The Friday Five: 5 More Random Basketball Game Facts

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 collection of five more random basketball game facts, that I hope you’ll find interesting.

If you enjoy trivia, raise your hand! I’m going to pretend that I actually see people either raising their hands or keeping them down, and then assume that everyone’s hands are in fact raised. That way, I can say of course everyone enjoys trivia! In all seriousness, it’s fair to say that most people enjoy hearing an interesting fact or two about one of their hobbies or interests, and in our community, that may well refer to a favourite basketball game. From Easter Eggs to unusual facts and figures, there’s some interesting basketball video game trivia that we can talk about.

As you’ve no doubt gleaned from the title, this is actually a sequel article to a Friday Five column that I posted a few years back. Now, they say that sequels are never as good as, or better than the originals – with a few noteworthy exceptions, of course – but with all the basketball games that have been released over the years, this is a topic that could probably become a series. As such, I’ll probably revisit it again down the road, but for now, let’s take a look at five more random basketball game facts that hopefully at least a few of you won’t have heard, and will be interested to discover.

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WNBA Teams Confirmed for NBA Live 18; Trailer Released

NBA Live 18: WNBA

A few months back, a leaked screenshot seemed to reveal that the WNBA would have some presence in NBA Live 18. Today, EA Sports has confirmed that all twelve WNBA teams will be included in this year’s game. The teams will be available in Play Now mode, as well as Head-to-Head online match-ups.

WNBA players had previously been featured in NBA Street Homecourt by EA Sports BIG, but this is the first time that full WNBA teams will be included in a basketball video game. While they will only be available for exhibition play, producer Mike Mahar indicated to Game Informer that there are plans to expand the league’s presence to other modes in future releases. When asked if WNBA players might be available in NBA Live 18’s Ultimate Team, Mike replied that it “possibly” could happen.

A trailer has also been released, showing off the players, their authentic courts and uniforms, and the WNBA basketball. Check it out below, or watch it here on YouTube if you’re unable to see the embedded video.

With NBA 2K having somewhat of a monopoly on historical content, as well as the Euroleague license, it’s great to see EA find a way to include some extra content in NBA Live. What do you make of the announcement? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion taking place here in the NBA Live 18 section of the NLSC Forum!

NBA Playgrounds Roster Unlock Now Available

Saber Interactive has released a Roster Unlock add-on for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One versions of NBA Playgrounds. The add-on allows gamers to automatically unlock all current players, as well as every free player that will be added to the game in the future. It’s available at a cost of $9.99 USD.

In a previous interview, Matthew Karch indicated that a pay-to-unlock add-on was a heavily requested feature, and mentioned that it would be something they would be exploring, despite his general aversion to such an approach. However, several gamers have expressed their displeasure with the move on social media, blasting the decision on the game’s official Facebook and Twitter.

If I may offer my own take on the matter, while I am leery of microtransactions and pay-to-win mechanics, I do feel there is merit to offering the Roster Unlock add-on. One of NBA Playgrounds’ biggest weaknesses is its lack of offline content. If you’re chiefly an offline gamer, it becomes a massive grind to level up and earn packs once you’ve completed the Tournaments. Naturally, if you’ve already gone through the tough grind, you may feel a bit cheated by the release of the add-on, and there are always going to be concerns about online balance. A move like this is always going to be controversial, but the sparse amount of offline content almost makes it a necessity.

An important point to remember here is that a lot of NBA Playgrounds gamers did ask for this, despite Saber’s initial reluctance to adopt microtransactions. While the move is not going to be to everyone’s liking, I personally feel that NBA Playgrounds is a game that’s still worth supporting, especially if new content can continue to be added. Whichever decision they made on this issue, one side of the fanbase was not going to be happy. It’s a problematic approach in some respects, but arguably a necessary evil, and something that was indeed heavily requested.

What’s your take on add-ons such as this? Is it appropriate here, given the lack of modes and offline content in NBA Playgrounds? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion of the game here in the Forum!

New NBA 2K18 Screenshots & Ratings; Interviews

NBA 2K18: Stephen Curry & Kevin Durant

A few more NBA 2K18 screenshots have been released, featuring Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Markelle Fultz, and Lonzo Ball. As such, we also have confirmation of their ratings, at least out of the box:

  • Kevin Durant: 96 Overall
  • Steph Curry: 94 Overall
  • Markelle Fultz: 80 Overall
  • Lonzo Ball: 80 Overall

With Durant’s overall rating of 96, it’ll be interesting to see if LeBron James equals or surpasses that mark in the default rosters. As noted by Yahoo! Sports, Fultz and Ball’s overall ratings are the highest for rookies since John Wall was an 81 Overall in the default rosters of NBA 2K11. Check out the screenshots below, or here in our NBA 2K18 gallery.

