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The Friday Five: 5 Things I Want To Do with The NLSC in 2016

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 basketball video games, the real NBA, or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2016, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great holiday season, and safely made it through all your celebrations. While New Year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone, I’ve always found the beginning of a new year to be an excellent opportunity to hit the reset button as it were, and set some goals while making a fresh start. After taking a bit of a break towards the end of December, it feels good to get back to work with renewed energy in January.

2015 was another fine year for us here at the NLSC, and I’m pleased with the content that we were able to provide. However, I’m always aiming to make things bigger and better, week by week, month by month, year by year, and to that end, I’m looking forward to striving for that goal in 2016. Since this is the first time New Year’s Day has fallen on a Friday since I started writing The Friday Five, I thought I’d use today’s column to outline a few goals that I have for the site this year.

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New Year’s Eve 2015

As cliche as it is to talk about how quickly the year has passed…man, it feels like 2015 was over in the blink of an eye! All of a sudden, we find ourselves on December 31st, waiting for midnight to roll around so that we can ring in the start of a brand new year.

I’d like to thank everyone for your support of the NLSC throughout 2015. It’s been another great year for us, as we’ve been able to cover this year’s NBA games in depth, chat to developers on the NLSC Podcast, benefit from exciting developments in the modding community, and bring you some new original content. I’m hoping to make 2016 an even bigger and better year for the NLSC; it’ll be our 20th Anniversary in August, so it seems only appropriate!

In 2016, I’m hoping that we can bring you more news, more mods, more tutorials and resources, more columns and opinion pieces, more video features, more Podcasts, more interviews, and all around, more fun and interesting content aimed at basketball gamers. I hope you’ll all stick around and be a part of it.

For now though, I’ll leave you with some advice for the evening. If you are ending 2015 with a bit of partying, have a great night, but be safe and responsible. To that end, I’ll uphold a tradition by leaving you with Lutz’s immortal words of wisdom:

Remember the safest order of things on New Year’s Eve: 1. Fireworks, 2. Drink, and not vice versa!

See you in 2016!

Monday Tip-Off: Moderation in Moderating

We’re at midcourt, the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Get your week started here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to basketball video games.

August 26th marked my fourteenth year running the NLSC; you may have seen my post celebrating the occasion in the Forum, or on our social media pages. I’d like to think that I’ve done a good job over the years – I’ve certainly tried my best – and improved in the role along the way. Creating content for the NLSC can be time consuming and at times arduous, but it’s something I do enjoy. I also enjoy taking part in the Forum, but that also involves a task that can be even tougher: moderating.

That is to stay, it’s the approach and philosophy of moderating that can be tough. Performing the actual functions of moderating is certainly straightforward enough. However, there’s a delicate balance to maintain, when the aim is to foster a welcoming and friendly community that is as drama-free as possible, while also allowing everyone to speak freely and not feel bullied by the moderators. So, to tip things off this week, I wanted to give everyone a bit of an insight into how we try to maintain that balance.

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Monday Tip-Off: Fanboys, Haters, and the Basketball Gaming Community

Fanboys, Haters, and the Basketball Gaming Community

We’re at midcourt, the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Get your week started here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to basketball video games.

In last week’s Friday Five, I talked about aspects of online culture that I dislike. While I’d rather not spend too much time dwelling on the negative – incidentally, that would be another pet peeve of mine when it comes to online culture – I did touch on something that I’d like to talk a little bit more about today for Monday Tip-Off: fanboys and haters within the basketball gaming community.

I don’t want to make a sweeping, generalised, melodramatic statement such as “Fanboys and haters are ruining the basketball gaming community”, because that’s not exactly true. Unfortunately, such a statement isn’t completely without merit, either. At the very least, it’s reaching some incredibly silly levels, with severe tunnel vision and an almost complete lack of perspective. Granted, this is often the case in any fandom, but since this is our community we’re talking about, I’d like to see us do better.

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The Friday Five: 5 Aspects of Online Culture I Dislike

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 basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16 are in stores now, and to that end, it would make sense to discuss one or both of them in this week’s Friday Five. However, I’d like to spend a bit more time with both games before I offer up any impressions, and discuss certain elements of them in detail. Furthermore, this week’s topic – five aspects of online culture that I dislike – is one that I’ve been meaning to talk about for a while. The timing isn’t completely inappropriate either, as we see a lot of this stuff pop up whenever new games are released.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I maintain that we have a good thing going here at the NLSC, and I do like being a part of an online community. I also believe that the World Wide Web in general is a fantastic invention that continues to innovate, and it’s done a lot to make video games a bigger business, and an even more enjoyable hobby. However, there are some negative traits that permeate online culture, especially in gaming communities. When it comes to the five things I’m about to discuss, I think we need to either grow up, or get over ourselves…or maybe both.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #120

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In the middle of the 2015 NBA Finals, and just a few days before E3, it’s Episode #120 of the NLSC Podcast! Join Arcane and I as we discuss the NBA Live 16 cover announcement, everything we know so far about NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16, the on-going clash between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2015 NBA Championship, and more.

