Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! This is a feature where we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.
Kobe Bryant is set to play his final NBA game today, as the Los Angeles Lakers wrap up their 2016 season against the Utah Jazz. It marks the end of a long and successful career for one of the best players in the history of basketball, and the only player to suit up for the same NBA team for twenty seasons. Despite the fact that Kobe Bryant was often as reviled by NBA fans as much as he was loved, there’s been much nostalgia and celebration as his career has drawn to a close.
His long NBA career has meant that Kobe Bryant has appeared in numerous basketball video games over the past couple of decades. In fact, former teammate Shaquille O’Neal may be the only player with more official appearances in NBA titles, as he played nineteen years in the league himself, and has continued to be featured as a Legend following his retirement. So, as Kobe Bryant’s last NBA game looms, I thought I’d take a look back at his history in video games.
Kobe has of course appeared in every NBA title since he entered the NBA, but I’m just going to focus on some of the highlights here, kind of a glance back through the years. With that said, let’s take a look back…way back…