NBA

NLSC Podcast – Episode #140

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It’s the first Thursday of 2016, so we’re tipping off another year of digital broadcasting with Episode #140 of the NLSC Podcast! This week we’re catching up on all the news and events that took place over the holiday break, and discussing some topics submitted by our listeners. Seeing as how we’ve been off the air for a couple of weeks, Episode #140 is a bit longer than usual, but the show should be back to its normal length starting next week.

On this week’s show…

  • There wasn’t a whole lot of news over the break, but 2K did announce that eSports are coming to NBA 2K16 in early 2016.
  • NBA Live 16 hasn’t received any significant content updates over the past couple of weeks. Should there be more content coming through for the game?
  • Wishlist season is looming. What are some of our main wishes for NBA Live 17 and NBA 2K17?
  • What does NBA Live need to do to gain momentum and start catching up to NBA 2K?
  • We give our thoughts on the direction of Ultimate Team and MyTEAM. How interested are we in the card collecting modes?
  • Joey Crawford is finally hanging up his whistle. Spoiler: We’re not exactly heartbroken.
  • The Golden State Warriors are still on pace to challenge the Chicago Bulls’ 72-10 record. Draymond Green is turning into a triple double machine.
  • We discuss the controversy with Markieff Morris in Phoenix, and defend our generation.
  • Arcane is doing well with our weekly Bold Predictions. Andrew is yet to get on the board.
  • This week’s trivia question is about Michael Jordan. Can you get the answer before Arcane?
  • Twitter is looking to expand its character limit. Are we in favour of the change, and how many characters would we prefer?
  • We wrap up Episode #140 of the NLSC Podcast with some New Year’s Resolutions, and an unfortunate clerical error involving C.J. McCollum.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

Wayback Wednesday: LeBron James in NBA Live 2004

LeBron James dunks in NBA Live 2004

Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! This is a feature where we look back on yesteryear, dig into the archives, indulge in some nostalgia, and in some cases, wonder just what we were thinking. Check in every Wednesday for features and retrospectives on old basketball video games, old NLSC editorials published as-is with added commentary, and other flashback content.

Today, LeBron James turns 31. I don’t feel comfortable calling him one of the league’s elder statesmen just yet, mostly because I’m only a couple of months older than the King, and I’d like to avoid any “elder” labels for as long as I can. Nevertheless, at this point LeBron James is well-established as one of the league’s marquee players, biggest attractions, and all-time greats. He’s been one of the top players in basketball – and a candidate for being the top player in basketball – for over a decade now.

At times, it feels like the last decade or so has flown by very quickly. All of a sudden, here we are watching an NBA where LeBron James is in his thirteenth season. Like the great players that came before him, he’s become an institution. As such, if you’re a younger fan, it might be difficult to imagine him as an up-and-coming rising star, The Next Big Thing. Of course, when LeBron made his NBA (and NBA video game) debut back in the 2004 season, he was exactly that. With it being Wayback Wednesday, and also his birthday, I wanted to take a look back at early virtual LeBron, specifically his presence in NBA Live 2004.

Let’s take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: Christmas Day Game Predictions

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA, or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Seasons Greetings, everyone! Christmas Day is almost over here in Australia, but if you’re on the other side of the world, you might just be waking up to a day that’s hopefully filled with lots of good food, thoughtful gifts, and good times with family and friends. There are also five games on the NBA schedule today, so for the final Friday Five of 2015, I’m posting an abbreviated column with my predictions for this year’s Christmas Day games.

  • Miami Heat over New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans have struggled so far this season, while a healthier Heat team have bounced back from last season’s misfortunes. The Heat are at home for this one, and I expect they’ll take care of business.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder over Chicago Bulls. I’m going against Arcane’s prediction in Episode #139 of the NLSC Podcast. I’d love to see the Bulls win, but they’re struggling at the moment, and I think Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will be too much to overcome. That said, I’ll be happy to get this prediction wrong.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers over Golden State Warriors. This is one of my bold predictions in our latest episode of the Podcast. I’m picking the Cavaliers to hand the Warriors their first home loss, and second loss of the season, winning by five or more. In any event, this will definitely be the game to watch, in my opinion.
  • San Antonio Spurs over Houston Rockets. Unless Gregg Popovich decides to give all his stars Christmas Day off to thumb his nose at a nationally televised game – we’ve seen it happen before, after all – I think the Spurs will take down the struggling Rockets.
  • Los Angeles Clippers over Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant has been playing a bit better as of late, and his final Christmas Day game might see a throwback performance. The Clippers are the best team in LA at the moment though, and I think they’ll prevail by double digits.

