Wayback Wednesday

Wayback Wednesday: NBA All-Star Weekend in NBA Live

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.

The 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend is almost upon us. While not everyone is a fan of the midseason classic, I’ve always enjoyed watching the pickup atmosphere of the Rising Stars game (in all its various formats), the drama of the Three-Point Shootout, the creativity of the Slam Dunk Contest, and the stars going head to head in the All-Star Game itself (though it’s sadly no longer as competitive as it used to be). I know that I’m not alone in my enjoyment of the All-Star Weekend’s main attractions, and for many years, a lot of us wished that those events were playable in basketball video games. Then, along came NBA Live 2005.

In featuring the All-Star Weekend, NBA Live 2005 boasted one of the most significant additions in the history of the series – not to mention basketball gaming in general – and the mode was a lot of fun to play back in the day. It’s well worth reminiscing about, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live PC Mod

Shaquille O'Neal dunks in NBA Live PC for NBA Live 06

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.

Inspired by last week’s dig through the archives, I went rummaging again to see what else I could find. My search yielded some preview screenshots for the NBA Live PC mod, which became the NLSC’s comprehensive roster update for the PC version of NBA Live 06 for several years. Since I enjoyed looking back at my 1996 season mod for NBA Live 2004 last week, I thought that I’d do the same for a current roster update that I maintained for one of my all-time favourite games in the series. With NBA Live 06 being next up in our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live retrospectives, it also seemed fitting.

So, why did the mod bear that name, and how did it come about? Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: My 1996 Season Patch for NBA Live 2004

Shaquille O'Neal Cover Shot in the 1996 Season Roster for NBA Live 2004

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.

Last week, I wrote an article talking about the lure of roster modding. As I explained in that feature, while modding in general is something I don’t do as much as I used to, there’s always the temptation to get back into it. I really did enjoy making those current roster updates for so many years, as well as the occasional special project. One such project was my 1996 season patch for NBA Live 2004, which thanks to the contributions of some of our best art modders at the time, turned out to be reasonably comprehensive…at least compared to some of my previous retro season patches.

To this day, it remains one of my favourite patches that I’ve made for NBA Live 2004, or indeed, any other game. I recently came across some old preview images of the patch in my archives, and figured it would be fun to share them, along with a few reflections on the mod. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: The Hangar in NBA Live 10

The Hangar in NBA Live 10

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.

Since I took a look back at The Temple in NBA Live 06 and NBA Live 07 last week, I thought that for week’s Wayback Wednesday, I’d reminisce about The Hangar in NBA Live 10. While The Hangar wasn’t as quite as revolutionary as The Temple – it was a continuation of the same concept, after all – it was nevertheless one of NBA Live’s most memorable practice arenas. It was a pretty cool design to say the least, and it also included a few nifty features that I remembered when I recently fired up NBA Live 10 on Xbox 360 to test out my new capture card.

The Hangar is certainly one of my favourite practice arenas in the NBA Live series, so join me as I take a look back…way back.

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Wayback Wednesday: The Temple in NBA Live 06 & 07

Dwyane Wade in The Temple in NBA Live 06

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.

Whenever a basketball video game makes the leap to a new generation of gaming hardware, there’s usually some sort of feature or gimmick that underlines the fact that it’s a new era. The jump to the Xbox 360 marked the start of a difficult time for the NBA Live series, with the 360 version of NBA Live 06 being something of a disappointment. I’ll go into more details about the game in my forthcoming retrospective for our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content, but one very cool feature that the game did boast was its practice gym: The Temple.

The Temple – which also appeared in NBA Live 07 – wasn’t just eye-catching in design, but also a somewhat revolutionary take on the existing practice mode. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: LeBron James’ Free Agency in NBA Live 10

LeBron James in NBA Live 10

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.

Since I’m still working on a few retrospectives for Wayback Wednesday (as well as our ongoing 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content), I’ve been looking through the archives for something fun and interesting to share with you this week. Combing through an old folder of images, I came across a collection of screenshots of LeBron James in NBA Live 10. I took them in May 2010 for an article that was looking ahead to his upcoming free agency, and speculating upon which jersey he might be wearing come the 2011 season. Since LeBron announced his number change prior to his free agency, he’s wearing number six in all of them.

