Daily Sports Smile: NBA 2K releases second WNBA cover featuring Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi (3) talks with Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird (10)  will try and become the first players ever to win five Olympic gold medals in basketball when the United States women's team begins play at the Tokyo Games.
Victoria Hernandez
USA TODAY Sports+

After winning five Olympic gold medals together and collecting four NCAA Championships between the two of them, WNBA stars Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi secured another accomplishment side-by-side: gracing the cover of NBA 2K.

The video game franchise revealed the new WNBA cover Wednesday featuring the two legends. This is the second WNBA 2K cover, following Candace Parker who appeared on the front of the game last year.

Bird and Taurasi expressed excitement about the honor and were hopeful that a wider audience of players can see themselves in the game.

"You know you have all these little girls playing basketball, and they can actually start gaming now with, you know, hopefully, two of their favorite players on the cover," Taurasi said, according to ESPN. "It just shows you how far gaming and women's basketball has come."

Taurasi has played 18 seasons with the Phoenix Mercury and was selected to the All-Star game 10 times. She was the WNBA's 2009 MVP.

Bird, meanwhile, was the first overall pick in the 2002 WNBA draft and has spent two decades in the league with the Seattle Storm, where she has won four championships. She has been an All-Star a record 12 times.

"Whether it's girls or boys, whether it's women, men, it doesn't really matter, and that's the beauty of it," said Bird, who announced this season will be her last. "It's just becoming like a normal part of this ecosystem that is professional sports, and gaming is a big part of that ecosystem, so to be involved in it now, it's just going to continue to push things forward and just open up more doors and open up more minds."

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Both women starred at UCONN together and each won the AP National Player of the Year award. Taurasi, who won three straight championships with the Huskies, is the ninth leading scorer in program history with 2,156 points. Bird shared in Taurasi's first victory and got one of her own in 2000. 

Pre-orders for NBA 2K23 begin July 7 with the game to release September 9.