Russell Westbrook wearing the Thunder's Christmas Jersey in NBA Live 16

I’ll be tuning in to those games throughout the day, and I’m sure that a lot of you will be, too. Hopefully, we’re in for some entertaining holiday hoops! If you’re watching the Christmas Day games, feel free to post your thoughts and predictions in the comments below, and join in the discussion in the NLSC Forum! Thanks for checking in on the Friday Five throughout 2015. I’ll have more lists, editorials, opinion pieces, and top fives to share with you all next year, so be sure to check in every Friday throughout 2016 for more Fives!

NLSC Podcast – Episode #139

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We’re coming at you a little later this week, but Episode #139 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! It’s our last episode for 2015, so in addition to discussing all the news from the past week, we also take a look back on the year that was, and look ahead to 2016. Episodes will resume in early January; as always, thanks for tuning in and supporting the NLSC Podcast throughout the year!

On this week’s show…

  • Some new roster and content updates have come through for NBA Live 16, including this year’s Christmas jerseys, Stance socks, and a few new bug fixes.
  • NBA 2K16 has also received a new patch on all the major platforms, which resolves a few issues in gameplay and various game modes.
  • We reflect on last week’s big event for NBA 2K16, which turned out to be a digital launch party for Kyrie Irving’s new shoes. Were we expecting something better?
  • gregkwaste has released his 3D Importer/Exporter tool for NBA 2K16, opening up 3D editing for this year’s game. Needless to say, it’s another big development for the modding community.
  • We quickly recap this week’s featured content on the NLSC.
  • The Streak is over! We react to the Milwaukee Bucks becoming the first team to defeat the Golden State Warriors this season.
  • Elsewhere, the Philadelphia 76ers continue to struggle, but Brett Brown has agreed to a contract extension through 2019.
  • Could Dwight Howard be heading to the Miami Heat? One of us isn’t so thrilled about that possibility.
  • Nick Young has made history…by dishing out his first ever assist to Kobe Bryant. Apparently, it was the shoes.
  • We have new Bold Predictions for Next Week – or the next couple of weeks, actually. We also look back on last week’s predictions, as one of us managed to get on the board.
  • Episode #139 of the NLSC Podcast ends with a Year in Review segment, where we look back on the best and worst of 2015, and look ahead to 2016.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

The Friday Five: 2015 Year In Review

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA, or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

Since next Friday is Christmas Day, and then we’re out of Fridays for the year 2015, I thought I’d write my year in review column this week. Scary as it may be to think about, I’d say we’re close enough to the end of the year for a retrospective. It’s been another fun and successful year here at the NLSC, and I’m intending to do my best to ensure that trend continues into 2016. For now though, I’d like to take a look back at the year that was.

For this retrospective, I’ll be listing some of my favourite editions of The Friday Five and episodes of the NLSC Podcast from 2015, and reminiscing about some of the other big moments we’ve had here at the NLSC during the past 12 months. I hope you’ll find it an appropriate way to cap off the year – even if we do still have a little less than two weeks left of it – and that you’ll enjoy my editor’s picks as far as the Five and Podcast are concerned. With that said, here’s my 2015 Year In Review!

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Wayback Wednesday: Less than Thunderstruck

Russell Westbrook in NBA Live 16

Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! This is a feature where we look back on yesteryear, dig into the archives, indulge in some nostalgia, and in some cases, wonder just what we were thinking. Check in every Wednesday for features and retrospectives on old basketball video games, old NLSC editorials published as-is with added commentary, and other flashback content.

I had intended to post another video retrospective for this week’s Wayback Wednesday, as I’m really enjoying making them. However, I’d like to spend a little more time with it, as I’ve wanted to talk about this particular game in more detail for some time now, and I want my video content to continually improve. As such, I’m now looking to release the video next week; in the meantime, I’ll repeat my hint from last week’s Podcast, and say that it’s a game that has three different titles. Happy guessing!