As it happened, both LeBron James’ career and the fortunes of the NBA Live series took an infamous turn just a few months later. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Michael Jordan’s 30,000th Point

Michael Jordan Pre-Game in NBA Live 2002

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.

On this day in 2002, Michael Jordan became the fourth player in NBA history to score 30,000 points. His Airness did so as a member of the Washington Wizards – yes, I know I’m not supposed to mention that – but funnily enough, he set the mark in a win over the Chicago Bulls, the team with which he won six NBA championships and established himself as the greatest player of all-time. Although the career scoring feat is more historically significant, that game is perhaps more often remembered for a sequence which ended with Michael Jordan emphatically blocking Ron Mercer.

As I noted in my retrospective of NBA Live 2002, and a few other articles, it was the first game in the NBA Live series in which Michael Jordan appeared as an active player. He’d appeared in EA’s earlier basketball titles, but apart from his Roster Player stand-in, he was absent from NBA Live during his second run with the Bulls. To mark the fifteenth anniversary of MJ’s milestone game, I thought that I’d dust off NBA Live 2002 once more, and try to replicate it. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Coaches in NBA Live 2003

Phil Jackson in NBA Live 2003

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.

As I mentioned in my retrospective of the game, NBA Live 2003 was the first release in the NBA Live series to feature real coaches on the sidelines. It may seem like a trivial thing these days, but back then, it was a big deal to finally get that kind of detail in basketball video games. Of course, when we look back on a game like NBA Live 2003, it not only provides a snapshot of what basketball gaming was like at the time, but also serves as a time capsule of the real NBA. Fire up the game today, and you might find yourself saying “I remember him!”, or “I forgot he played for them!”

Needless to say, the same goes for coaches. Looking back at the coaches roaming the sidelines in the default rosters of NBA Live 2003, there are some familiar names, and a couple of others who probably haven’t been in the consciousness of most NBA fans for some time. As such, I thought it might be fun to see how the sidelines have changed since head coaches first appeared in NBA Live. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 2005 GamePro Preview

Carmelo Anthony dunks the basketball in NBA Live 2005

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.

The next retrospective that I’ll be posting as part of our ongoing 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content will take a look back at NBA Live 2005. The second release during a strong three year run for the series, NBA Live 2005 is still considered to be one of EA Sports’ best basketball titles. That’s something I’ll obviously be examining in greater detail in my retrospective, but for now, I wanted to share something that I came across in my archives: a scan of a GamePro magazine article from way back in April of 2004, which offered up a quick preview of NBA Live 2005.

It’s always interesting to reflect on previews of basketball video games and our reactions to them, and then compare to them how the games actually turned out and how we felt once we got to play them ourselves. There’s obviously been plenty of time for the dust to settle on NBA Live 2005, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: 1000 People Online in NBA Live 07

Allen Iverson in NBA Live 07 (Xbox 360)

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.

NBA Live 07 is ten years old now. If you’ve been around the community for a long time and remember playing it back in the day, don’t worry; I feel old too. As I’ll be discussing in some upcoming features for our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content, whether you’re talking about the PC/PlayStation 2 or Xbox 360 version, NBA Live 07 was a release that had quite a lot of issues. It was around this time that the NBA Live series really began to falter, allowing the NBA 2K series to not only establish itself as a superior product, but also close the gap in sales across all platforms. But that’s something I’ll cover in those upcoming articles.

Today, I’m talking about something that I feel is an interesting footnote about the Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 07. One of NBA Live 07’s Xbox Live Achievements was awarded for being one of at least a thousand people online and in the game at the same time. It’s a somewhat unique idea for an Achievement or Trophy in a basketball video game, and it’s safe to say that there weren’t a lot of gamers who ended up attaining it.

What was the deal with this somewhat unusual Achievement? Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Legends in NBA Live 2000

Michael Jordan in One-on-One in NBA Live 2000

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.

Today, December 7th 2016, is Larry Bird’s 60th birthday; Happy Birthday, Larry Legend! To mark the occasion, I’ve been trying to think of basketball video gaming topics that are related to the Boston Celtics great. Since I’ve already talked about Bird’s presence in NBA Jam Tournament Edition as a secret player, that idea is out. Glancing at the list of topics that I’ve compiled for future Wayback Wednesday features, I noticed one that’s probably overdue, and certainly has ties to Bird: NBA Legends in NBA Live 2000.

