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Monday Tip-Off: Hey, That Meme Looks Familiar!

Monday Tip-Off: Hey, That Meme Looks Familiar!

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Join me as I begin the week here at the NLSC with my opinions and commentary on basketball gaming topics, as well as tales of the fun I’ve been having on the virtual hardwood. This week, I’m tipping things off with some reflections on encountering a familiar image in a meme, and other moments of recognition.

It’s good advice to be careful about what you put out there on the internet. We’re not always as anonymous as we think, and poor behaviour can come back to haunt us. In general, it’s prudent to exercise caution in sharing personal information and even photos, as it can compromise one’s safety. It’s something to keep in mind when you’re a content creator, even in a niche community. Someone with an axe to grind may be petty enough to use it to directly harass you, or talk trash about you elsewhere online. I’ve encountered both during my time running the NLSC.

On a lighter note, when it comes to the content you create for one and all to see, you never know where it will end up. It’s both exciting and humbling when something gains traction, as my article on the Rising Cost of MyCAREER did last year, or when your work is referenced, as a WhatCulture video did with a post about NBA Elite 11. On the other hand, it’s funny when parts of your content end up being recycled, or shared outside of the original context. In particular, I’ve seen some of my screenshots show up in other articles, or on social media. And, speaking of the latter, there’s one familiar screenshot that has been used in a meme shared by several accounts.

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Monday Tip-Off: The Community, Or The Wrong Parts of It?

Monday Tip-Off: The Community, Or The Wrong Parts of It?

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Join me as I begin the week here at the NLSC with my opinions and commentary on basketball gaming topics, as well as tales of the fun I’ve been having on the virtual hardwood. This week, I’m tipping things off with some thoughts on blaming the entire basketball gaming community for changes and additions that only a vocal minority asked for.

Even though everyone in the basketball gaming community shares a common passion, we’re not always on the same page. We’re divided along several lines: mode of choice, online or offline gaming, ideal controls and mechanics, how much realism the games should have, and so on. This makes it impossible for anyone to speak on behalf of the entire community, and no one person’s vision alone is right for basketball gaming. In turn, developers have many voices to listen to – some offering up conflicting feedback – and so are guaranteed to disappoint a contingent of the fanbase with certain choices.

While we collectively understand that, in our disappointment and indeed our outrage, it’s difficult to accept. When we’re disappointed and angry – whether it’s about video games or anything in life – we want to lay blame. We point the finger at developers, the suits, and even ourselves. In all three cases, that blame isn’t entirely misplaced. However, when it comes to blaming ourselves, we’re talking about a much larger group; a group that has less control than the other two, and is less likely to be wholly in agreement. As such, when we blame what we see as an undesirable aspect of NBA 2K on the community, we’re often pointing the finger at the wrong parts of it.

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NLSC Podcast #409: A Chat With Stildo33

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #409 of the NLSC Podcast!

Stildo33 joins the show to talk about his amazing retro season roster mods for NBA 2K19 PC. We discuss some of the challenges of making such large projects, and a few of his plans for future updates. Like us, Stildo33 has also been having a blast with Parsec, and is all about bringing the community together with the app. He also recalls one of his most memorable battles on the virtual hardwood, which actually saw him and a friend get physical over a three day period! We also discuss the shutdown of the NBA 2K20 servers and what it means for MyCAREER gamers, as well as some other fond basketball gaming memories.

To get involved with the mailbag or to provide any feedback on the show, hit us up in the comments, reach out on social media, or post here in the NLSC Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. You can also find the show on our YouTube channel, along with the rest of our video content. As always, thanks for tuning in, and go get buckets!

NBA 2K23 Wishlist Being Compiled; Add Your Suggestions!

NBA 2K23 Wishlist Being Compiled

We’re currently in the process of compiling our Wishlist for NBA 2K23! Our aim is to send it in to our contacts at Visual Concepts ASAP, so if you have any ideas for the next NBA 2K release, please start posting them in this topic.

Obviously, there are many avenues for Visual Concepts to collect feedback on NBA 2K in 2022. However, we want to make sure that our community is properly represented. There are undoubtedly issues that are more important to us than to other communities, particularly in regards to the PC version.

With that being said, we do want to compile a comprehensive Wishlist for NBA 2K23 on Next Gen and Current Gen alike. As always, please keep your feedback constructive, and be as detailed as possible. Simply saying “improve gameplay” or “make MyNBA better” doesn’t exactly tell the developers what our issues are, or how we’d like to see them resolved.

On top of that, developers have previously indicated to us that bullet points of the most pressing issues and creative ideas are the ideal formatting. Feedback that is buried in long-winded paragraphs is easy to overlook, especially if one has to sift through angry and insulting comments to get to the useful part. There’s no need to suck up, but keep it constructive and clear, and it’ll be much easier to pass along quality feedback.

Ideally we’ll be sending along the Wishlist within the next few weeks, so once again, please start posting your wishes ASAP!

The Friday Five: 5 Things We Need to Stop Saying In 2022

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 things we need to stop saying in 2022.

