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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, basketball gamers! I’m glad to have you back at the NLSC as we tip off 2018, and gear up for another year of hitting the virtual hardwood. In that spirit, a new Monday Tip-Off article will be out shortly, but before that, I wanted to lay out some of our plans for a new year of basketball gaming.

I’m actually currently out of town, but as soon as I’m back, I’ll start catching up on any files that have been added to our Downloads section. It’s my hope that our modding community will continue to make good use of our hosting facilities, so that we may avoid losing mods that have been uploaded to hosts that routinely delete files after a period of inactivity. In any event, I’m sure that we’ll see many great releases this year.

On a personal note, I’d like to be a bit more active in the modding community this year, if possible. I had grand plans to do that last year, but unfortunately, things kept getting in the way. I do have a list of ideas for mods that I’d love to make if I can find the time, and with a couple of them already out there as beta/demo releases, I’m eager to give that a try. I can’t make any promises, but it’s certainly my intention to try to release some work here and there.

If nothing else, I’ll continue creating original content in the form of my weekly features. In addition to Monday Tip-Off, I’ll continue to post Wayback Wednesday and The Friday Five features every week. The NLSC Podcast will be back on the air – hopefully as soon as this Sunday – and we’ll do our best not to miss weeks as we unfortunately ended up doing last year. I’m eager to get some more video content out there on a regular basis, possibly in the form of a revamped Tuesday Triple. We may also be looking to finally add a few new content creators to the NLSC Team, so stay tuned for more details.

As always, I encourage everyone to make good use of our Forum, as I’d love to see lots of great discussion taking place throughout the new year. Our Wiki could always use a few extra helping hands as well, so if you have the knowledge, the time, and the enthusiasm, please feel free to pitch in and help keep our resources up to date.

Since it’s a new year, I will mention our Patreon and GoFundMe campaign once again. As I’ve said before, I don’t want to push them too aggressively or more than a few times a year, but if you are able to help out with our hosting fund in any way, we’re grateful for any and all contributions. A big thanks to everyone who has already dug deep and lent a hand in that regard. I hope we’ll continue to justify your generosity with our content and facilities.

With all that being said, let’s get Year 22 here at the NLSC underway! Thanks for being a part of our community!

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New Year’s Eve 2017

New Year's Eve Fireworks

And so, 2017 is all but in the books. I know I reflected on the year that was in my most recent Friday Five article, but I’ve generally made it a tradition to post a few final thoughts on New Year’s Eve. With that in mind, here goes!

It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to run the NLSC for another year, its 21st in operation. It’s been great to see all the talented modders sharing their work with the community, and I’ve enjoyed releasing my own work here and there when I’ve found the time. As I mentioned in my Year in Review in the Friday Five, I’ve enjoyed creating original content throughout 2017, and in particular, covering some topics that have been on my To Do list for some time.

Something that I forgot to mention in last year’s New Year’s Eve message is that we’ve managed to post a daily update of some kind every day without fail since December 31st, 2006. Our archives currently don’t go back that far as we changed to a new content management system in 2011, but I promise you, the streak is indeed intact. One of my goals with the NLSC is to bring basketball gamers something new every day, be it a round-up of the latest additions to our Downloads section, news from the preview season, one of our regular features, or other information of interest to basketball gamers. I’m proud of the fact we’ve been able to do that for over ten years running.

This was our first full year with our current host, and I would have to say that for the most part, it’s been smooth sailing. Thanks to a combination of donations, our Patreon supporters, and advertising revenue, we’ve been able to cover the monthly hosting costs, and expect to be around for a while yet. As such, I’m hoping to do more fun things as we enter our 22nd year covering basketball video games.

Thank you for your support throughout 2017, I hope to see you all back with us in 2018. Until then, as is the tradition around these parts, I’ll leave you with Lutz’s words of wisdom for the occasion: Remember the safest order of things on New Year’s Eve: 1. Fireworks, 2. Drink, and not vice versa!

See you in 2018!

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The Friday Five: 2017 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 NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a recap of the year 2017 here at the NLSC, and a look ahead to 2018.

