Overnight, the Mavs went from having zero athletes on the cover of NBA 2K to two featured stars — both of whom live in our neighborhood. Dirk Nowitzki is on the NBA 2K22 75th Anniversary Edition cover with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kevin Durant. Luka Doncic is on the video game’s standard edition and cross-gen bundle.

They are the first Dallas Mavericks to grace the cover since the game was released in 1999. In addition, they are among only a handful of Europeans who have been selected as cover athletes. Giannis Antetokounmpo of Greece was featured on the NBA 2K19 cover.

“A huge honor for me, of course, with Kevin Durant and Kareem, some of the best to have ever played the game,” Nowitzki said on a Zoom call with media. “You have Luka on the real cover, so two Mavs at the same time on the cover, which is super special. I never really looked at myself as a legend, so I’m thrilled to be on the cover. Of course, I’d rather be still playing. But I guess it’s nice to know that people respected what I’ve done for this league and what I’ve tried to do for the sport.”

In just three seasons, Doncic has made two All-Star appearances and led the Mavs to the playoffs twice. He is currently preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, where Slovenia is making its basketball debut.

“Making the global cover of NBA 2K22 is special for me,” Dončić said in a news release. “I’m proud to represent my country in a special cover that honors the colors of the Slovenian flag. Basketball has given me so much, and I’m excited to give back and work together with 2K Foundations this year to help the lives of young kids around the globe.”

All editions will be released Sept. 10.