And so, we’ve come to the end of 2021! It’s been a challenging couple of years with a global pandemic and whatnot, so hopefully better times await us all in 2022. Around these parts, we’ve obviously had basketball video games to keep us occupied. We get a lot of joy out of our hobby, but there are obviously moments of frustration as well. As I’ve said before, it’s necessary to cover all aspects of basketball gaming. We should celebrate and enjoy our passion for the virtual hardwood, and at the same time, voice our criticisms and concerns. Positive or negative, it’s vital that we have our say.

However, there are some things that we should stop saying, and with 2022 upon us, it’s a prime opportunity to cut them from the discourse. I don’t say this as a way of impeding freedom of speech, and it certainly won’t be a rule enacted in our Forum. I just believe it’s in our best interests, because thought-terminating cliches ultimately pollute the conversation. They stifle discussion of important issues, and are needlessly divisive. As always, I’m under no delusion that one article will eradicate these tired and trite phrases from the basketball gaming community. Nevertheless, if we see less of them in 2022, the quality of conversations about virtual hoops should improve.

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NLSC Rewind 2021

NLSC Rewind 2021

Welcome to the NLSC Rewind for 2021! It’s been another challenging year for many of us around the world, but fortunately, we’ve had basketball gaming to provide some much-needed distractions. Here at the NLSC, it’s been another year of great mod releases and basketball gaming discussion. We’ve also aimed to cover a wide variety of topics in our original content.

As always, it’s been our goal to cover both the positive and negative aspects of the games we play. From holding publishers accountable and criticising practices that impact our enjoyment, to celebrating the fun we’re having and brainstorming new ideas for future games, we’ve strived to be fair, thorough, informative, and hopefully entertaining. Above all, we want our original content to share interesting facts, ways to enhance your basketball gaming experiences, and advocate for our fellow gamers. Whichever mode and game that we each prefer, we should all get the most out of it.

This NLSC Rewind is a collection of “editor’s picks” for our 2021 content. Obviously, I encourage everyone to dig through our entire archives if you’re enjoying what you’re reading, watching, and listening to with our articles, videos, and podcasts. However, these recommendations represent content that I’m particularly proud of, and believe are worth a second look or listen; or a first one, if you missed them when they were originally posted! Seeing as how we’re celebrating our 25th Anniversary this year, I decided that I’d make 25 picks for each of our weekly features. As we prepare for a brand new year of basketball gaming, join me as I rewind 2021 here at the NLSC!

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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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Monday Tip-Off: Goodwill Goes Both Ways

Monday Tip-Off: Goodwill Goes Both Ways

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 some frank thoughts on how goodwill goes both ways when it comes to basketball gamers, and basketball video game developers.

It’s neither a stretch nor a startling revelation that the relationship between the NBA 2K developers and NBA 2K gamers is not as cordial as it once was. There was a time when 2K was the darling of basketball gaming. While EA Sports failed to deliver with NBA Live, Visual Concepts was going from strength to strength with NBA 2K. They listened, they innovated, and their hard work paid off. NBA Live was no longer in the picture, and while that was a sad outcome in many ways, the superior hoops game had conquered the market. Unlike Madden, they did it through quality, not exclusitivity.

Such a track record of excellence and gamer satisfaction fosters trust and goodwill in the brand. That’s not to say that the product was always perfect, because no game is. The quality was consistently impressive though, and the developer blogs during the preview seasons felt trustworthy because the games seemingly always delivered. In recent years, however, that trust and goodwill has diminished. For our part, we’re an angrier fanbase that as a whole, doesn’t always engage as politely as we should. We have reasons to be upset and our terseness is understandable, but I also sympathise with the devs’ frustration. Goodwill is vital in this relationship, and it goes both ways.

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NLSC Podcast #397: Asking The Big Questions

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Episode #397 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.

A birthday prompts us to once again reflect on long tenures in the basketball gaming community, and the stigma against gaming as an adult. This leads to us getting a little deep with some handy life advice for our listeners, young and old! After catching up on some modding developments and discussing the end of a retro kick with NBA 2K14, we start to ask each other the big questions; well, the big questions about basketball gaming, anyway. Our conversation covers games we’d give a second chance to, underutilised features, alternate choices for franchise teams, and modding projects we’d undertake given the time and resources. With the FIFA series possibly rebranding, we also consider new titles for NBA Live, and read some suggestions from the community.

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.

The Friday Five: 5 Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years Running The NLSC

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 things that I’ve learned in the twenty years that I’ve been running the NLSC.

Yes, as of yesterday, I’ve officially been running the NLSC for twenty years! It was an overwhelming thought when I realised a few years back that I’d been running the site for as long as I hadn’t been running it, and now the scales have tipped in the other direction. As I’ve been saying as I’ve hit milestone after milestone, I don’t know how long I’ll end up running the site, except to say that as long as I’m enjoying myself and am able to put in the time and effort, I’ll keep doing it. Right now, I have no plans to stop anytime soon, as it’s both a passion and an immensely satisfying creative outlet.