It’s the final Friday of 2017, which means we’ve also reached the final Friday Five of the year. As we’ve mused several times on the NLSC Podcast, the year seems to have just flown by, and it seems like only yesterday that I was writing the Year in Review for 2016, as well as our traditional New Year’s greetings. Either we’re all getting older, or we’ve just had a lot of fun over the past twelve months. Nevertheless, I’m going to assume that my calendar is correct, which means it’s time to look back at the year that was here at the NLSC.

2017 was another eventful year across the board, especially as we had three new games to play. Those releases had their highs and lows, with a little bit of controversy and a couple of surprising additions along the way. In our community, we saw a lot of great mods released for games new and old, and some interesting discussions take place in the NLSC Forum. We maintained our regular schedule of original content throughout the year – for the most part – and managed to cover some topics that have been on the To Do list for some time. We’re looking forward to our 22nd year in operation in 2018, but before that, let’s take a look back at what happened in 2017.

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The Friday Five: 5 Changes I’d Make To The NLSC & Community

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 NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five discusses some of the changes I’d like to make to the NLSC and our community in general.

Tomorrow marks my sixteenth anniversary as webmaster/administrator of the NLSC. I took over the site from Tim on August 26th 2001, a little less than two months before my seventeenth birthday. In other words, at this point I’ve basically been running the site for half of my life, which is kind of an overwhelming thought to be honest! I’ve had my ups and downs during that time – personally, professionally, and with the NLSC itself – but I don’t regret taking the gig for a minute. It’s given me a lot of creative satisfaction, fascinating insight into one of my favourite hobbies, and some tremendous opportunities.

Like a lot of people, I often look at milestones and anniversaries as an opportunity to reflect and take stock of things. It doesn’t pay to dwell too much on the past, but no matter what you’re doing, it’s important to learn from experience. One of my goals is to keep the NLSC relevant and maintain a certain level of quality, while also looking to get even better. I’d like to think that I’ve had some success in that regard, but at the same time, there’s still work to be done. I may be covering some familiar ground here, but as I look forward to bigger and better things, here are five changes that I’d like to make to the NLSC and our corner of the basketball gaming community.

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Monday Tip-Off: The NLSC’s Biggest Move, One Year Later

NLSC 20th Anniversary Logo

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with some reflections on the NLSC’s big move last year, which was one of the most significant in the history of our site.

Around this time last year, I was in the process of moving the NLSC from our old host to our current home. It wasn’t the first time that we’d had to move to a new host, but it was definitely the most stressful move we’d undertaken. On top of the usual downtime and teething problems, there was also an air of uncertainty. For the first time since I took over the NLSC, we’d be footing the bill for our hosting costs, rather than getting free hosting in exchange for advertising space. We also had a deadline, as our old host was discontinuing their services as of July 7th 2016, which meant if we hadn’t moved or at least backed up everything by then, everything would be lost.

Fortunately, it all turned out for the best. We found a new home, nothing was lost, and in terms of covering our expenses, we’re confident that we’ll be around for a while yet. Needless to say though, until everything was transferred and running smoothly, and the financial side of things had been sorted out, I was under a lot of stress. There were a few moments where it looked very bleak, and I found myself trying to prepare for the worst and figure out how to announce the unfortunate news. With our future now looking much brighter, I thought that I’d reflect a little on that time, and offer a little more of the back story.

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The Sunday Substitute: Player Upgrade Features in NBA Live 16

The week is in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter, which means it’s time for the Sunday Substitute! It’s the article where I get some valuable minutes while the star is resting on the bench. I might not have the time to do this every week, but I like to think I’m still making a contribution to the team. Since it looks like NBA Live 18 will be released this year, I figured it would be a fantastic opportunity to look back at NBA Live 16 and determine what features are worth salvaging. For this article, I’m going to focus on the player upgrade system.

I really love the player creation and upgrade system in NBA Live 16. It began for me with the most seamless face scan I have ever done in any video game. I’m not sure how everyone else went with it, but I know that my player in NBA Live 16 looks much more like me than any player I’ve created in the NBA 2K series. But my appreciation for player customisation in NBA Live 16 has gone far beyond that since I bought a full copy of the game.

