‘NBA 2K12′ Brings Back Jordan, Adds Bird And Magic

This is looking to be a rather odd year for sports game franchises. While the NFL lockout looks as though it may start coming to a close as early as today, the NBA has only just begun to deal with their current labor dispute. Kobe Bryant is considering playing basketball in Turkey – no, really – and basketball fans could sure use a few heroes to help them weather what may turn into a game-less season. Where do they turn in this time of need? Why, to the power of limited-edition videogame covers, of course!

NBA 2K11” performed exceptionally well last year, and one has to imagine that 2K may have started freaking out a bit when it looked like talks between NBA players and owners started heading south. It’s an odd proposition, releasing a sports game during a season where the sport isn’t even being played, but “Madden” has proven that fans are more than receptive to the idea of enjoying their favorite sport virtually. Today, 2K Sports has announced three covers for “NBA 2K12” that seem to say, “Who needs Kobe? We’ve got Magic.”

“Bringing Michael Jordan to the virtual hardwood last year was a huge success for NBA 2K11,” said 2K Sports vice president Jason Argent. “We’re bringing ‘His Airness’ back to the NBA 2K franchise as part of a multi-year extended partnership, along with two other legendary icons – Larry Bird and Magic Johnson – for a special cover athlete collection representing the NBA’s greatest heroes.”

So, there you go. Instead of weeping about the “King of Queens” reruns that have replaced your favorite team’s regularly scheduled game, pop in “NBA 2K12″ and enjoy the sport virtually. 2K Sports didn’t mention whether or not any of the three legendary players are actually playable in the game, though. Jordan made an appearance in “2K11,” so I’m hoping we’ll see a mode in “2K12″ that lets us play with Jordan, Bird, and Magic. Otherwise, I guess you can just stare at them longingly on the cover.