Dave DuFour recently chatted to Chris “LD2K” Manning on his podcast, On the NBA. LD2K wasn’t at liberty to reveal too much at this time, but he did mention that defense is a priority in terms of gameplay improvements this year. He also noted MyPLAYER Archetypes will be receiving some attention. By referencing MyPARK, LD2K also squashed an odd rumour about MyPARK being cut, which seemed highly unlikely given that it’s the most popular online mode in NBA 2K.

Daily Star also spoke to Erick Boenisch in the wake of last week’s developer blog on MyLEAGUE and MyGM. Erick reiterated the team’s commitment to the franchise experience, and notably described the MyGM story as a “light-hearted jaunt”. He mentions that the story will continue every few games, and doesn’t overwhelm gamers with narrative-based decisions.

Check out the latest screenshots and interviews, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. You can also join in the discussion taking place in our NBA 2K18 Forum.

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Wayback Wednesday: Freestyle Control in NBA Live 2003

Freestyle Control Dribbling 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. This week, I’m taking a look back at Freestyle Control in NBA Live 2003.

It’s funny that it’s taken me this long to do a Wayback Wednesday feature on Freestyle Control, especially since I talked about Freestyle Superstars just a few weeks ago. I did talk about it in my retrospective of NBA Live 2003, but being such an important development in terms of controls, it definitely deserves its own article. Although the name has changed a couple of times over the years, taking on monikers such as “Quick Strike Ballhandling” and “Quick Strike Ankle Breakers”, the basic concept of Freestyle’s right stick control has remained essentially the same. It’s since gone back to its original name, and we’ll be seeing more of it in NBA Live 18.

Freestyle Control changed the game, and for those of us playing on PC, it also meant picking up a dual analog gamepad to take full advantage of it. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA Live 18 Demo Release Date; The Streets Preview

NBA Live 18: Pro-Am

Confirming rumours from a few weeks ago, EA Sports has announced that the NBA Live 18 demo will be available on August 11th. Progress from the demo will once again carry over into the full version as it did with NBA Live 16, so presumably the companion app for face scanning will also be made available next week. That hasn’t been confirmed as yet though, nor are there any other further details on the demo right now.

We do have some new information about The Streets, however. As explained by the feature page over on the official website, The Streets incorporates the Pro-Am experience of The One, NBA Live 18’s brand new single player career mode. While the NBA portion of your career will take place in The League, you’ll also be able to head to The Streets to take part in LIVE Events challenges, play cooperative multiplayer games in LIVE Run, and build a legacy on the Pro-Am Tour.

Judging by the screenshots on the feature page, it appears as though reward crates have been implemented in NBA Live 18. These crates will be earned by completing the LIVE Events, which will consist of real-time challenges all year long. You can check out the screenshots below.

Seven legendary Pro-Am locations have also been confirmed: Rucker Park (New York), the Drew League (Compton), Venice Beach (Los Angeles), The Crawsover (Seattle), Dyckman Park (New York), Barry Farms (Washington), and Cherashore Playground (Philadelphia). EA Sports has released videos previewing all the courts, which you can check out below.

Hopefully, more details on The One, as well as Dynasty, Ultimate Team, and of course gameplay itself, are coming in the near future. With any luck, previews for NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 will be rolling out steadily over the next few weeks, and of course, we’ll be able to get our hands on the demo very soon. In the meantime, what do you make of The Streets? Will you be trying out the NBA Live 18 demo on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

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File Additions for NBA 2K17

NBA 2K17 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K17 PC feature player faces, new Nike uniforms for the Kings, Pacers, and Cavaliers, the new Pacers court, a custom skinny jersey model, and some jersey creation assets. Check them all out at the links below!