Not only is the player upgrade system an excellent feature in NBA Live 16, but I believe it is superior to that of NBA 2K16, and even NBA 2K17. I know it’s a big call – since the NBA 2K games have the advantage in most areas – but I think NBA Live 16 had some intuitive features when it comes to upgrading created players. So, here are the player upgrade features that I not only love in NBA Live 16, but I think should be considered for NBA Live 18.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #200

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #200 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane, Kenny, and myself as we celebrate another milestone with a jumbo size episode in which we catch up on all the latest news, including Patch 1.12 for NBA 2K17, the announcement of NBA Playgrounds, and the end of the 2017 NBA season. Thank you for your continued support of the NLSC Podcast!

On this week’s show…

  • Patch 1.12 has been pushed through for NBA 2K17. We’ve played some online and offline games with the patch, and have a few impressions to share.
  • Various tuning updates have tweaked the shooting in NBA 2K17 as of late. Have we noticed any major differences?
  • We’re all looking forward to the newly announced NBA Playgrounds from Saber Interactive.
  • Since it’s Episode #200, we take some time to reflect on the previous 199 shows, and our time in the NLSC community.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming has included a shocking loss in MyCAREER, new rewards in MyTEAM, and connection issues in 2K Pro-Am and MyPARK.
  • Derrick Rose has had yet another season ended early by a knee injury. What’s next for the former MVP?
  • Pau Gasol, Joe Johnson, and Paul Pierce – all arguably underrated stars in their prime – reached noteworthy scoring milestones before the season ended.
  • Bold predictions return, as we give our picks for the regular season award winners, and the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

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.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, basketball gamers, and welcome to 2017! Hopefully, you’ve made it through the holiday season and New Year’s Eve celebrations safe and sound, and you’re ready for another twelve months of fun with basketball video games. We certainly are!

In addition to hosting our talented modding community for NBA Live and NBA 2K, we also aim to keep bringing you coverage of the latest basketball gaming news, and fresh original content. Last year, we were able to keep a fairly consistent schedule with our features, and we’re aiming to do the same this year. Be sure to check in every week for Monday Tip-Off, Wayback Wednesday, the NLSC Podcast, and The Friday Five. Our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content is also ongoing, Kenny has The Sunday Substitute, and we’ll be looking at introducing some other new content as well.

A couple of other things I want to promote at the start of another new year here at the NLSC are our Forum, and the Wiki. I’d definitely like to see more discussion taking place in the Forum in 2017, whether it’s our reaction to the games, our recent experiences, or sharing tips and advice with one another. I’d also like to see more discussion in the comments sections of our feature articles; remember, they’re intended to start conversations, not be the final word! As for the Wiki, I’d like to see it continue to expand, and become a definitive resource of information for basketball video games.

I’d also like to mention our Patreon and GoFundMe campaign once again. I don’t want to push them too aggressively, but if you are able to help out with our hosting fund in any way, we’re grateful for any and all contributions. We’re hoping that we can also use some of those funds for some more contests and giveaways in 2017.

I’m looking forward to working on original content, recording more podcasts (hopefully with some interviews this year!), seeing what our modding community comes up with, and getting involved in some modding myself when I can. And of course, I’m looking forward to another year of basketball gaming. I hope you’re all looking forward to that too, and will join us for the ride throughout 2017.

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New Year’s Eve 2016

New Year's Eve Fireworks

That sure went by fast, didn’t it? We find ourselves at the end of another year here at the NLSC. I’ve already reflected on the year that was in the December 23rd edition of The Friday Five, but as we get ready to ring in a new year, I thought that I’d offer up some final thoughts on the past twelve months.

Every year has its ups and downs, and we were seemingly dealt a big blow back in June when we had to seek out new hosting. At one point, it looked like we might have to either shut down or severely scale back our operations to suit cheaper alternatives. Fortunately, we were able to find a great new host and source the funding to keep us going, and we expect to be around for a while yet. A big thank you to everyone who has helped out in that regard; your contributions are very much appreciated!