So, for this week, I’m taking a look back at an old article that I posted back in 2008. The article – “Less than Thunderstruck” – is an opinion piece that I wrote a week after the Seattle Supersonics formally became the Oklahoma City Thunder, and unveiled their new logo. Following the article, which I’m presenting as-is, I’ll provide some commentary as we look back on that topic, all these years later.

Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #138

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Episode #138 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! In this week’s show, Arcane and I discuss ideas for the NBA Live 16 roster updates, speculate on an upcoming event involving NBA 2K16, talk about the past week in the NBA, and more.

On this week’s show…

  • The NBA Live 16 rosters are gradually getting better and more complete, but there’s still work to be done. We reflect on NBA Live 09’s commitment to being “made fresh daily”.
  • 2K has teased a “major event” that will be tipping off on December 12th, involving NBA 2K16. We speculate as to what it might be.
  • Are there any mods or other projects that we’d really like to undertake in the future?
  • We briefly recap this week’s Wednesday Wayback, and provide a teaser for the next video retrospective.
  • Moving on to this week’s NBA discussion…who’s the best player in the NBA right now? Stephen Curry, or LeBron James?
  • Lance Stephenson and Josh Smith are reportedly on the trading block. We consider whether or not the Los Angeles Clippers will have any luck moving them.
  • On its eleventh anniversary, we reminisce about Tracy McGrady’s 13 points in 35 seconds. (Note: We incorrectly refer to it being the tenth anniversary on the show; whoops!)
  • The Philadelphia 76ers have hired Jerry Colangelo, after the league strongly suggested doing so. Was that an appropriate move by the NBA, and what does it mean for the Sixers?
  • We throw out new Bold Predictions for Next Week, and reflect on last week’s predictions.
  • Episode #138 of the NLSC Podcast wraps up with some more interesting statistics.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #137

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It’s that time of the week once again, so tune in to Episode #137 of the NLSC Podcast! This week, Arcane and I make plans for NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16, discuss Kobe Bryant’s retirement announcement, and make some bold predictions that we might have to answer for in Episode #138.

On this week’s show…

  • Aside from 2K’s new partnership with Marvel leading to some new in-game content, there isn’t a lot of basketball gaming news this week. Nevertheless, we have a few more thoughts about NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16 to share, including some more issues we’d like to see addressed.
  • With the new games obviously a long way away, we outline some plans for what we’d like to do in NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16 in the coming weeks and months.
  • Some recent NLSC features are also quickly recapped.
  • Moving on to this week’s NBA discussion, the Golden State Warriors are still winning, and it’s earned Luke Walton Coach of the Month honours. It’s just a shame that he’s technically winless!
  • Kobe Bryant has announced that he will retire at the end of the season, officially making the year a farewell tour. Obviously, that means his number will be retired in the not too distant future…but which one?
  • One streak is over as the Philadelphia 76ers have finally won a game! The Los Angeles Lakers were the unlucky opponent, though it doesn’t sound like Byron Scott is on the chopping block just yet.
  • A new segment makes its debut: Bold Predictions for Next Week. Will we both be eating crow in the next episode?
  • We wrap up Episode #137 of the NLSC Podcast with some good news for anyone betting on the Warriors.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

Wayback Wednesday: Microsoft Complete NBA Basketball Retrospective

Microsoft Complete NBA Basketball

Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! This is a feature where we look back on yesteryear, dig into the archives, indulge in some nostalgia, and in some cases, wonder just what we were thinking. Check in every Wednesday for features and retrospectives on old basketball video games, old NLSC editorials published as-is with added commentary, and other flashback content.

It seems that the retrospective of NBA Jam Tournament Edition PC that I posted a couple of weeks ago was well received, and I certainly had fun producing it. As such, I’ll be creating some more video retrospectives of older basketball video games, and featuring them in future editions of Wayback Wednesday. I’ve got a bunch of games in mind, some of which you may remember and some you may not, which I’m looking forward to dusting off and discussing in detail.

