The NBA 2K23 mania is in full swing as 2K Games have teased the release of the Dreamers Edition for the upcoming gaming, featuring hip-hop star J.Cole as the cover athlete. The rapper has never shied away from his love for the NBA and basketball, becoming a staple of the scene over time. In addition to the NBA 2K23 cover feature, it has also been revealed that J.Cole is set to play a major role in the fan-favorite MyCareer mode.

The rapper’s involvement with basketball goes far beyond the nominal courtside view, with his roots in the game going as far back as his music career. He played varsity basketball while attending Terry Sanford High School during his youth, before becoming a walk-on player at St. John’s University. Ultimately, J.Cole decided to abandon his basketball dreams, deciding to focus on his budding music career instead.

J.Cole Playing
J.Cole Playing For Terry Sanford High | Image Credits | The Fayetteville Observer

His basketball career has seen a resurgence in the past two years, as Cole signed with Rwanda-based Patriots Basketball Club in the Basketball Africa League in 2021. After playing a total of three games for the team, he has recently been seen playing for Scarborough Shooting Stars of the Canadian Elite Basketball League.

His love for the game continues to this day, as the rapper is a common sight on the NBA sidelines. His connection with the NBA was immortalized at the 2019 NBA All-Star Game, during which he headlined the halftime show.

J.Cole x NBA 2K – Bridging The Gap

Apart from his sports escapades, J.Cole has admitted that he is an avid gamer himself. He stated that growing up, NBA Live and NBA 2K were among his favorite titles of all time. The rapper’s addition to NBA 2K23 marks the first time a non-basketball player has been featured on the cover. The collaboration is bound to get both J.Cole and 2K fans in a frenzy, further bridging the gap between hip hop and gaming.

It’s safe to say that when it comes to basketball simulations, 2K sits comfortably at the pinnacle. The franchise has successfully spread into esports, with their NBA 2K League becoming a staple of the esports scene. The NBA 2K League is heavily inspired by the modern NBA, with seasonal drafts, trades, and a total of 23 NBA teams with their own rosters competing. In an unprecedented move, expanded to Mexico in 2022 with the addition of Dux Gaming.

NBA 2K League Viewership
NBA 2K League Viewership | Image Credits | Esports Charts

With viewership numbers steadily climbing, J.Cole’s addition to the fold is bound to increase that number even further. With a little luck, we could also be looking at a potential J. Cole x NBA 2K League crossover in the not-so-distant future.

While the price of NBA 2K Dreams Edition is still currently unknown, most estimates range around the $100 mark. It should be noted that the edition will be available exclusively on Gamestop, and will be among the more expensive versions of the game.

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