Our modding community continued to do great work in 2016, whether it was for the latest game, or an old favourite. I think we hit the ground running when it came to NBA 2K17, and the community has been very proactive in working out methods and solutions, as well as churning out releases. We’ve also been able to add some new members to our Contributors group, and I thank them again for their hard work and the example they set.

In the world of basketball gaming, and real life basketball, it’s been an eventful year. We saw the Golden State Warriors break the Chicago Bulls’ twenty year old record of 72-10, only to become the first team to lose in the NBA Finals after going up 3-1. The Cleveland Cavaliers in turn became the first team to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals, with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love delivering the city their first major sports championship in 52 years. On the gaming front, EA Sports announced a delay for NBA Live 17, which has gamers both optimistic and sceptical. Meanwhile, Visual Concepts delivered a strong (but occasionally problematic) release in NBA 2K17. The preview season for 2K17 brought some unexpected drama, but also some exciting news of improvements and additions in this year’s game.

For all the challenges we faced, for all the ups and downs, I think we’ve come through them stronger and just as dedicated to our coverage of basketball video games, and commitment to bringing you interesting and entertaining original content. It’s something we aim to continue throughout 2017 and beyond.

Thank you for your support throughout 2016, more good stuff is on the way. For now, I’ll leave you with the traditional reminder of Lutz’s words of wisdom: Remember the safest order of things on New Year’s Eve: 1. Fireworks, 2. Drink, and not vice versa!

See you in 2017!

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The Friday Five: How I Write The Friday Five

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 NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

Well, here we are at the end of 2016! As I said last week, the prevailing thought for many of us seems to be that it’s been a tough year, and in the last seven days alone, we’ve lost some beloved entertainers. Looking ahead to 2017, we can only hope for better times, and resolve to do all that we can to be productive, happy, and healthy, and to look out for one another. I was originally going to look ahead and make plans for next year in this week’s Friday Five, but looking back at the column I wrote last year, I realised that many of my goals are similar. To that end, I’d prefer to simply focus on putting in the work to move closer to achieving those goals in 2017.

Instead, I thought that I’d end 2016 on a somewhat meta note with a Friday Five about how I write The Friday Five. Yes, really! After missing a couple of columns here and there last year, I resolved to make sure that I posted a Five each and every week in 2016, a resolution that I also made with the NLSC Podcast, Monday Tip-Off, and Wayback Wednesday. I hope to continue that trend next year, and look forward to providing you all with more opinions, trivia, retrospectives, and other original content. In the meantime, here’s an “inside look” at how I write my weekly Friday feature!

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The Friday Five: 2016 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 NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

We do have one more Friday left in 2016, and I expect that I’ll post a column as usual next week, but just in case I do have to skip it, I thought that I’d post my Year in Review edition of The Friday Five this week instead. As the year draws to a close, it’s obviously a time to celebrate the holiday season and spend time with loved ones, but we also can’t help but reflect upon the past twelve months. For one reason or another, it seems that a lot of people had a rough time in 2016, and if you can say the same, then I hope we were able to lift your spirits at times.

Of course, it was something of an up and down year in our community, too. There was some big news about NBA Live, a new NBA 2K release, and a lot of activity in terms of discussion and modding releases. There was also some stress and uncertainty back in June as we searched for a new home, and ultimately were able to move to a new host. I’ll no doubt have some final reflections in my annual New Year’s Eve post, but for now, please join me as I take a quick look back at the year that was, and ahead to the year to come.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #190

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #190 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! It’s our 2016 Year in Review episode, as we’ll be taking a short break before resuming our digital broadcasting duties in early January. Thank you to everyone who has tuned into the NLSC Podcast throughout the year; we greatly appreciate the support!

