On the surface this pairing seems awfully convenient, but in actuality it's just a stroke of luck -- neither developer could have known for certain these two teams would meet up when the cover subjects were selected. So now the debate begins: who made the best pick?
But Howard? After five years in the league he's still the youngest player on his team. Sure, he has his share of commercials, but not as many as he deserves -- he was even dissed by VitaminWater, a company he endorses, in favor of an endless loop of Kobe/LeBron commercials (although they eventually threw him a bone once he sent The Chosen One home).
While Kobe is one of the most polarizing players in the history of the league, Howard represents everything right with the NBA -- he's charismatic, loves to entertain the crowd, never been in trouble with the law and always has a smile on his face.
Is Howard a finished product? Of course not, but he also has a decade and a half left in his career. Kobe has at times been labeled petulant, selfish and conniving. Howard? He's had to answer for having too much fun on the court. Oh, for shame!
To be fair, most gamers won't let the cover be their sole deciding factor in choosing between titles, but one major technological edge in EA's favor is a feature that debuted last year called "Dynamic DNA," which syncs the game's virtual player ratings with actual player development in real life.
Regardless of which title you're thinking of buying, you have some time to make up your mind -- like NBA 2K10, NBA Live 10 is still being developed and won't be released until October, but here's a sneak preview below of what you can expect: