The Friday Five

The Friday Five: 5 Unpopular NBA Jerseys (I Actually Like)

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.

The 2016 NBA regular season is winding down, and we’re still a couple of months away from getting a steady stream of concrete information about NBA Live 17 and NBA 2K17. In recent weeks, I’ve been talking a lot about what I’d like to see in the upcoming games, both on the NLSC Podcast and in the Friday Five, and I will continue to do that. However, I thought I’d change things up in today’s Five, and talk a little about fashion. Well, on-court fashion in the NBA, at any rate.

This week, I’m talking about NBA jerseys that tend to be unpopular, or make a lot of “worst NBA jerseys” lists, that I actually happen to like. I can’t defend them all as outstanding or timeless designs, as some of them are definitely products of their era, but I still like them all the same. I know that I’m definitely not alone in liking some of these jerseys, but some fans might declare it to be a sign of bad taste. Nevertheless, here are five unpopular NBA jerseys that I don’t dislike the same way a lot of people do.

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The Friday Five: My 5 Favourite Patches That I’ve Made

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.

In this week’s Monday Tip-Off, I discussed our fondness for continuing to make patches for older basketball video games. As I said in that article, there’s a lot of nostalgia in going back and updating an old game, and it can also be a very rewarding experience, especially when there’s still a contingent of basketball gamers playing older releases. I certainly know a thing or two about that, as I was still releasing multiple roster patches for the last four PC versions of NBA Live up until a few years ago. As you may have noticed, I’ve also released a couple of smaller patches in recent weeks.

Since I’m still in the mood to talk about patches, I thought that for this week’s Friday Five, I’d take a look at five of my favourite patches that I’ve made for the NBA Live series. I’d talk about my work on NBA 2K, but I only have one release for that series: an open source roster with some minor edits and additions. Needless to say, when it comes to patching, I have a much longer history with NBA Live, and a much bigger catalogue of releases. So, without any further ado, here are my five favourite patches that I’ve made over the years.

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The Friday Five: 5 Predictions for Future Cover Players

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.

The cover players for NBA Live and NBA 2K are admittedly an insignificant detail in the grand scheme of things. Nevertheless, it’s a subject that still manages to capture our attention every year, before the official announcements are made. In between talking about what we want to see out of NBA Live and NBA 2K, and speculating on each game’s features and improvements as we learn about them, we usually find ourselves asking: who’s going to be on the cover?

It’s a fun talking point, even if it does have little bearing on the games themselves. Throughout the years, we’ve seen some huge names lend their likenesses to the cover art of NBA Live and NBA 2K, as well as a few unorthodox choices for cover players. Since it’ll be a few months until the preview season really gets underway, I thought that for this week’s Five, I’d throw out some predictions as to who we might see on the covers of NBA Live and NBA 2K…perhaps as soon as this year.

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The Friday Five: 5 Satisfying Moments in Basketball Gaming

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.

There are a lot of things that feel good when you’re playing a basketball video game. Knocking down a three-pointer, whether it’s a wide open shot or you’re drilling it right in the face of a defender. Throwing down a dunk, especially when you see a brand new animation, or when the slam caps off a big scoring run. Great defensive plays that end with a crafty steal, intimidating block, or an embarrassing shot clock violation for your opponent, also feel pretty good. When you’re playing a basketball video game, you can sometimes get just as excited as you do when you’re watching or playing the real sport.

That’s what makes basketball video games such a satisfying experience. I mean, we wouldn’t be playing them, talking about them, modding them, and yes, even complaining about them, if we weren’t getting something out of them, and they didn’t hold any value to us. In this week’s Friday Five, I wanted to talk about some of the specific moments in basketball video games that I find to be the most satisfying. These are the moments that go beyond the thrill of simply nailing a triple, or rocking the rim.

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The Friday Five: 5 Worst AI Problems in Basketball Video Games

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.

We’ve tipped off our Wishlists for both basketball games, and as I do every year, I’ve been making sure to put out a few reminders about the best way to provide feedback. The most common mistake when posting suggestions for NBA Live or NBA 2K is failing to provide relevant details: saying things like “deeper modes”, “better gameplay”, or “improved AI”. While these are certainly things that we do want to see, they don’t describe what we specifically want to see improve, or the problems that need to be addressed. It’s like going to a restaurant and ordering “tasty food”; there isn’t nearly enough information to work from.

Basketball has a lot finicky nuances that we want to see realistically portrayed in NBA Live and NBA 2K, and when our expectations aren’t being met, we need to be able to identify all those annoying quirks in the AI. Those moments of frustration we have when we’re playing a game, because the CPU is doing something that’s not quite right? Those are the issues that we need to bring up. To demonstrate what I’m talking about, here are five of what I feel are the worst problems with AI in basketball video games, along with some relevant examples.

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The Friday Five: Revisiting My Predictions for 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.

With the All-Star Weekend upon us, we’re essentially at the midway point of the 2016 NBA season. Normally I discuss a topic related to the NBA’s midseason classic in the Five that precedes the All-Star Weekend, but this year, I wanted to do something a little different. This time, I wanted to look back at some predictions I made at the start of the season, and see how I’m faring so far. If you’re a regular listener of the NLSC Podcast, you know how well my NBA predictions generally turn out!

