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Monday Tip-Off: Wasted Historical Players in NBA 2K

Monday Tip-Off: Wasted Historical Players in NBA 2K

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 my thoughts on how a large amount of the historical players in NBA 2K are going to waste.

I’ll admit that I feel slightly petty when I criticise the usage of historical players and teams in NBA 2K. Over the past decade, NBA 2K games have done what was once unthinkable, simply by including a huge range of historical players and retro teams. We may not have modes like the Jordan Challenge or NBA’s Greatest anymore, but we still have retro teams spanning from the 60s through to the 2010s, All-Time squads for every franchise, and several historical players to collect in MyTEAM. Of course, some players are exclusive to NBA 2K’s card collecting mode.

That’s a major point of contention, though. We have access to many historical players thanks to the individual retro teams and All-Time squads, but not all of them. There are several mid-tier players who don’t belong to any retro teams and aren’t big enough names for the All-Time squads, and are therefore more or less exclusive to MyTEAM. Their assets being in the game is still a tremendous help to modding projects, but the situation still isn’t as convenient as it could be. Now, MyTEAM is definitely a popular mode – despite some people’s bizarre claims to the contrary – but to me, it still feels as though a large number of historical players are being wasted by that exclusivity.

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NLSC Podcast #406: What A Croc!

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #406 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this weekly podcast that’s all about basketball gaming.

Crocs have been added as footwear in NBA 2K22’s MyCAREER, and we’re…underwhelmed. This leads us to discuss 2K’s priorities, and how we’d prefer that they make fairer deals with historical players, not to mention finally license some prominent absentees. Voting has closed on the game for the next NLSC Tournament, and one of us may have put our hand on the scales. While we’ve been enjoying playing a variety of older titles as of late, certain games do make us miss enhancements from newer releases. To that point, we reflect on how it took an unusually long time for NBA 2K to adopt right stick dribbling controls, and an overlooked mechanic in NBA Live. We also cover some recent retro roster modding developments, and resolve to keep playing the games that we  find the most appealing in 2022.

Join in the conversation in the comments below, or here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as mailbag questions and topic suggestions for future shows. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. The show also comes out on our YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe for future episodes and other video content.

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: December 18th, 2021

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

It’s time to enjoy some virtual hardwood highlights in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week! This is a weekly feature curated by Derek (aka Dee4Three) spotlighting the best plays from the basketball gaming community, which includes a few of our own memorable clips from time to time. Submit your clips in the Forum, or hit up Derek on Twitter!

You can always count on some crazy dunks being included in the NLSC Top 10 Plays, and true to form, there are some exciting slams this week! From NBA in the Zone 99 – a game making its first appearance in the countdown – to NBA 2K22 Next Gen, gamers have had fun throwing it down, as we tend to do. There are also a couple of wild long bombs, including the top play from NBA Live 2001 which proves that an accidental button press needn’t be a disaster!

What was your favourite highlight this week? Sound off in the comments below, and once again, get in on the fun by sending us your spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood or blacktop. All basketball games are welcome, new and old! Also, be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

The Friday Five: 5 Worst Aspects of My Favourite Modes

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 lists the five worst aspects of my favourite modes across years of playing various basketball video games.

When it comes to the quality of basketball video games, gameplay is paramount, but modes are still crucial. Deep modes can’t be enjoyed without great gameplay, but the gameplay won’t be nearly as interesting and engaging long-term without modes that keep us hooked. Fortunately, the modes in basketball games have come a long way. They’ve gone from a basic single NBA season – or just three rounds of the Playoffs – to comprehensive multi-season franchise modes, career modes with connected online team play, and card-based team building modes.

Of course, whether you’re talking about gameplay or game modes, perfection is an impossible goal. As is the case with the experience on the sticks, ideally the franchise, career, card collecting, and other modes will be relatively bug-free and enjoyable, but for a few quirky issues or missing features here and there. Although I was a long-time franchise gamer after the concept was introduced, over the past decade I’ve branched out into other ways to play basketball video games. I’ve had literally thousands of hours of fun with my favourite NBA Live and NBA 2K titles, but reflecting on those fantastic experiences, these are some of the worst aspects of my modes of choice.

