NBA

NLSC Podcast – Episode #143

NLSC Podcast Logo

We’re coming at you a little later this week, but Episode #143 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss recent updates for NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16, give our thoughts on the 2016 All-Star selections, answer a few mailbag questions, and more.

On this week’s show…

  • We tip things off with a look at recent NBA Live 16 updates, including thoughts on the latest rosters, and the lack of content for BIG Moments.
  • EA are dropping out of E3, in favour of hosting their own event, EA Play. The event will be open to the public, and will feature hands-on game demos.
  • Speaking of EA, we also touch on some recent comments Andrew Wilson made about changing the company’s image.
  • Patch #5 has been released for NBA 2K16. Its focus suggests that the Pro-Am Road To The Finals tournament isn’t too far away.
  • The starters and reserves for the 2016 NBA All-Star Game have been announced. We recap the selections, and give our thoughts.
  • We reflect on the selections for the Rising Stars Challenge, which were also recently announced.
  • David Blatt’s unexpected and virtually unprecedented firing got a lot of people talking in the past week, so it’s our turn to weigh in on the situation.
  • Last week, we discussed players who might be traded. One of them has been, as Josh Smith has been sent back to the Houston Rockets.
  • We compare the 1996 Chicago Bulls to the 2016 Golden State Warriors. Who would win, what would the match-ups be like, and how close would it be?
  • Who are some of the biggest Draft busts that come immediately to mind? Unfortunately, MJ has picked a couple of them.
  • We’ve both come up empty in Bold Predictions the last couple of weeks, which means Andrew is still yet to get on the scoreboard. Surely, this is the week it all turns around!
  • We wrap up Episode #143 of the NLSC Podcast with a bizarre incident involving Blake Griffin.

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: Top 5 NBA All-Star Snubs – 2016 Edition

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.

With last week’s announcement of the starters and this week’s unveiling of the reserves, we now know the 24 players who will be competing in the 2016 NBA All-Star Game, which will be played in Toronto on February 14th. Barring injuries or other unforeseen circumstances, there’ll be a lot of deserving talent putting on a show at the NBA’s 65th midseason classic. Of course, should a few of them have to withdraw, there are a handful of players who have a case to take their place. And that’s where the topic of All-Star snubs comes in.

I have to admit that it was a bit difficult to put together a top five list of All-Star snubs this season. Outside of a couple of noteworthy names, almost all of the standout performers have either been voted in by the fans, or selected by the coaches. Additionally, there are only a couple of selections that you could really argue against, and even then, they’ve got a case to be there. Still, there’s no reason to avoid a topic just because the choice is difficult, so without any further ado, here are my picks for this year’s top five NBA All-Star snubs.

Read More

Wayback Wednesday: Ramblings of a Disappointed Bulls Fan

Luol Deng on the Chicago Bulls in NBA Live 09 (Xbox 360)

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’m still working on some new videos for Wayback Wednesday and our other featured content, so this week I’m digging into the archives to look back at another old article. This is a lengthy piece I wrote about the Chicago Bulls in the wake of Ben Gordon’s departure in the offseason of 2009, something that I certainly wasn’t thrilled about at the time. A fair bit has changed since then, so I thought it’d be interesting to post it again, and provide some follow-up opinions and commentary.

As usual, I’m presenting the article more or less as it was originally published. That means if I come across any grammatical or punctuation errors, I’m curbing any urges to edit them, and running with the piece as-is; the only changes I’ve made are the addition of some images to break up the text, and a correction of a misspelling of LaMarcus Aldridge’s name. My apologies if it’s a bit of a difficult read, but as always, it’ll hopefully highlight my improvement as a writer.

With that said, let’s take a look back…way back…

Read More

NLSC Podcast – Episode #142

NLSC Podcast Logo

It’s Thursday once again, so a new episode of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane and I are fulfilling our digital broadcasting duties this week with Episode #142, featuring more topics related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and the past week of action in the NBA.