That said, I’m actually not doing too badly. While there’s still quite a few games left to play, several weeks during which time a lot of things can change, a couple of my predictions aren’t too wide of the mark. One has turned out to be a jinx, and two are looking quite precarious, but the other two stand a good chance of being correct. So, without any further ado, let’s revisit the five predictions I made for the 2016 NBA season, and see how each of them are looking at the halfway mark.

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The Friday Five: 5 Annoying Basketball Gaming Moments That Are Realistic

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.

When it comes to basketball video games, it’s fair to say that most of us tend to be after a realistic experience…at least when it comes to the five-on-five games. The level of commitment to the sim style varies from gamer to gamer, but unless you’re playing a game like NBA Jam or NBA Street, you probably want to see at least some amount of realism in your virtual hoops. When NBA Live or NBA 2K fall short of our expectations in that regard, you can be certain that there’ll be loud cries of “That’s not sim!” Our desires can be succinctly summed up with Da_Czar’s catchy creed: Don’t play video games, play basketball!

As I’ve discussed before, however, while most of us have a good understanding of the elements that make a basketball video game realistic, we don’t always appreciate what realism truly means. In the real world, there are mistakes and imperfections, annoyances and disappointments, risks that don’t yield rewards. Whether we like it or not, negative outcomes are a part of basketball – at least for one team on every play, and ultimately, the game – and when it comes to video games, it’s important that those unpleasant realities are represented. They’re frustrating of course, but it’s important to remember that the five annoyances I’m discussing today are, in fact, realistic.

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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.

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The Friday Five: Top 5 Gameplay Improvements I Want To See in NBA Live

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 we’re getting into Wishlist season, last week’s edition of The Friday Five covered five features that I’d like to see return in NBA Live. I’m continuing with that theme this week as I count down the top five gameplay improvements that I’d like to see, preferably beginning with NBA Live 17. While I really want to see the game modes get deeper and some more bells and whistles added, NBA Live’s gameplay still needs some polish and enhancement, as it’s obviously an important aspect of the core experience.

That’s not to say it needs a complete overhaul, or that the current tech isn’t capable of doing the job. I’ve seen some good things from the IGNITE engine, and there’s been a noticeable improvement over the past three years. However, there are definitely some much needed improvements and additions that need to be made to NBA Live’s gameplay, to get it to the level it really needs to be at. So, without any further ado, here are the top five gameplay improvements that I want to see in NBA Live, beginning with number five.

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The Friday Five: Top 5 NBA Live Features I Want To See Return

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 recent episodes of the NLSC Podcast, Arcane and I have been discussing the future of NBA Live, particularly how it’s a case of “now or never” when it comes to certain features and improvements. Likewise, back in October of last year, I engaged in a little early Wishlist talk in The Friday Five, with a piece titled 5 Things NBA Live 17 Absolutely Has To Do. Suffice to say, we have some strong feelings about what we feel the series has to achieve with this year’s iteration, as do other members of the basketball gaming community.

Since it is just about time to start creating our official Wishlist threads, I thought I’d use this week’s Five to revisit the topic of what needs to be done with NBA Live. There’s obviously going to be some overlap with the previous discussions, as I haven’t changed my mind about what I believe are the most important areas that Live needs to improve in. That said, on this occasion, I’m focusing on five features that I’d like to see return, and prioritising them in the form of a Top 5 countdown. Without any further ado, let’s tip things off with number five.

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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.

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The Friday Five: 5 Things I Want To Do with The NLSC in 2016

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.

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2016, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great holiday season, and safely made it through all your celebrations. While New Year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone, I’ve always found the beginning of a new year to be an excellent opportunity to hit the reset button as it were, and set some goals while making a fresh start. After taking a bit of a break towards the end of December, it feels good to get back to work with renewed energy in January.

2015 was another fine year for us here at the NLSC, and I’m pleased with the content that we were able to provide. However, I’m always aiming to make things bigger and better, week by week, month by month, year by year, and to that end, I’m looking forward to striving for that goal in 2016. Since this is the first time New Year’s Day has fallen on a Friday since I started writing The Friday Five, I thought I’d use today’s column to outline a few goals that I have for the site this year.

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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!

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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The Friday Five: 5 Mistakes We Make in Basketball Video Games

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 this community, we know basketball, and we know basketball video games. When it comes to virtual hoops, I think it’s fair to suggest that we have some people in our community who are pretty good on the sticks. Nevertheless, as much as we know about basketball – the real thing, and its virtual equivalent, be it NBA Live or NBA 2K – there are some mistakes that we’re prone to making. As those mistakes add up, so too do our losses, whether it’s to the CPU in one of the franchise modes, or to other users online.

So, in this week’s Friday Five, I thought I’d list some of the mistakes that we’re prone to making, and offer up some advice on how to avoid them. These are the things that I try to keep in mind when I’m playing NBA Live or NBA 2K; both the pitfalls I’d prefer to avoid, and the strategies I employ to try and do so. Without any further ado, here are five mistakes that we make when we play basketball video games…and a few ways that we can avoid them.

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