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File Additions for NBA 2K20

NBA 2K20 Cover Art

Its servers may be shutting down soon, but that doesn’t stop modders from adding new file additions for NBA 2K20! Today’s new mod release is a 2K Compete Tent arena by TGsoGood. Check it out at the links below!

TGsoGood
2K Compete Tent Arena

Thanks to everyone who continues to contribute to our Downloads database! If you need help uploading files, be sure to check out this video tutorial. For more information about downloads, the modding community, and File Additions bulletins, please see this FAQ in our Wiki.

Wayback Wednesday: Revisiting Fantasy Teams & Quick Pick Play

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 second look back at Fantasy Teams in NBA Live, which debuted as Quick Pick Play.

Although I have many titles and aspects of old basketball games that I want to cover here in Wayback Wednesday, sometimes I do have to revisit topics. As much care and passion as I put into my features, there are times when I don’t do a topic justice, or my opinion changes after some further retro gaming sessions. It’s why I’ve seen fit to post new retrospectives of NBA Live 06 and NBA Live 10. Sometimes my opinion doesn’t change much – as was the case with NBA Live 07 – but another look with fresh eyes can yield something you didn’t notice before, and alter your perspective.

I would definitely say that that’s the case with Fantasy Teams and Quick Pick Play, a mode featured in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of NBA Live 08 through NBA Live 10. I don’t necessarily disagree with what I wrote when I covered Quick Pick Play four years ago, but I’ve developed more of an appreciation for it since then. With that in mind, let’s take another look back…way back…

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File Additions for NBA 2K22

NBA 2K22 Cover Art

The latest file additions for NBA 2K22 feature the latest courts and environment mods from TGsoGood, and a face from Shuajota. Check them out at the links below!

Shuajota
Daulton Hommes Face

TGsoGood
Clutch Time Arena Custom Mural by TGsoGood
Clutch Time Arena Custom Mural by TGsoGood Remix With Floor
Floating Court
Parking Lot Court #1

Thanks to everyone who continues to contribute to our Downloads database! If you need help uploading files, be sure to check out this video tutorial. For more information about downloads, the modding community, and File Additions bulletins, please see this FAQ in our Wiki.

Monday Tip-Off: So, What Do You Actually Dislike?

Monday Tip-Off: So, What Do You Actually Dislike?

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 my thoughts on a phenomenon that I’m sure bugs a lot of passionate content creators: a dislike on a carefully produced YouTube video.

One of the lessons that I’ve learned in the twenty years that I’ve been running the NLSC is that not everyone will like you, or the content that you produce. The reasons for this vary, and aren’t necessarily a reflection of your work. Maybe you had a heated discussion that resulted in perpetually simmering ill feelings. Perhaps an incident led to you blocking them or banning them from your platform, or they left, blocked, or unfollowed you in a huff. Alternatively, your style and presentation just isn’t for them, or they strongly disagree with your views and opinions.

It can be a tough pill to swallow. Unless it’s your intention to produce particularly provocative content that trolls or takes a contrarian stance for the sake of it, usually you hope that an audience will like your work and agree with you. This is especially true of opinion pieces, where it’s easy to assume that you’re not only speaking for yourself, but for many others who share your views and perhaps don’t have the words or platform to express them. It can be surprising to receive pushback in the form of a dislike or dissenting comment, even though it really shouldn’t be. What’s far more surprising – and frustrating – is when the content is not controversial, or poorly made.

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NLSC Podcast #405: Slow Motion, Signature Style

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #405 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this weekly podcast that’s all about basketball gaming.

