike can make Booker their go-to player/litmus test to unveil new signature sneakers.

In his case, it makes too much sense for Booker to be the player revealing new color aways of the late Kobe Bryant’s sneaker line, given their relationship and similarities in playing style.

Does Booker receives his own shoe and collection?

While this option is closer to unlikely than likely, given his lack of a championship, I wouldn’t rule it out– even if he doesn’t win one within the next few years. Like any other shoe company, Nike is looking to build its following line of superstars, especially with LeBron James and Kevin Durant nearing the end of their careers.

A signature shoe and collection is never out of the question as long as D-Book continues playing at a high level.

Nothing changes (for now)

This option only exists because it could very well be the case. Nike doesn’t have to elevate Booker’s stature within the company. Not with LeBron and KD being their long-time acts, Antetokounmpo’s line getting pushed following his 2021 championship run, and Kobe’s on-court legacy properly preserved through his collection.

It’s going to be a lot of fun watching these two sides continue their relationship! Congratulations to Devin Booker once again.

Categories
Sports

‘NBA 2K23’ Cover Athletes Announced

There are no other two words that will send a sports fan into a slump more than “Off Season”. It’s the slow period between seasons where athletes can rest and refuel, while teams reshape how their rosters look. A glimpse of hope that gets us through to next season is the annual announcement of the NBA 2K cover athlete. Over recent years, the game has evolved and now has a ‘legend’ edition cover athlete, and a WNBA edition cover athlete. So who is on the covers of this year’s 2K?

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Standard Edition Cover Athlete

Set to be on the cover of NBA 2K23’s standard edition is none other than Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker. Booker helped lead the Suns to the NBA Finals in 2021 and has been rising into superstardom at cosmic rates. Booker’s famous “Be Legendary” quote is etched onto his shoes in the cover, the same words the late Kobe Bryant would tell him. Devin Booker also recently signed a five-year supermax extension, so this has been a pretty solid summer for the all-star.

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WNBA Edition Cover Athletes

Donning the cover of the WNBA 2K23 edition is none other than WNBA legends Diana Taruasi and Sue Bird. Taruasi and Bird have dominated the WNBA scene since the early 2000’s. Taurasi is a three time WNBA champion, two time finals MVP, 2009 MVP, and a ten time all-star. Sue Bird is playing out her 19th and final season in the WNBA. Bird will finish as the all-time leading scorer in Seattle Storm history. This is a more than deserved honor for these two exceptional athletes.

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Michael Jordan/Champion Edition Cover Athlete

The legend edition cover of 2K is reserved for the most iconic players the NBA has to offer. The first legend edition cover was announced for NBA 2K16 and displayed Michael Jordan. This year’s NBA 2K23 legend edition cover will carry the man who made the number ‘23’ as famous as it is. Michael Jordan will be the cover athlete of a 2k game for the 4th time, the most ever of any player. The “Championship” edition cover will display a picture of Jordan’s jersey hanging and include a number of virtual and physical items that come with the game.