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It’s official: Kobe Bryant is on the cover of NBA 2K24’s Kobe Bryant and Black Mamba Editions, following a series of other stars onto the box art of the biggest basketball video game of the year.

Bryant, who died aged 41 in a helicopter crash in 2020, was an 18-time NBA All-Star, five-time NBA Champion, two-time Finals MVP winner, and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist for the US. Active in the NBA from 1996 to 2016, he remained a Los Angeles Lakers player for the entirety of his career. The team retired both numbers Bryant used – 8 and 24 – upon his departure from professional play. The athlete went on to remain successful after his sports career as well, winning an Academy Award in 2018 for his animated short film Dear Basketball.

His iconic Black Mamba nickname, after which one of NBA 2K24’s editions has been named, was a self-created epithet that found popular usage among his fans.

Bryant was already featured on NBA 2K21’s Mamba Forever Edition, which paid tribute to his career after his death, and previously appeared on the game’s cover for 2K10 and 2K17 – the latter celebrated his career after his retirement from the NBA.

NBA 2K24 Kobe Bryant Edition cover

NBA 2K24 Kobe Bryant Edition cover art showing a young Kobe Bryant jumping into the air.

The NBA 2K24 Kobe Bryant edition cover art shows a young Bryant in action.

NBA 2K24 Black Mamba Edition cover

NBA 2K24 Black Mamba Edition cover art showing a close-up of Kobe Bryant's face.

The NBA 2K24 Black Mamba Edition cover art depicts a more seasoned Bryant.

Predecessor NBA 2K23 featured Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker on the cover of the Standard Edition. Michael Jordan and Championship Editions of the game were available as well – both featured the titular legendary athlete on the cover.

NBA 2K24 will be available later this year.