Did ESPN use a NBA 2K Image of Jimmy Butler on Live TV?

These days we all see a lot of strange things happening during sports related telecasts. For example the Chiefs started playing Ring-Around-The-Rosie mid game on Saturday night football. Earlier this week Shannon Sharpe finally got fed up with Skip Bayless on Live TV. ESPN had their strange moment too, and surprisingly it may have involved NBA 2K23.

Did ESPN use a NBA 2K Image of Jimmy Butler on Live TV?

ESPN was showing a graphic detailing the leading vote getters in the East for the All Star game. The top 5 were Kevin Durant with 3,118,545, Giannis with 2,998,327, Joel Embiid with 2,226,712, Jayson Tatum with 2,178,300, and Jimmy Butler with 477,000 votes. For every player there was a real life photo used, with the exception of one. It appeared ESPN used a NBA 2K picture of Jimmy Butler on national television.

ESPN using NBA 2k image of Jimmy Butler on Live TV
Did ESPN Use a NBA 2k23 Image of Jimmy Butler?

Here is picture of Jimmy Butler in NBA 2K23 for reference.

ESPN using NBA 2K23 image of Jimmy Butler on Live TV
Actual Picture of Jimmy Butler in NBA 2K
ESPN using NBA 2k photo of Jimmy Butler on Live TV
Actual Picture of Jimmy Butler in NBA 2k

The Possible Reason ESPN Would Use a NBA 2K Photo of Jimmy Butler

Naturally a major sports network randomly using a video game image is a perplexing situation, but there could be a good reason. What if they didn’t want to use that picture of him with the long hair he had over the summer, because his hairstyle is completely different now? Rather than showing the outdated image they may have chosen to use the 2K picture since they keep hairstyles updated. The graphics team may have been under the impression that the average viewer wouldn’t notice it was a headshot from the video game.

If that really was an NBA 2K photo of Jimmy Butler that ESPN used it would be a testament to how realistic the game looks graphically.

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