James Harden unveiled as NBA Live 18 cover athlete

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith in

If you have an active Xbox Live Gold or a PlayStation Plus account, you can begin playing the NBA Live 18 free demo on August 11, 2017.

The end of the trailer indicates that a demo will be available for play on August 11, while the full version will first be available on September 15 for those who preorder the game, while everyone else can get it September 19.

On top of that, there will be weekly Live Events with the demo that will carry over into the full game, allowing you to partake in raid-style activities and have fun with certain rewards and characters.

Houston Rockets star James Harden will be this year's NBA Live 18 cover athlete, EA Sports announced on Twitter on Thursday.

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If you pre-order NBA Live 18 at select participating retailers, including Amazon and Best Buy, you will receive a 33 percent discount on the game, dropping the price to $40 United States dollars. "If anybody knows about creativity it's me", Harden said about the partnership. That's good news for players, as there's plenty of content to hold them over.

In the demo, players can become familiar with The Rise, the prologue to a new mode known as The One. It's all about creating a unique character, and making choices that will shape their path through the National Basketball Association, and of course, all those decisions will transfer to the full game. And if anything, it goes to show Smith's one skill of being emphatic on command, as he can put as much passion into an argument about an imaginary player as he can about a real First Take segment.

A demo for NBA Live 18 will launch tomorrow ahead of its PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launch on September 15.