2K Sports won’t be bamboozling you with this year’s installment in its long-running NBA 2K series: NBA 2K16 is bringing the drama with a revamped career mode, and it’s written and directed by none other than basketball fanatic Spike Lee.
This confirms rumors from back in April, when we reported on leaked screenshots that suggested his involvement in the game. 2K has now made it official, complete with a new trailer narrated by Lee.
“On these courts, the story is everything,” Lee says. It’s what makes us cheer and boo before the game has even started.” Lee is known for his diehard support for the New York Knicks, although the team’s abysmal performance has led to him attending games less frequently.
“By writing and directing the MyCAREER storyline, Spike brings the real world experience of the NBA to life like never before,” says Visual Concepts president Greg Thomas. 2K also cites his work on the 1998 basketball drama He Got Game, starring Denzel Washington and Spike Lee staple John Turturro. Of course, story has never played an especially prominent role in sports games, but it’s not unheard of; 2011’s Fight Night Champion delivered a satisfying, albeit short, campaign mode.
NBA 2K16‘s three separate covers — all labelled “A Spike Lee Joint.” — feature James Harden, Anthony Davis, and MVP Steph Curry. The past two NBA 2K installments have starred Kevin Durant and LeBron James, while 2K13’s cover also included three players: Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, and Derrick Rose.
While EA has begun to distance itself from last-gen consoles, releasing two separate NHL games this upcoming fall to avoid limiting the newer consoles’ power, 2K doesn’t appear to be following suit. NBA 2K16 will arrive on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 on September 29, and pre-ordering the game grants you access as much as four days in advance. And although the cover athlete you happen to receive on your box will be random, there will be a “foldable insert will all 3 individual cover athletes” inside, letting you swap them out as you see fit.