However, for this week’s Wayback Wednesday, I’m looking back at an old release with a written retrospective, rather than a video feature. That’s because the title I’m discussing today doesn’t actually have any gameplay to show, so it doesn’t exactly lend itself well to a video retrospective. That release is Microsoft Complete NBA Basketball.

It’s not the type of title that we’d normally cover in detail here at the NLSC, but for me, is does have some nostalgic value. Hopefully, you’ll find it to be an interesting change of pace. With that said, let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #136

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We’re back to our regular schedule this week, with Episode #136 of the NLSC Podcast recorded on time and available to listen to right now! Tune in to hear our discussion of the newly released patch for NBA Live 16, an exciting development in NBA 2K16 modding, and all the latest action from the past week in the NBA.

On this week’s show…

  • The big patch and content update for NBA Live 16 has finally come through. We offer up some early impressions, with more to come next week after further hands-on time.
  • More exciting news on the NBA 2K16 PC modding front, as it appears as though we’ll be able to edit models in Blender in the not too distant future.
  • We recap some of the weekly features here at the NLSC, including the revival of the NBA Live Domain.
  • Moving on to our NBA discussion, the Golden State Warriors continue their hot start, and Stephen Curry is still on fire. We wonder which happens first: the Warriors losing, or the Philadelphia 76ers winning.
  • LeBron James and Dwyane Wade continue to ascend the all-time leaderboards. Where would we rank the two future Hall of Famers and former teammates on the list of all-time greats?
  • Kobe Bryant’s struggles may have just hit a new low. We’re broached the subject before, but could we see the Black Mamba hang it up before the season is over?
  • We wrap up Episode #136 of the NLSC Podcast with a very classy tribute in NBA Live 16.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #135

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We’re a little late this week, but Arcane and I weren’t about to let our digital broadcasting streak end so easily. As such, Episode #135 of the NLSC Podcast is out now; tune in for the latest discussion on NBA Live 16, NBA 2K16, the past week in the NBA, and a couple of other topics!

On this week’s show…

  • A new roster has come through for NBA Live 16, but the latest update still leaves something to be desired.
  • On the other hand, a huge patch has come through for NBA 2K16 on PS4. The PC and X1 patches are still on the way.
  • Speaking of the Xbox One, NBA Jam: On Fire Edition is on the newly announced list of backwards compatible games. We discuss the possibility of the game coming to PlayStation 4 as well.
  • If nothing else, forthcoming backwards compatibility with the PlayStation 2 might allow us to play NBA Street 1-3 on Sony’s latest console.
  • We’ve got a listener question this week: Would we consider buying a Steam machine?
  • Stephen Curry has passed his father in career threes, as he and the Golden State Warriors continue to have a fantastic start to the season. We discuss their success so far, and consider the comparisons to great teams and players from the past.
  • The Philadelphia 76ers, on the other hand, continue to lose. When will the tanking end?
  • Kevin McHale has been fired following the Houston Rockets’ slow start. We consider whether the move was fair, or made too early.
  • Speaking of coaches in the hot seat, George Karl is butting heads with DeMarcus Cousins and GM Vlade Divac. Do we think he’ll last the season?
  • We wrap up Episode #135 of the NLSC Podcast with some more interesting stats.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #134

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Tune in to Episode #134 of the NLSC Podcast, hosted by Arcane and myself! This week we’re talking updates for NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16, some historically remarkable numbers for Andre Drummond, and a couple of other news items from the past week.

On this week’s show…

  • NBA Live 16 is in need of a major patch and content update. When do we think we might see it?
  • We look ahead to NBA Live 17 once again, and speculate on whether major updates for 16 might be shelved in favour of ensuring a much better game next year.
  • The third patch for NBA 2K16 should be coming soon. Mike Wang has posted some tidbits on what to expect over at Operation Sports.
  • Some gamers have discovered a couple of defensive settings (and possible oversight) in NBA 2K16 that make a huge difference to the way the CPU plays defense.
  • Moving on to the NBA discussion, Andre Drummond is doing something that hasn’t been done in almost 50 years. We know that Leftos has to be pleased.
  • LeBron James supports our campaign to put an end to sleeved jerseys! OK, not really, but it’s clear The King doesn’t care for them either.
  • Derrick Rose is slowly regaining his form, which one of us is particularly pleased to see. We discuss the recent rumours surrounding Rose, and whether he’s actually on the way out of Chicago.
  • The Miami Heat have made the first trade of the regular season, sending Mario Chalmers to the Memphis Grizzlies.
  • We end Episode #134 of the NLSC Podcast with a dubious statistic involving Nick Young and Kobe Bryant.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