I remember that many of us were very excited to hear that a selection of NBA Legends from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s would be featured in NBA Live 2000. The long-awaited addition of Michael Jordan was obviously a huge selling point, but the inclusion of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Isiah Thomas, and other all-time greats, also came as very welcome news for basketball gamers who wanted to see some historical content in NBA Live.

It’s the kind of content in basketball video games that helps us reminisce, so it’s only appropriate that we take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: The Original NLSC Roster Updates

1998 Bulls in the NLSC Roster Updates for NBA Live 97

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.

Years before I was maintaining the NLSC roster updates for NBA Live, Tim and Lutz were creating the site’s original patches. We’ve seen a lot of fantastic roster updates over the years that have brought attention to the NLSC and been very popular in the community, and that great work certainly continues to this day. However, when you’re talking about the roster updates that made this site what it’s become and inspired so many other people to get into the hobby, you can’t go past those original releases by Tim and Lutz.

Those roster updates are still available in our Downloads section, and if you’re ever in the mood for some retro basketball gaming, I’d definitely recommend downloading them. If you’re newer to the NLSC community though – and especially if you’ve mostly been involved with the NBA 2K modding scene – it might be difficult to appreciate how important and influential those original NLSC rosters were. While I do encourage you to experience them for yourself if you can, I feel it’s important that those early roster updates get their due, especially in light of 2016 marking our 20th Anniversary.

Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live Championship Screenshots

Boston Celtics Championship in NBA Live 08

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.

When posting bulletins about the NBA Champions around ten years ago, I included screenshots of the winning team taken from the current NBA Live game. With the standalone Playoffs mode, it was easy enough to fire up the PC version, load up the latest NLSC roster update, and sim through a postseason. Because NBA Live’s simulation engine could be unpredictable, I usually had to place star players on the injured reserve so that the appropriate teams could make it through to the NBA Finals, and the correct team then win the championship.

I usually held off on capturing the screenshots until the series was close to being decided, so that I could make sure the teams were playing in the correct venue (and in one instance, wearing the correct jerseys). I came across those old NBA Live championship screenshots while digging through my archives recently, and I thought that they’d be fun to share for this week’s Wayback Wednesday.

Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: My Player in NBA 2K10

Summer Circuit Game in NBA 2K10's My Player

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.

On this day in 2001, the NBA D-League (then known as the NBDL) tipped off its inaugural season with the Greenville Groove hosting the North Charleston Lowgators. The league may have changed its name, and neither of those teams is still active, but over the past fifteen years the D-League has become a stable farm league for the NBA, with several noteworthy alumni. Despite its growth and increasing importance to the NBA, to date the D-League hasn’t had much of a presence in basketball video games. However, it played a significant role in NBA 2K10’s My Player mode, the first incarnation of what is now known as MyCAREER.

Since it’s the fifteenth anniversary of the inaugural D-League season, and I’ve been playing quite a bit of MyCAREER in NBA 2K17, I thought I’d look back at My Player in NBA 2K10, while also touching on the D-League’s role in the mode. The possibility of starting out in the D-League is something that quite a few gamers have expressed an interest in seeing return, and the prospect of multiple career paths is something that I find intriguing as well. My Player itself has undergone a lot of improvements on top of being rebranded into MyCAREER, but what was that first version of the mode like?

Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Remembering Roster Players

Roster Player dunks the basketball in NBA Live 98

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.

The issue of missing players isn’t as prominent as it was in the early days of basketball gaming. Video games have become a huge industry, authenticity is the name of the game, and the licensing agreement with the NBA Players Association ensures that all active players are represented in NBA Live and NBA 2K. These days, active players who aren’t included at launch are added via official roster updates, so most of the issues with missing players involve historical players that couldn’t be licensed. Fortunately, as the addition of Steve Nash in the latest NBA 2K17 roster update demonstrates, that doesn’t have to be a permanent problem either.

As I’ve discussed in previous articles, this wasn’t always the case. Due to certain players retaining full control over their likeness rights, and sometimes signing exclusive deals with specific developers, some of the biggest names in basketball have been missing from classic hoops games. In some cases, however, they didn’t leave a vacant spot on their team’s roster. Some games elected to include placeholder players, which many old school basketball gamers came to call Roster Players, after the name they were given in various editions of NBA Live.

Roster Players have an interesting legacy in basketball gaming, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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