Wayback Wednesday

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…

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Wayback Wednesday: Old School Basketball Video Game Music

Definitive NBA Live 96

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.

Sometimes, I’m surprised at the outrage over the soundtracks in basketball video games. Sure, not everyone has the same taste in music, but suggestions that a soundtrack completely ruins the game feel like an exaggeration. After all, if the gameplay and game modes are more than satisfactory, isn’t that what should matter the most? You might as well suggest that the colouring and details on the main menu spoil the game…and yes, we’ve done that too.

The more I think about it though, the more I realise that the music in basketball video games is significant in its own way. An appealing soundtrack clearly resonates with basketball gamers, and that’s evident by how much it’s tied into our nostalgia for older titles. Whether you’re firing up an old game to play it again, or you’re looking up old video game music on YouTube, as soon as you hear those opening bars, you’re taken back to a time when you loved that game, and played it for hours on end.

We all have our own favourites, both in terms of soundtracks and the games they’re attached to, so for this week’s Wayback Wednesday, I wanted to talk about some old school basketball game music that always make me feel nostalgic. So let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Replay Professional Basketball

Replay Professional Basketball Main Menu

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.

While there have been a few basketball management/text sim games released over the years, they’ve never matched the popularity of the prominent gameplay-based titles, such as NBA Live, NBA 2K, and NBA Jam. A few of them are still around, including some that are free to play online, but they don’t command nearly as much attention as the games that actually feature on-court action. It’s only natural: most people want a fully interactive experience, with franchise and career modes, and online head-to-head play against their fellow basketball gamers.

And yet, there’s a contingent of basketball enthusiasts who would be content to sit back and watch a virtual representation of the sport, adopting more of a coaching or management role. As such, the prospect of an NBA licensed management sim is brought up every once in a while. I’ve never had much interest in that subgenre myself, as I’d prefer to be in control of the action, but I’ve dabbled with a sim game before. That game was 1991’s Replay Professional Basketball, created for DOS by Thomas R. Mink, and it’s the subject of this week’s Wayback Wednesday!

Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball Video Retrospective

Bill Laimbeer's Combat 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’s time for another video retrospective, and this week, I’m taking a look back at a game that I’m not particularly fond of. In fact, it would easily make my shortlist of the worst basketball video games ever made, quite probably coming in at number one. That game is Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball, a futuristic arcade hoops game starring the former Bad Boy Piston as the commissioner of a league in the year 2030, in which he’s fired the referees and thrown out almost all of the rules.

An unusual and potentially entertaining concept, it didn’t exactly pan out, perhaps explaining why there aren’t any other basketball video games starring Bill Laimbeer. With that said, let’s take a look back…way back…

Check it out here on our YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video. Stay tuned for more video retrospectives, columns, stuff from the archives, and other Wayback Wednesday content!

Wayback Wednesday: LeBron James in NBA Live 2004

LeBron James dunks in NBA Live 2004

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

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

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

Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: World League Basketball Video Retrospective

Dunking in World League 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.

As promised, I have a new video retrospective for this week’s Wayback Wednesday! Today, I’m taking a look back at an old favourite of mine that I’ve wanted to talk about in more detail for some time now. It’s a basketball game for the Super Nintendo called World League Basketball…well, the game that I own is called World League Basketball, anyway. Depending on where you lived when this game was released in 1992, you might have known it as NCAA Basketball, or perhaps Super Dunk Shot.

It’s a game that was, in some ways, ahead of its time, and it’s definitely worth reminiscing about. With that said, let’s take a look back…way back…

Check it out here on our YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video. Stay tuned for more video retrospectives, columns, stuff from the archives, and other Wayback Wednesday content!

Wayback Wednesday: Less than Thunderstruck

Russell Westbrook in NBA Live 16

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

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

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

Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA All-Star Challenge Video Retrospective (Super NES)

NBA All-Star Challenge on Super Nintendo

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.

If you enjoyed my look back at NBA Jam Tournament Edition on PC, good news! I’ve got another video retrospective for you this week. This time, I’m taking a look at NBA All-Star Challenge, developed by Beam Software and published by LJN back in 1992 for the Super Nintendo. It’s a game that I picked up for a few bucks when searching for old NBA games on eBay; it piqued my interest as it’s a game I never played in the 90s, so I wanted to check it out. Since playing it, I’ve mentioned it a couple of times in the Friday Five and on the NLSC Podcast, as I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to discuss it in more detail.

Is NBA All-Star Challenge an all-time classic? Well…not exactly. Nevertheless, it is an interesting game to look back on. With that said, let’s take a look back…way back…

Check it out here on our YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video. I’m definitely enjoying getting some video content out there, so stay tuned for more game retrospectives, and other features!

Wayback Wednesday: Microsoft Complete NBA Basketball Retrospective

Microsoft Complete NBA Basketball

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

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

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

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

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Wayback Wednesday: The NBA Live Domain

NBA Live 2001: Shaquille O'Neal

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.

For those who are unaware, I didn’t found the NLSC – then the NBA Live Series Center – way back in 1996. That was the work of Tim, Lutz, and Brien, and it was their efforts that inspired me to create my own NBA Live website: the NBA Live Domain, or NLD for short. Yes, I was definitely inspired by the NLSC in a lot of ways.

There were a lot more NBA Live fan sites back in the day, especially as everyone tended to host their own patches. Generally speaking, you don’t see a lot of sites like that anymore. We’re obviously still around…now covering NBA 2K and basketball games in general as well as NBA Live…and you’ve also got Operation Sports, with their excellent coverage of the entire genre of sports games. Beyond that, most sports gamers seem to provide content through YouTube and other social media platforms.

So, with this being Wayback Wednesday, and given our ongoing celebrations of the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live, I thought I’d offer up some reflections on my old site. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Jam Tournament Edition PC Retrospective

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.

In this week’s Wayback Wednesday, I’m taking a look back at the PC version of NBA Jam Tournament Edition, with some unscripted commentary on a game I played a few years ago. Building on the success of the original game, NBA Jam Tournament Edition – often called NBA Jam TE for short – brought updated rosters and a few new features to the table, all in all proving to be a worthy follow-up to an all-time classic. As I’ve been sitting on this footage for a while and I’ve wanted to do more video content here at the NLSC, it seemed like a good way of providing a retrospective of one of my all-time favourite basketball video games. I hope you enjoy it!

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

Check it out here on our YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video. You can expect to see more video content, including game retrospectives, in the not too distant future!

Wayback Wednesday: Wade One of NBA Live’s Most Successful Cover Players

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 feature articles and editorials published as-is with added commentary, and other flashback content.

This week, we’re tipping off the new Wayback Wednesday feature with an article from ten seasons ago, when Dwyane Wade was a rising star on the way to his first NBA championship. Wade’s heroics in the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals had punched the Miami Heat’s ticket to their first NBA Finals appearance, and in doing so, he became the third player to reach the championship round the same year as gracing the main cover of NBA Live. Before the Finals tipped off, I wrote an article noting the distinction, and wondering whether he would indeed become the first main NBA Live cover player to win a title in the same year.

Let’s take a look back…way back…

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