On this week’s show…

  • We tip things off by talking about our Basketball Game of the Year. Or, in other words, which game we’ve enjoyed the most out of the three that we’ve been playing regularly at some point over the past twelve months.
  • There’s been some interesting and surprising news and events in 2016, both in basketball gaming and the real NBA. We recap some of the major stories, including NBA Live 17’s delay, the mixture of controversy and exciting details during the NBA 2K17 preview season, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ championship, the retirement of several big names, and more.
  • Back in June, we had a stressful time here at the NLSC when it looked like we might have to scale back or even shut down operations after our former host informed us that they were closing up shop. Fortunately, we found a new home and expect to be around for a while yet. Thank you to everyone who has donated to the hosting fund, or continues to support the site in other ways!
  • As 2016 draws to a close, we look ahead to 2017. What do we want to achieve next year? What are some of the things that we have planned? We have a few ideas, and hope that you’ll stick around for the ride!

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.

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The Sunday Substitute: Getting Sucked Into MyTEAM…Again

The week is in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter, which means it’s time for the Sunday Substitute! It’s the article where I get some valuable minutes while the star is resting on the bench. I might not have the time to do this every week, but I like to think I’m still making a contribution to the team. Today’s subject is MyTEAM in NBA 2K17 and why I’ve become addicted to the mode once again.

After my experience with NBA 2K16, I constantly told myself I wouldn’t get sucked into MyTEAM in NBA 2K17. The amount of money I spent buying packs (yes, I spent real money), the lack of value in those packs, and the amount of times I drew Jarnell Stokes deterred me. I was resolute; MyTEAM would not get me in NBA 2K17!

Sure, I played the mode casually here and there, completing Domination and the odd challenge, but I thought I was doing okay. I wasn’t hooked. But in the past week and a half, MyTEAM has consumed my 2K experience once again. I completed every Weekly Challenge and every Moments Challenge I was eligible for, as well finishing Historic Domination.

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The Sunday Substitute: Badges in NBA 2K17

The week is in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter, which means it’s time for the Sunday Substitute! It’s the article where I get some valuable minutes while the star is resting on the bench. I might not have the time to do this every week, but I like to think I’m still contributing to the team effort. I have been gaining a few splinters on the bench for the last few months, but today I’m ready to get back into it and talk about badges in NBA 2K17.

Over the past few 2K PRO-AM sessions I have had with fellow NLSC team members, I have learned that badges are vital in online play. Both mine and Andrew’s numbers have gone up considerably since we’ve unlocked significant badges for our respective archetypes. In some games, my shooting has been off the charts because of my Hall of Fame Corner Specialist and Catch and Shoot Badges, and Andrew’s passes have been more on point with the Gold Dimer badge.

Despite how NLSC THRILLHO have improved after acquiring badges, there are still a number of issues that badges seem to be creating online. It seems like lesser-rated players are becoming more overpowered because of outside shooting badges. People are still zigzagging and hitting those perfect jump shots, and corner threes are almost automatic unless you practically foul the shooter.

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Help Us Expand The NLSC Wiki

It’s been a while since I posted a bulletin about the NLSC Wiki, so I felt it was time to make another appeal. While our community is doing some great work in creating and compiling various resources in the Forum, and we absolutely want that to continue, in the NLSC Wiki we have another handy resource that we’d like to develop further.

For those who are unaware, the NLSC Wiki features articles on all of the games in the NBA Live and NBA 2K series, as well as several other basketball video games. There are also articles on gameplay features and game modes, along with resources such as modding tutorials, file format guides, slider explanations, and cheat code listings. Episode guides for the NLSC Podcast and a brief history of the NLSC itself can also be found there.

I’ve recently spent some time updating the info on NBA 2K17 in the Wiki, though there’s still work to be done to make it a definitive source of information for NBA Live, NBA 2K, and basketball gaming in general. I’d therefore like to invite anyone who is knowledgeable about basketball video games to help us out in expanding our articles, adding new tutorials, and making sure that information on the games is kept up to date.

You don’t need to register an account to modify 99% of the Wiki, as only a few important pages are protected, or restricted to administrator-only edits. Of course, if you’re concerned about privacy, or plan on making frequent contributions, we certainly encourage you to sign up. Thank you to everyone who has helped out here and there so far; hopefully, we can continue building upon this resource! If you’d like to contribute but aren’t sure where to begin, please let me know so that I can offer a few pointers.

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