  • We didn’t have to wait long to find out that Russell Westbrook is gracing the NBA Live 16 cover. What do we think of that choice?
  • With the release of a screenshot and a preliminary features list, we note that there’s more optimism surrounding NBA Live 16 compared to recent years, especially with the game’s presence at E3.
  • After breaking down this week’s NBA Live 16 news, we get up to speed with some NBA 2K16 information, including clarification on a couple of matters that we’re glad to see.
  • We comment on three areas where NBA Live 16 needs to show improvement: off-ball movement, animations, and the addition of a shot meter.
  • Kotaku recently published an article describing a lengthy Association experience using skoadam’s URB roster for NBA 2K13. Unfortunately, it got our name wrong.
  • We answer some mailbag questions about community spirit and Forum participation…and possibly get a little sentimental in thanking the people who support us in doing what we do.
  • It’s been an interesting NBA Finals so far: scrappy, and at times ugly, but not boring. What do we think will happen next?
  • If LeBron James leads the Cavaliers to the title, what does it mean for his standing amongst the greats? We discuss some recent proclamations about The King, and address the issue of “haters”. (Caution: Rant Warning)
  • Two Nike fanboys are quite pleased to hear about the company’s new deal with the NBA, beginning in 2017. Yes, that would be us.
  • We end with a Tweet by Brandon Jennings, which suggests that he’s not a fan of NBA Live.

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.

Welcome Kenny to the NLSC Team!


I’m pleased to announce that long-time member of the NLSC Community Kenny has joined the NLSC Team!

You may have seen Kenny’s famous NBA Live and NBA 2K threads in our Stories section, as well as his contributions to The Soapbox. He’ll be writing regular feature articles for the NLSC, which I know you’ll really enjoy reading.

In the meantime, please join me in welcoming Kenny to the team!

The Friday Five: 5 Things I’ve Learned Running a Video Game Website

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

As we tip off a new year here at the NLSC, I still find myself in a somewhat reflective mood. As I said in my 2014 Year in Review, and a couple of times in my New Year’s messages, last year was a very good one for the site, and I’m looking forward to making 2015 even better. While preparing to do so, I naturally think back on we’ve done before: what worked and how we can make it better, as well as what hasn’t worked and how we can avoid it. That in turn got me thinking about some of the lessons that I’ve learned while running the NLSC.

So, before I get back to discussing basketball video games, compiling Top 5s, or giving opinions about the NBA, I thought I’d talk a little about some of the things that running the NLSC has taught me. I’d like to think that anyone else who’s looking to start some sort of online endeavour, be it a video gaming website, a YouTube series, or even a modding project, will be able to gain some knowledge and perspective from my experiences. Without any further ado, here are five things I’ve learned from running a video game website.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! If you’re reading this, then you’ve made it through last night’s festivities, and hopefully had a great time with friends and family. I’d like to officially welcome you all to a new year here at the NLSC; as I’ve said before, 2014 was a great year for the site, and I’m looking forward to making 2015 even better.

We’ll be doing more fun stuff this year, including regular episodes of the NLSC Podcast, more columns and feature articles, more tutorials and resources, and hopefully, some more video content. We’ll also be doing a fair amount of stuff in a (slightly belated) celebration of the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live, which I hope that everyone will enjoy. And of course, I’m confident that our modding community will continue to do some amazing work.

There might be a few other surprises along the way, but we’ll get to that when we get to that. For now, Happy New Year, welcome back (or indeed, welcome to the NLSC if you’ve just discovered us), and stay tuned!

New Year’s Eve 2014

Well, once again, we’ve come to the end of another year here at the NLSC. I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, it feels like the last twelve months have really gone by quickly. As they say though, time flies when you’re having fun, and as I mentioned in last week’s Friday Five, it’s been a really good year for the site.

I’m really pleased with what we were able to do with our content throughout the year, and what we were able to achieve as a community. As always, thank you for your support of the NLSC! We really do appreciate it, and hope that you’ll stick around, as we look to make 2015 an even better year.

If you are marking the end of 2014 with some partying, have a blast, but please be safe and responsible. If you’re drinking, don’t drive, and above all, keep Lutz’s immortal words of wisdom in mind:

Remember the safest order of things on New Year’s Eve: 1. Fireworks, 2. Drink, and not vice versa!

See you in 2015!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays 2014

On behalf of the NLSC staff, I’d like to wish a very Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate it, and a Happy Holiday Season to all of our visitors! I hope that wherever you are, you’re enjoying yourself and getting to spend some quality time with family and friends.

If you’re partaking of some basketball gaming these holidays, don’t forget to check out our Downloads section for the latest mods from our talented community, as well as join in the discussion in the NLSC Forum. Be sure to catch some of the Christmas Day games if you can, as the NBA has scheduled some very interesting match-ups this year with the Thunder taking on the Spurs, the Warriors and the Clippers locking horns, and LeBron James returning to Miami for the first time as the Cavaliers take on the Heat.

