Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid has been chosen as the cover athlete for NBA Live 19, EA Sports announced during the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25.
Embiid is coming off a career year in which he averaged 22.9 points and 11 rebounds in the regular season. Born in Cameroon, Embiid played one season at the University of Kansas before being drafted with the third pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He missed his first two seasons with injuries, but made the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2017 with only 31 games under his belt. This past season hinted at Embiid’s cover-worthy stardom, as him and rookie forward Ben Simmons led the Sixers to a playoff berth for the first time since 2012. Embiid averaged 21 points and 12 rebounds in the playoffs this year.
“Joel is a perfect fit to grace the cover of NBA Live 19,” EA Sports Senior Brand Director Joshua Rabenovets said in a statement. “He is the voice of the new wave of basketball players and his on-court dominance, creative personality, and love for the fans made him an ideal choice for this year’s game.”
Embiid often showcases his “creative personality” on Twitter. Just the other day, he expressed his displeasure with some who compared his game to Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Don’t compare Ayton to me either… I play DEFENSE
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) June 22, 2018
Embiid appears to be very happy with the honor. “It’s great, it’s amazing. I’m thankful for this opportunity, especially as a basketball player. You work so hard because you have goals in life, you want to be in the Hall of Fame but also, being on the cover of a video game is something I’ve always dreamed of and I’m happy to be in this position.”
NBA Live 19 brings back “The One,” the career mode that first appeared in last year’s installment. EA teased that Embiid and other “prolific ballers” will be featured throughout the career mode, which includes a streetball variant called The Streets. More information on The Streets will be revealed in early July.
NBA Live 19 launches September 7 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. EA Access members get a 10 percent discount if they purchase a digital copy through Xbox Live. Additionally, EA Access members can check out the game for up to ten hours before the game launches, starting August 31.