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NBA 2K18 Release Date And Special Shaq Edition Announced

It seems like Shaquille O'Neal, the 45-year-old four-time NBA champion, might be the next big thing in video games. A couple of weeks ago, TBS and ELEAGUE announced that Shaq would headline a star-studded celebrity Street Fighter V tournament, and earlier today, 2K Sports revealed that the The Big Daddy will grace the cover of NBA 2K18's Legend Edition when the game launches on September 19, 2017.

For $99.99, the NBA 2K18 Legend Edition will include a copy of the game (which sports a picture of O'Neal in his Miami Heat outfit), a limited edition Shaq poster, five trading cards, stickers, 100,000 in Virtual Currency that can be spent in NBA 2K18's career mode, 20 weekly card packs for the game's MyTeam mode, and some special "Shaq in-game items."

For $149, the NBA 2K18 Legend Edition Gold will get you all of that—although, on the Gold cover, Shaq wears a Lakers uniform—plus an additional 150,000 Virtual Currency credits, five more trading cards, and double the number of MyTeam card packs. Both editions will also let players hit the court a little early: anyone who purchases the Legend Editions will have access to NBA 2K18 on September 15, 2017, giving them a whole extra weekend to brush up on their game before NBA 2K18 opens its doors to the masses.

O'Neal has appeared on the cover of NBA 2K twice in the past: he was the cover athlete on both NBA 2K6 and NBA 2K7. He's also starred in his own video game, Shaq Fu, which wasn't a sports game at all but instead an ill-advised Street Fighter knock-off (and yet, somehow, still isn't the weirdest or shadiest celebrity video game of all time)

NBA 2K18 will be the next installment in 2K Sports' popular series, which is widely considered one of the very best sports game franchises ever made. The fans know it, too. Since its debut in 2000, NBA 2K has sold an estimated 68 million units worldwide.