Call of Duty Adding Basketball Star to Warzone 2 and Modern Warfare 2

It appears that an NBA celebrity is soon to be featured in the Call of Duty franchise as an Operator within Warzone 2 and Modern Warfare 2. While the identity of the athlete is still yet to be revealed, some dedicated Call of Duty followers have speculated who it could be based on clues from recently released marketing materials.

Players of Call of Duty refer to combatant characters being controlled by a real person instead of AI as Operators. The series is well-known for its history of making Operator skins out of popular professional athletes, with Neymar Jr., Paul Pogba, and Lionel Messi being some of the examples released to coincide with the 2022 World Cup Call of Duty Operator skins that were available in time for the 2022 World Cup.

Some Call of Duty devotees are facing shadow-banning difficulties while the official Call of Duty Twitter account posted an illustration with a character parachuting into a battle zone with a basketball in hand. Sharp-eyed viewers soon noted certain details that could point to the operator’s identity. Close inspection of the operator’s face yielded what seemed to be the silhouette of the NBA champion and former MVP Kevin Durant. Additionally, on the building in the center of the image was the words “Easy Money Sniper,” which is the Instagram handle of the Phoenix Suns star.

The Call of Duty series does not confine itself to only employing professional athletes as Operator skins. It is commonplace to encounter celebrities or representations of celebrities as Operators, such as John McClaine from the Die Hard franchise, modeled after Bruce Willis, and John Rambo from the Rambo series, modeled after Sylvester Stallone, in several Call of Duty titles. Additionally, some big-name actors have been featured in the story campaigns, like Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Viktor Reznov in World at War and Black Ops. However, there are still some stars like Keanu Reeves that fans are requesting to be included, yet to no avail.

If it is eventually uncovered that Kevin Durant is the person being promoted in the Call of Duty Twitter account, it will only add to the history of NBA/non-sports video game crossovers. For example, LeBron James has a Fortnite skin and was included in the now-inactive MultiVersus fighter game. Shaquille O’Neal got into the gaming world in 1994 with his 2D fighting game Shaq Fu. And of course, we must not forget the wacky freeware RPG featuring Charles Barkley known as Barkley, Shut up and Jam: Gaiden.

The two Call of Duty titles, Warzone 2 and Modern Warfare 2, are now playable on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.