The Friday Five: 5 Questions after Week 1 of the 2016 NBA Season

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA, or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

While there’s still much to discuss on the NBA Live and NBA 2K front, I wanted to talk about some real basketball in this edition of The Friday Five, as we’re just over a week into the 2016 NBA season. There are some interesting stories developing through the first four to six games of the new season, and as a result, a few questions spring to mind. Since a few of them relate back to the predictions I made before the season tipped off, I thought I’d throw them out there, and perhaps make a few more predictions.

Now, it should be acknowledged that it’s still early days, with teams having between 76 and 78 games left to play in the regular season. What happens in November doesn’t always matter come April, or indeed, June. All the same, it’s interesting to take a look at the early trends and noteworthy statistics, and wonder about what’s going to happen next. As such, here are five questions I’d like to put out there after the first week (and a bit) of the 2016 NBA season.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #133

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Episode #133 of the NLSC Podcast is out now, so tune in for your weekly fix of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and NBA discussion here at the NLSC! Arcane and I are your hosts as we discuss the latest NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16 news, and the first week of the 2016 NBA season.

On this week’s show…

  • New rosters are out for NBA Live 16, but we’re still waiting for proper, post-opening night 2016 season lineups.
  • We touch on last week’s discussion about NBA Live 16’s sales and what NBA Live 17 needs to do, and follow up with a correction.
  • Patch V2 is out now for NBA 2K16 PC. Some issues remain, but there’s a noticeable improvement in performance, and some welcome fixes.
  • NBA 2K16 modding saw a huge development this week with the release of the External File Plugin. Installing mods just got a whole lot easier.
  • 2K is banning PC gamers who hack their NBA 2K16 MyCAREER saves with the Cheat Engine. Fair or foul?
  • We wrap up this week’s video game discussion with some further MyCAREER talk.
  • Moving on to our NBA discussion, we recap the first week of the 2016 season, which has seen the Golden State Warriors dominate, Nate Robinson get cut after two games, and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook achieve a milestone.
  • In a tale of two all-time greats, we reflect on Kobe Bryant’s continued struggles and decline, and LeBron James’ continued ascension up the all-time scoring charts.
  • It wouldn’t be an episode of the NLSC Podcast without some jersey discussion. This time, it’s the presence of the Kia logo on the All-Star jerseys.
  • We talk a little about how our favourite teams are doing, and the early struggles of the Houston Rockets.
  • Episode #133 of the NLSC Podcast ends with some Kevin Garnett trivia that probably makes him feel old. Kinda makes us feel old, too.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #132

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It’s that time of the week again, as Arcane and I are coming at you with Episode #132 of the NLSC Podcast! We’ve got a lot to talk about this week including NBA Live 16 sales and the future of the NBA Live series, some exciting news for the NBA 2K16 modding community, opening night of the 2016 NBA season, and more.

On this week’s show…

  • NBA Live 16’s sales figures have been underwhelming. We discuss the reaction to the game so far, and the low number of sales following the optimism of the preview season.
  • What must EA Sports do with NBA Live 17 for the game to show sufficient improvement, and move the needle in sales?
  • We talk about a couple of things that were left on the cutting room floor for NBA Live 16. We also note the lack of an opening night roster update, and the presence of one for NBA 2K16.
  • There’s been another exciting development with NBA 2K16 modding, which we’re looking forward to seeing come to fruition. Hopefully, modding is even easier in NBA 2K17.
  • We pay our respects to the late Flip Saunders, who sadly lost his battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • The 2016 NBA season is underway, and it’s about time, too. We give our thoughts on the action from opening night.
  • Tristan Thompson has finally signed an extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Did they overpay for him?
  • We wrap up Episode #132 of the NLSC Podcast with a discussion of Nike’s fancy new shoe. It’s no hoverboard, but it’s still sufficiently futuristic for 2015!

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.