An eye-catching statistic regarding the Lakers this year, and some other recent NBA observations, explain a lot about The Rec (and why we’re happy to avoid the online scene). Unfortunately, even the franchise experience in NBA 2K22 hasn’t been appealing, due to the gameplay feeling dry. On the plus side, NBA 2K17 has been fun to dust off, and it leads us to reflect on one of our all-time favourite basketball video games. We once again note that gameplay mechanics aren’t automatically good just because we’re able to get used to and master them. Elsewhere, preliminary plans for the next NLSC Tournament have begun, with the community voting on the game. A new roster with fixed retro teams is also worth checking out on PlayStation 5. In this week’s mailbag, we’re talking about slow motion dunks, signature moves, and other old school features that we miss and would love to see return.

Join in the conversation in the comments below, or here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as mailbag questions and topic suggestions for future shows. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. The show also comes out on our YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe for future episodes and other video content.

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: December 11th, 2021

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

It’s time to enjoy some virtual hardwood highlights in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week! This is a weekly feature curated by Derek (aka Dee4Three) spotlighting the best plays from the basketball gaming community, which includes a few of our own memorable clips from time to time. Submit your clips in the Forum, or hit up Derek on Twitter!

Although the NLSC Top 10 Plays is open to highlights of all kinds, it’s tough to go past a great dunk. As I’ve said before, there’s something immensely satisfying about dunking on the virtual hardwood, especially as games have added more animations and better physics to set up jaw-dropping posters. This week’s countdown includes some tremendous high-flying moments, from merciless facial dunks to crazy alley-oops. As always, it’s great to see a variety of titles represented, and awesome mods being showcased. Also, it seems Dee4Three and I aren’t the only ones going back to NBA Live 06 on Xbox 360! Remember, the point is to have fun with basketball games, and this Top 10 is intended to celebrate that joy.

What was your favourite highlight this week? Sound off in the comments below, and once again, get in on the fun by sending us your spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood or blacktop. All basketball games are welcome, new and old! Also, be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

The Friday Five: 5 Predictable Moments 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 five moments in basketball games that are very predictable.

In real basketball, there’s a phenomenon of knowing a shot is going in as soon as it leaves your hands. It just feels right, the arc looks perfect, and it’s almost like there’s a sixth sense about it. Of course, that confidence isn’t always well-founded, in which case you may end up looking like Nick Young! We can get a similar feeling when we see someone else shoot the basketball, either on TV or when we’re on the court. It’s why we’re so surprised to see the great shooters and clutch performers miss attempts that we were absolutely sure would splash through the net.

As an artificial representation of the sport, basketball video games naturally contain some telltale signs that make them far more predictable than real life. Predictability isn’t always a bad thing of course, particularly when it’s a favourable outcome. Even when it isn’t, you’re at least able to brace yourself for the outcome, perhaps avoiding getting your hopes up. However, like a spoiler for a film, TV show, or indeed a video game with an in-depth narrative, it can detract from the experience by removing a sense of anticipation, with certain actions feeling inconsequential. For better or worse, here are five of the most predictable moments found in basketball video games.

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NBA 2K20 Servers Shutting Down December 31st

NBA 2K20 Servers Shutting Down December 31st

As sticky-fingers noted in our Forum, the servers for NBA 2K20 will be shutting down on December 31st, 2021. After this point, no online features and functionality will be available. This includes roster and Draft Class sharing, Play Now Online, MyTEAM, and MyCAREER and its connected modes.

Contrary to previous games that offered a lightweight version of MyCAREER in offline mode, MyCAREER in NBA 2K20 will no longer be available when the servers are shut down. It’s therefore advisable that you wrap up any business in MyCAREER before online support ends, from gaming to capturing video and screenshots for content creation. Naturally, the same goes for MyTEAM and other online modes.

It would also be a good idea to browse the shared files and download them while you still can. Obviously we’re able to distribute rosters the old fashioned way on PC, but PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gamers will have no way of sharing files after December 31st. Custom team art files in MyLEAGUE and MyGM will also be unavailable, and we’ll no longer be able to import our own images in-game as that requires online support.

To that point, feel free to share any suggestions of rosters and Draft Classes that you believe your fellow gamers will enjoy, and want to preserve. sticky-fingers has noted a few examples already, including Thunder Shaq’s rosters, PCBasket by Shuajota, the retro rosters by RMJH, and some other major projects.