On this week’s show…

  • We discuss the most recent NBA Live 16 roster update, including the addition of Elton Brand and the latest ratings adjustments.
  • A rumour regarding the expansion of the NBA Live development team has been brought to our attention. We don’t have any inside information, but we have a few thoughts on the possibility all the same.
  • The good news: face scanning has come to NBA 2K16 PC. The bad news: a lot of gamers probably won’t be able to take advantage of it, at least not yet.
  • We reflect on the issue of content creators getting burned out, talking about our own experiences and offering some advice.
  • Jimmy Butler became the fourth Chicago Bulls player to score 50+ points. On a less positive note, it looks like Joakim Noah is out for the season.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day saw some wild games in the NBA, including a career high 52 points by Kemba Walker.
  • A couple of players from the Class of 1999 are looking to make a comeback in the NBA.
  • Matthew Dellavedova has been voted the dirtiest player in the league. Will we still defend our fellow Aussie?
  • Andre Drummond set a new record for free throws missed in a single game. We take the opportunity to discuss the Hack-a-Whoever strategy.
  • We offer up some suggestions of players who may be traded before or at the deadline.
  • The NBA might appeal to international fans – like us – by scheduling some morning games in the future. Yes, we’re all for it.
  • This week’s Bold Predictions see…well, more bold predictions. Last week wasn’t kind to us.
  • We end Episode #142 of the NLSC Podcast with an interesting trivia note coming out of the Chicago Bulls/Golden State Warriors game.

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 #141

NLSC Podcast Logo

It’s Thursday, so it’s time for another episode of the NLSC Podcast! In Episode #141, Arcane and I discuss the future of NBA Live and NBA 2K, NBA Jam trivia, and the latest NBA news and results as we find ourselves at the midway point of the 2016 season.

On this week’s show…

  • Has EA Sports done enough to create interest in NBA Live 17, or will the plug be pulled? Do they need to be doing more with NBA Live 16 to drum up interest for this year’s game?
  • What’s holding EA back from releasing a game that can compete with 2K?
  • We discuss some of the issues with animations in both NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16.
  • With the NBA All-Star festivities not too far away, we reminisce about All-Star Weekend in NBA Live. Do we want EA to bring it back? You can probably guess our answer to that one!
  • Fox Sports Australia recently posted some NBA Jam trivia, which we quickly recap and reflect upon.
  • Which mode do we prefer in NBA 2K: MyLEAGUE, or MyGM?
  • Moving on to this week’s NBA discussion, we mention a couple of notes from the past week, and run through a few midseason surprises and disappointments.
  • The second returns for this year’s All-Star balloting have been released. The likely starters are becoming clearer, so we talk about some candidates for the reserves.
  • Which Chicago Bulls player is most likely to be traded: Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, or Jimmy Butler?
  • We revisit the question of which number the Los Angeles Lakers should retire for Kobe Bryant.
  • Should Kevin Garnett receive a similar send-off to Kobe?
  • In this week’s Bold Predictions for Next Week: Andrew still isn’t on the scoreboard. Will his latest prediction break the drought?
  • We wrap up Episode #141 of the NLSC Podcast by naming the team we’d buy if we won this week’s big Powerball jackpot.

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 Times Joey Crawford Was a Terrible Referee

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.

In case you weren’t aware, long-time NBA referee Joey Crawford will be hanging up his whistle at the end of the season. Crawford, who is currently recovering from knee surgery, told the Delaware County Times that he hopes to return to the court in March, but will be calling it a day once the season is done. In the article I’ve linked to there, it’s noted that Joey Crawford is held in high regard by the NBA family, mentioning that he even received the Golden Whistle Award. I have to admit, that really, really puzzles me.

That’s not to say that Joey Crawford has never done his job properly. We tend to focus on the negatives; the one time out of ten that there’s controversy, instead of the other nine times that were unremarkable. Still, to simply acknowledge that Joey Crawford is “controversial” and “colourful” is putting things very mildly, to say the least. From incorrect and downright strange calls, to diva-like and attention-seeking behaviour, to needlessly interfering with the play and even losing his temper, some of Crawford’s worst antics have sullied the sport. So, for this week’s Five, I’m listing the best of his worst, namely five times that Joey Crawford was a terrible referee.

Read More

NLSC Podcast – Episode #140

NLSC Podcast Logo

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…

Read More

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

NLSC Podcast Logo

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!

Read More

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…

Read More

NLSC Podcast – Episode #138

NLSC Podcast Logo

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

NLSC Podcast Logo

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…

Read More