Seasons Greetings, everyone!

NLSC Podcast – Episode #100

NLSC Podcast Logo

Well, we made it: one hundred episodes of the NLSC Podcast! We’ve lined up some special guests to mark the occasion, in addition to our usual chatter about NBA Live, NBA 2K, and the real NBA. It’s a longer show than usual this week, but we hope that you enjoy it!

  • NBA Live 15 is out this week. Don’t forget to check out our latest interview with Sean O’Brien in Episode #99!
  • The past week has brought us some more details on Ultimate Team, as well as a video on defensive improvements.
  • Xbox One users have been able to preview NBA Live 15 via EA Access, and there have been some positive and promising impressions so far.
  • We chat about some other NBA Live 15 content, including the Tips & Tricks videos, some screenshots we received from EA, and the raw gameplay footage that has been posted.
  • The first patch for NBA 2K15 is out on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The PC has also received a second patch, addressing some technical issues. More updates are in the pipeline.
  • Leftos has been going above and beyond with support in the NLSC Forum, as 2K have been working hard on addressing issues with the PC version. We certainly appreciate the efforts!
  • We cover the latest modding developments for NBA 2K15 PC, as a couple of people in our community have been making great progress.
  • Arcane provides his initial impressions of NBA 2K15 on PlayStation 4.
  • In our first pre-recorded interview, we welcome JaoSming and Leftos back to the show. We discuss the Podcast, give JaoSming a proper send-off, and naturally, rib one another.
  • Andrew chats to NLSC co-founder Tim Tschirner, who reflects on the early days of the site, and talks about his time as a developer on NBA Live.
  • There’s an obligatory NBL reference, as we discuss the Josh Childress incident.
  • The NBA season is about to tip off! We discuss Kawhi Leonard’s future with the San Antonio Spurs, injury woes for Steve Nash and Jason Richardson, and a couple of Aussies who have been waived.
  • We end the show with some reflections on 100 episodes, and this week’s Cool Fact.

Click Play to listen to the show!

As always, we welcome your thoughts on this week’s show, as well as any of the topics that we discussed. Have your say in the comments below, or here in the Forum! Mailbag submissions and topic suggestions are also welcome, so feel free to hit us up in this thread. Thanks for your support through the first one hundred episodes!

JaoSming Joins Visual Concepts

So, I’m allowed to talk about this now? The cat’s out of the bag?

It is indeed, and congratulations are in order for our own JaoSming (or Jon, as you may know him), who has accepted a position with Visual Concepts/2K Sports! Jon will be working on the aforementioned 2KTV show in NBA 2K15 and beyond, where his passion for the games and knowledge of the community will no doubt help the show deliver great content to us every week.

Although we’re sorry to see Jon go, we’re all immensely proud of him and know that he’ll represent us superbly. Jon has done some amazing work for the NLSC during his tenure here, from creating patches and resources to co-hosting the Podcast and moderating the Forum, and so much in between. On a personal note, it’s been a pleasure having Jon on the team; I’ll always appreciate the help he’s given me in running the NLSC, it’s been a blast co-hosting the Podcast with him, and I’m very happy to see him land such a dream job, where he’ll be working with our good friend Leftos.

As for us…don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere. I’m sure that others will step up to lead the charge in developing resources for the community, and we’ll of course still be doing the Podcast every week; we have some good stuff lined up for that. As for the feature articles that Jon established, I’ll probably be writing a few guest editions myself from time to time, and we’ll see what happens long-term.

In the meantime though, please join me in congratulating Jon once again. What else can I say: Your Time Has Come!

The Friday Five: Top 5 Favourite Experiences Running the NLSC

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

On August 26th, it will be thirteen years since Tim handed me the reins of the NLSC. Since then, we’ve certainly had our fair share of ups and downs. While I’ve greatly enjoyed running the site, there have been times when I’ve come close to resigning my position. Gaming communities all have their own politics and run the gamut of personalities, so naturally there have been moments where the fuss and drama has left me thinking “Do I really want to keep doing this?”

I’m very glad, and admittedly just a little proud, that my answer has always remained “yes”. The tough times have been valuable learning experiences, while the good times have been very rewarding and a lot of fun. I’m not planning on going anywhere, but since another anniversary has come around, I thought that I’d take some time to reflect on my Top 5 favourite experiences running the NLSC. Let’s begin with number five…

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Community Roster Maker bedwardsroy19 Hired by 2K!

Congratulations to bedwardsroy19 for getting hired by 2K! Mike has been teasing some kind of announcement of a new job the past few weeks on his Twitter, revealing last night that he has been hired to work on NBA 2K15, and future versions of the game of course. Mike has been an active community roster maker over at Operation Sports where he released roster updates for the console versions of the game. Last year, after playing with his rosters on PS3, I ported his work to the PC version of NBA 2K13.

It is always great to see someone from the community get hired. Drop by the Forum thread or congratulate Mike in the comments below. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for next year!