Issy
Terrance Ferguson Face

pinoy21
Sacramento Kings 2017-2018 Jersey

Shuajota & Edudu_10
Cleveland Cavaliers 2017-2018 Nike Icon Jersey
Indiana Pacers 2017-2018 Jerseys
Indiana Pacers 2017-2018 Court

PeacemanNOT
Skinny Jersey Model

TGsoGood
Jersey Creator Files for New Nike NBA Jerseys
Anto Da Boss 2K17 Face

Latest NBA 2K18 Screenshots: Lillard, Oladipo, Howard, Young

NBA 2K18: Damian Lillard

2K has released four new NBA 2K18 screenshots, featuring Damian Lillard, Victor Oladipo, Dwight Howard, and Nick Young. For what it’s worth, only Lillard – formerly the cover player for NBA Live 15 – is identified as a member of Team 2K. Howard and Young’s overall ratings have also been revealed, and they are as follows:

  • Dwight Howard: 81 Overall
  • Nick Young: 74 Overall

As with the previous screenshots, the latest images also give us a peek at the new Nike-designed uniforms. It remains to be seen whether the official reveal of the jerseys for all 30 NBA teams will also open the floodgates on preview media for both NBA 2K18 and NBA Live 18.

You can check out the latest screenshots below, as well as here in our NBA 2K18 Screenshots gallery. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section, as well as join in the discussion taking place in this topic in the NLSC Forum.

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Monday Tip-Off: Double Overtime THRILLHO

NLSC THRILLHO Pre-Game in NBA 2K17's 2K Pro-Am

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 a video feature, specifically a recap and highlight reel from one of NLSC THRILLHO’s recent games in NBA 2K17’s 2K Pro-Am.

As Arcane and I discussed in Episode #215 of the NLSC Podcast, we recently had a very enjoyable session of 2K Pro-Am that included an exciting double overtime victory. Despite a few mistakes here and there, Arcane, zzcoolj21 and I were able to eke out the win for NLSC THRILLHO, producing some highlight plays along the way. I naturally made sure to capture the footage, beginning with zz’s three-pointer that sent the game into overtime, and have put together a video recap/highlight reel of what turned out to be a very enjoyable and rewarding game. Watch it below, or catch it here on the NLSC YouTube channel if you’re unable to see the embedded video.

I hope you enjoyed it; it’s certainly fun for me to watch again! I’d like to get back to creating some more video content, and have a couple of ideas for a weekly video feature that I’m hoping to launch soon. I also hope to shake things up with a few more videos here and there for Monday Tip-Off, Wayback Wednesday, and perhaps even The Friday Five. In the meantime, I’ve been uploading clips from the NLSC Podcast to our YouTube channel, spotlighting some major discussions. Stay tuned for more articles, videos, and other original content, and be sure to check out this previous feature for some of NLSC THRILLHO’s more frustrating moments in 2K Pro-Am.

File Additions for NBA 2K13

NBA 2K13 Cover Art

Catching up on a recent file addition for NBA 2K13 PC, slimm44 has uploaded a new roster pack for use with U R Basketball 2K13. Check it out at the link below!

Skoadam & Slimm44 & PatTheHead
URB 2K13 Roster Files 1960-2017 (Updated to v3.4)

For the full mod, as well as previews of forthcoming updates, be sure to check out this topic in the Forum.

File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

There are still some talented modders updating NBA 2K14 PC, so let’s get caught up on the latest file additions. The most recent uploads include updated 2017 offseason rosters, rookie faces, and a custom soundtrack featuring the track list from NBA 2K18. Download them all at the links below!

Retroswald13
NBA 2K18 Soundtrack

Blang
Damyean Dotson Face
Wesley Iwundu Face
Abdel Nader Face (Updated to v2.0)

Mackubex
Mackubex Roster Update (July 25 Update)

Medevenx
Med’s NBA Roster Appdata Files (Updated, July 25th)

NLSC Podcast – Episode #215

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #215 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane and I have plenty to talk about this week with the first proper previews for NBA 2K18 coming out, along with the latest content update for NBA Playgrounds. There’s also Kyrie Irving’s trade demand, a short article on shoes in NBA Live 18, and more.

On this week’s show…

  • The first NBA 2K18 screenshots have been released. What do we think of this year’s aesthetics?
  • We received a ton of information about MyLEAGUE and MyGM by way of the first developer blog. This year’s franchise modes sound awesome!
  • Did the 2K TV finale drop a hint about additional retro teams in NBA 2K18? We believe it’s a possibility.
  • Sole Collector published a short article about shoes in NBA Live 18, which also went into the history of EA Sports getting authentic shoes into their game.
  • The next big content update for NBA Playgrounds has come through. While there are still a few issues with the game, it continues to get better and better.
  • Not surprisingly, the five copies of NBA Elite 11 listed on eBay for $30,000 USD didn’t sell. They haven’t been re-listed, but another copy is still available…for $4,000 USD.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included some of the most enjoyable sessions of online play we’ve ever had, in both 2K Pro-Am and MyPARK. Also, grinding for packs in NBA Playgrounds, MyTEAM Domination, and fantasy exhibitions.
  • Kyrie Irving has surprisingly demanded a trade. We wonder where he’ll end up, and whether Visual Concepts will do anything about the NBA 2K18 cover if he’s dealt.
  • We wrap up Episode #215 of the NLSC Podcast with some information on the latest NLSC merch by Arcane Apparel.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

The Friday Five: 5 Biggest Improvements in Basketball 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 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 list of what I feel have been the five biggest improvements in basketball games over the past two decades.