Of course, even though the NLSC is about having fun with basketball video games, the task of running the site hasn’t always been fun and games! I’ve connected with some great people over the years thanks to our mutual appreciation of the virtual hardwood, had tremendous opportunities such as attending community events in the USA and Canada, and produced content that I’m quite proud of. At the same time, there has been unpleasantness, difficult people, and stressful times where I’ve thought about stepping away. Still, the tough times have been learning experiences as much as the good ones, and to that end, running the NLSC has taught me these five things.

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NLSC Podcast #388: The Return of Leftos (Part 2)

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Episode #388 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.

It’s the second and final part of the triumphant return of Leftos to the show! In Part 2, we discuss the impact and importance of the community wishlists. On that note, we’ve got some suggestions for further customisation in MyNBA. Leftos reveals some interesting insights into a few of the programming challenges he’s faced so far, the reasons behind certain design choices, and some of the technical roadblocks that stand in the way of adding new features. He also talks about what it’s been like to develop video games during the pandemic, and names his favourite NBA 2K game that he’s worked on so far.

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 Podcast #387: The Return of Leftos (Part 1)

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Episode #387 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.

It’s the Return of Leftos! The former NLSC Team member and original host of the show joins us to talk about his eight years working at Visual Concepts, where he is now the Lead Software Engineer Backend on the NBA 2K series. We talk about his work on the game’s various franchise modes, and the dedication to the franchise experience even as modes such as MyCAREER and MyTEAM have become more popular. The concept of realism in franchise modes is also brought up, along with Leftos’ background in basketball. Oh, and the importance of adding some unruly geese in The City.

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.

Monday Tip-Off: 2020 Year in Review

Monday Tip-Off: 2020 Year in Review

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 back at the year that was 2020 here at the NLSC.

I think it’s fair to say that 2020 has been one of the most unusual years that many of us have ever experienced. For me, it’s both flown by – as the years seem to do as you get older – yet it’s also dragged. The COVID-19 pandemic has obviously disrupted life as we know it in so many ways, and contributed to 2020 being somewhat miserable. On top of that, we’ve lost some beloved athletes and celebrities, including Kobe Bryant. Although the hardships of the pandemic are not over yet, it’s safe to say that a lot of people are looking forward to a fresh start in 2021.

At the same time, there have been bright spots. The Next Gen consoles launched, and while it hasn’t been easy getting hold of one, people who do own them generally seem to be happy with them. Here at the NLSC, we were able to keep doing our thing for another year as far as producing content and supporting the modding community, and we also officially added a new member to our team. 2020 is a year that I’m sure a lot of people would rather be done with and soon forget, but since this is the last Monday Tip-Off of the year – there will be a Wayback Wednesday this week, and then The Friday Five will open 2021 – I’m taking the opportunity to look back at 2020.

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The NLSC Team Officially Welcomes Dee4Three

The NLSC Team Officially Welcomes Dee4Three

Please join me in officially welcoming Derek, aka Dee4Three, to the NLSC Team! Derek has been co-hosting the NLSC Podcast with me for a little over a year now, on top of being a valued contributor in our modding community, and long-time passionate basketball gamer.

In addition to chatting about basketball gaming with me on the podcast, you can look forward to more great content from Derek in the not-too-distant future. He’s currently working on V3 of the Ultimate Classic Teams Roster for NBA 2K17 PC, and some converted faces for other retro roster projects. He will also generally be a part of our coverage of, and commentary on, the virtual hardwood. Derek will also be helping out with some moderating in the NLSC Forum, and of course, he has already provided some very useful modding tutorials.

I hope that you’ll all give Derek a warm welcome, and the opportunity to grow in his new role as a member of the NLSC Team. It’s been a pleasure to have Derek as part of the NLSC Podcast for the past year, and I’m really looking forward to collaborating with him on future content and projects. You can follow him on Twitter @Dee4Three84, and also find him on YouTube.

Monday Tip-Off: Influencers on the Virtual Hardwood

Monday Tip-Off: Influencers on the Virtual Hardwood

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 some thoughts on influencers in the basketball gaming community, and the influence they wield on the virtual hardwood.

If you take part in basketball gaming Twitter, you’ll recall that not too long ago, Flight publicly rebuffed overtures from Ronnie 2K to be brought into the fold as one of the “official” influencers for NBA 2K. I won’t go into the whole history of everything that happened between Flight and Ronnie, in part because it’s not really my brand, but also because there are others that can tell the story in more detail. The tl;dr version is that Ronnie publicly blackballed Flight from getting a logo, calling him a “bully” over some of his remarks. He’s since changed his tune, but for Flight it’s little, too late.

Look, while I can appreciate brands and digital marketers picking and choosing who they want to work with, and find it understandable if they’re hesitant to collaborate with someone when there’s been some friction, I really have to commend Flight in this situation. The exposure and other perks influencers gain from having agreements with 2K would be tough for most people to turn down; even if it does mean giving up some autonomy in your content. To rebuff Ronnie’s offer that came now that his audience makes him too appealing to blackball shows guts and integrity on Flight’s part. It’s an example that all influencers in the basketball gaming community should follow.

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