For those who are unaware, 2K increased online support for all of their titles from 18 to 27 months back in 2015, following the controversy with NBA 2K14. This means we can expect the servers for NBA 2K21 and NBA 2K22 to be shut down over the next couple of years. Needless to say, we’ve still got ample time in that regard, but keep those impending server shutdowns in mind if you’re sticking with an older title. Thanks to sticky-fingers for the reminder regarding the shutdown, and the suggested downloads so far!

Wayback Wednesday: 1998 Bulls vs Lakers in NBA Live 06 Xbox 360

Wayback Wednesday: 1998 Bulls vs Lakers in NBA Live 06 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. This week, it’s a highlight reel from a makeshift 1998 Bulls vs Lakers matchup in NBA Live 06 for Xbox 360.

Yes, the retro kick continues! Although I could easily play this matchup with proper faces and jerseys in NBA 2K22, there’s something really fun about makeshift rosters. Of course, given the lack of modding options for the Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 06, a minimalist approach to re-creating a 1998 Bulls vs Lakers game is the best I can do! It nevertheless resulted in an extremely enjoyable retro gaming experience. Even with animations that are showing their age and lack variety, there were a couple that felt “Jordanesque”! Since I had such a blast, I kept the recording and created another highlight reel. Join me as I take a look back…way back…

Although NBA Live 06 PC is the better all-around release, the Xbox 360 version is far more impressive than I once thought. It has its limitations, but it holds up as a fun game to revisit. Normally I’d use it to indulge my nostalgia for the mid 2000s, but on this occasion, I’m celebrating the late 90s and The Last Dance as well. It’s a shame that we can’t mod the Xbox 360 version, but as you can see, you can still have a great time with a little effort and imagination. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this reel, and may perhaps be inspired to give NBA Live 06 or another old game a second look. In the meantime, be sure to check out our YouTube channel for more video content!

File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K14 PC feature Pep’s pack of City uniform updates for the 2022 season, and bongo88’s updated ESPN scoreboard and scoreboard modding resources. Notably, Pep’s jerseys are also compatible with NBA 2K13. Download all of today’s NBA 2K14 file additions at the links below!

Pep
NBA Nike City Uniforms 21/22

bongo88/karinge
ESPN 75th Scoreboard (Association Automatic Weekday) (Updated to v1.5)

bongo88 & exrxixxx
NBA 2K14 Scoreboard Tutorial & Hex Bookmarks (Updated to v7.0)

Thanks to everyone who continues to contribute to our Downloads database! If you need help uploading files, be sure to check out this video tutorial. For more information about downloads, the modding community, and File Additions bulletins, please see this FAQ in our Wiki.

Monday Tip-Off: What Your Shot Chart Says About You

Monday Tip-Off: What Your Shot Chart Says About You

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 look at what your shot chart says about your style of play on the virtual hardwood.

Well, that’s a trashy, clickbait headline if ever I’ve used one! Then again, is it still a clickbait title if it’s kind of making fun of clickbait and trashy, vapid headlines? Arguably, yes. What if I’m truly intending to run some hopefully thought-provoking experiments and share the results? Probably still a bit cheesy! Anyway, have you ever really looked at your shot chart after a game? If you haven’t, there’s no shame. After all, whether you won or lost, hit a statistical goal, or achieved some measure of progression in a mode, tends to be the more pertinent and interesting information.

And yet, it’s interesting to look at our shot chart. As in a real NBA game, it says a lot about how we shot the ball and ran our offense. To that end, it can provide insights into how we won or lost. In video games, it also illustrates some common gaming habits, the reasons for which are interesting to delve into. I’ll admit that I haven’t made a habit of looking at my shot chart after games in recent years, probably because I’ve been focused on grinding for VC and Badge XP rather than playing a sim style in MyCAREER. However, in the interests of experimenting, exploring theories, and self-reflection, I decided that I’d see what my shot charts look like these days.

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