Joel Embiid Announced for NBA Live 19 Cover, Release Date Set for September 7

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid in action during Game 4 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, Monday, May 7, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Matt Slocum/Associated Press

In just two years, Joel Embiid has gone from a potential bust to the face of the Philadelphia 76ers franchise. 

Now he can add NBA Live 19 cover athlete to his resume.

EA Sports announced the All-Star center will grace the cover for the latest iteration of its video game, which will hit stores Sept. 7. 

Embiid, 24, averaged 22.9 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game during the 2017-18 season on his way to All-NBA Second Team honors and a second-place finish in the NBA Defensive Player of the Year balloting.

EA Sports’ NBA series has undergone numerous transformations and upheaval in recent years, thanks in large part to falling behind the competing NBA 2K series. The game was scrapped altogether from 2010-12 on console devices after a series of poorly received demos and aborted rollouts. NBA Live returned for the PS4/Xbox 360 rollout but was widely panned in 2013, 2014 and 2015 until EA announced a hiatus of the series in 2016 for a more proper reworking.

NBA Live 18 came out last September to far more positive reviews, with EA receiving praise for taking the time to release a fully developed basketball game. Reviewers still pointed out this was a lesser version than what 2K Sports released with NBA 2K18, but for the first time in a decade, there felt like real competition on the market.

EA Sports will look to continue that growth with Live 19, a game that hopes to continue cutting into 2K’s marketplace dominance.

Embiid is the first Sixers player to ever grace the cover of an NBA Live series game.