Contents Beginning with Shaquille O'Neal in NBA Live 96, EA Sports has chosen a lone player to grace the cover of NBA Live (With the exeption of the French cover for NBA Live 07 that featured both Boris Diaw and Tony Parker as well as the Mobile cover for NBA Live 06 that didn't feature any player). Whereas the cover of EA Sports' Madden series is jokingly referred to as being "cursed" due to unfortunate injuries that have been suffered by NFL players who have graced it, NBA Live's cover players have generally avoided such misfortune. In 2006, Dwyane Wade became the first player to win the NBA Championship in the same year he appeared on the cover of NBA Live. The 2006 NBA Champion Miami Heat featured three former cover players in Wade (NBA Live 06), Shaquille O'Neal (NBA Live 96) and Antoine Walker (NBA Live 99).
Gilbert Arenas himself announced that he is going to be the cover athlete for NBA Live 08 during a news conference on the 29th of April, 2007.
No information regarding the international covers for the game has been revealed yet.
On June 21st, 2006 it was revealed that the NBA Live 07 cover would feature Houston Rockets forward Tracy McGrady. This came as a surprise to many as he had come off an injury-riddled season.
With NBA Live 07, EA Sports continued the trend of international covers. Dirk Nowitzki was once again the face of the German version, as was Pau Gasol for the Spanish one. Tony Parker wasn't alone on the French cover though as he shared it with Boris Diaw.
EA Sports announced on the 10th of May 2005 that it was Dwyane Wade that had been selected to be the cover athlete for NBA Live 06. Coincidentally, his teammate Shaquille O'Neal was the same year featured on NBA 2K6.
There was no shock about Tony Parker being selected for the French cover and Pau Gasol for the Spanish cover. But what did come as a surprise was that Yuta Tabuse had been selected to be featured on the Japanese cover. And what made it even more of a surprise, was that Tabuse wasn't under any NBA contract at the time.
Also worth noting is that NBA Live 06 wasn't only the first to have a player not on a NBA team on the cover, but also the first not to have a player on the cover at all, which was the case for NBA Live 06 Mobile.
NBA Live 2005 featured Carmelo Anthony on the cover. Tony Parker graced the cover of the French version and Pau Gasol appeared on the Spanish version.
NBA Live 2004 was the first game in the NBA Live series to feature a seperate cover made for another country as Raul Lopez from the Utah Jazz appeared on the Spanish cover. Vince Carter was featured on the cover for all other versions. In a 2007 poll in the NLSC Forum, the NBA Live 2004 cover was named as a favourite among fans, tied with NBA Live 2001's cover (Kevin Garnett).
NBA Live 2003 featured New Jersey Nets point guard Jason Kidd on the cover.
The only NBA Live game not released on PC featured Steve Francis on the cover.
The sequel to perhaps the greatest NBA Live featured Kevin Garnett. In a 2007 poll in the NLSC Forum, the NBA Live 2001 cover was named as a favourite among fans, tied with NBA Live 2004's cover (Vince Carter).
Reigning Finals MVP Tim Duncan was chosen to grace the cover of NBA Live 2000. Michael Jordan's first official appearance in NBA Live as a member of the legends roster was promoted in a sidebar that proclaimed "Jordan is Back!"
The Celtics' Antoine Walker was not a popular choice when he graced the NBA Live 99 cover but the game itself was generally well-received. In a 2007 poll in the NLSC Forum, NBA Live 99's cover was chosen as the least favourite amongst NBA Live fans.
Tim Hardaway in his "killer crossover" days was featured on the first NBA Live that allowed a crossover move.
Prolific scorer Mitch Richmond was featured on the cover of NBA Live 97
NBA Live 96 featured the first lone cover player in Shaquille O'Neal, as well as an alternate cover featuring a shot from the 1995 Finals series between Orlando and Houston that was primarily used for the console versions.
The first NBA Live featured several players from the NBA Finals but the ones that stood out were Robert Horry of the Rockets and John Starks of the Knicks.