After I grumbled about the current state of the preview season at the beginning of the week, we ended up getting the first NBA 2K18 screenshots, and a ton of exciting information about MyLEAGUE and MyGM. Although I stand by my comparisons to the way previews were handled in years gone by, and my point about EA Sports’ missed opportunity to keep hyping NBA Live 18, it does seem as though this year’s preview season is finally getting into gear. As I said, the news we’ve just received regarding improvements to MyLEAGUE and MyGM is exciting, and hopefully the good news will keep rolling out for both basketball games in the coming weeks.

Needless to say, for all the promising tidbits we’ll hear, there’ll be a healthy amount of scepticism. It’s understandable, because both NBA Live and NBA 2K have their own frustrating legacy issues, some of which have been bothering basketball gamers for many years. Of course, with new releases coming out every year, it can be difficult to appreciate just how much basketball games have improved over time. Even though we still have valid complaints, basketball games have indeed come a long way since their early predecessors. Let’s take a look at the aspects of basketball gaming that have seen the most progress; the biggest improvements in basketball games, if you will.

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Details on MyLEAGUE & MyGM in NBA 2K18

Joel Embiid in NBA 2K18's MyGM

The first developer blog for NBA 2K18 has been posted, and it’s a treat for fans of franchise modes. Written by Senior Producer Erick Boenisch, it describes the changes and improvements to MyLEAGUE, MyLEAGUE Online, and MyGM in great detail. A quick breakdown is as follows:

  • MyGM (now titled MyGM: The Next Chapter) will now feature a story, similar to MyCAREER. Gamers will still retain control over gameplay and team building features. It will also have a few more customisation options.
  • MyLEAGUE will retain its large suite of customisation features, and familiar sandbox approach.
  • The 2017 NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement will be accurately reflected, including aspects such as Super Max Contracts, updated salary figures, Stretch Provisions, Two-Way Contracts, the Hardship Exception, and so on. New rule changes such as the number of timeouts have also been implemented.
  • G-League (formerly the D-League) Integration. No G-League games are playable, but players can be sent there to help with their development.
  • The Free Agent Moratorium is in the game. As in real life, no signings will be made official during that period, but you can come to binding verbal agreements with players. Cap holds and renounced rights are also now included.
  • International Draftees can remain overseas, and rights to players can be traded during the Draft. Draft Class generation has also been improved.
  • Re-branding options have been enhanced with additions such as alternate uniforms, and the ability to redesign a team’s court without also redesigning the whole arena. Relocation and re-branding options are also available in MyLEAGUE Online, and there are new cities to relocate to.
  • All-Star Game hosts will be selected each offseason, and will have their own generated designs, rather than generic All-Star courts.
  • Players will have attributes that determine how frequently they wear each type of accessory (Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, Always). Jumpshot Creator can also be used for any player, quick editing has been expanded, and created players can be added to a MyLEAGUE game already in progress.
  • The ability to practice plays is back.
  • There is a new Analytics Tool, better functionality when searching for community creations, and other features that make various customisation and administration tasks easier.

Check out the blog for the full scoop! A few screenshots were also released with the blog, which you can check out below, or here in our NBA 2K18 Screenshots Gallery. Got any thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments below, as well as here in the NBA 2K18 section of the NLSC Forum.

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File Additions for NBA 2K17

NBA 2K17 Cover Art

Today’s selection of file additions for NBA 2K17 PC includes player faces, new jerseys, and shoes. Download all of the latest mod releases at the links below!

advinXcola
Ante Zizic Face

TGsoGood
Jonathan Isaac Lookalike Face
Frank Ntilikina Face
ZO2 Show Time
ZO2 (Editable Colorways)
Dennis Smith Jr Face
Lonzo Ball Face (2017 Summer League Version)
CP3 X AE (2 Colorways Included)

Issy
OG Anunoby Face
Justin Jackson Face

Shuajota
Sacramento Kings Jerseys 2017-2018