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Wayback Wednesday: Single Season Players Who Were Starters

Wayback Wednesday: Single Season Players Who Were Starters

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! From retrospectives of basketball games and their interesting features, to republished articles and looking at NBA history through the lens of the virtual hardwood, Wednesdays at the NLSC are for going back in time. This week, I’m taking a look back at players who only played a single season in the NBA, but ended up being regular starters.

On top of the players that have just one appearance in the NBA – “cups of coffee“, as Basketball Reference labels them – there are many players who spent just a single season in the league. While this is still a tremendous accomplishment, it may be surprising, not to mention disappointing for seemingly promising prospects. Usually, these players only appeared in a handful of games, playing sparingly. You generally wouldn’t expect them to be starters, at least outside of a game or two when injuries opened up a rare opportunity.

Surprisingly, several single season players were starters for a respectable chunk of their only NBA campaigns. For the purposes of compiling the most interesting and relevant list – i.e. not just including anyone who played one season and started a few games – I’ve set the cut-off at starting in at least 20% of their appearances. That might still seem generous, but considering that most single season players have ridden the bench, it represents some regular forays into the starting five. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces in Strange Places (Part 6)

Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces in Strange Places (Part 6)

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! From retrospectives of basketball games and their interesting features, to republished articles and looking at NBA history through the lens of the virtual hardwood, Wednesdays at the NLSC are for going back in time. This week, I’m taking a look back at ten more players who became familiar faces in strange places.

With decades of NBA history and basketball video games to draw upon, are you surprised that I’m up to the sixth instalment in this series? For the uninitiated, this series looks back at stars and other noteworthy players who are usually associated with a particular team, having spent most of their career or enjoying the most success there, only to move on to another team where they looked very out of place. They are the familiar faces who wind up in strange places. This is in contrast to the players that become familiar faces back in familiar places, which is a different series altogether.

As I always explain with both series of articles, I’m looking back at these strange and sometimes forgotten stints from the perspective of basketball video games. This is keeping in line with our content – we are a basketball gaming site and community, after all – and as I always say, I love the interactive almanac aspect of retro basketball gaming. Not all of these stints can still be seen in games due to roster updates (or a lack thereof), but at some point, they were represented on the virtual hardwood. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places (Part 5)

Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places (Part 5)

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! From retrospectives of basketball games and their interesting features, to republished articles and looking at NBA history through the lens of the virtual hardwood, Wednesdays at the NLSC are for going back in time. This week, I’m taking a look back at another ten players that became familiar faces back in familiar places.

If you’ve been checking out my Wayback Wednesday features for some time now, you probably know the drill when it comes to this topic. For those who are new or perhaps missed the first four instalments, this is a series in which I profile stars and other noteworthy NBA players who returned for a second stint with a team that they previously played for. In other words, they’re the familiar faces back in familiar places. It’s a counterpart to my familiar faces in strange places series, which profiles players in stints that were unusual and sometimes forgotten.

As always, I’m looking at these familiar faces back in familiar places through the lens of basketball video games. I do so because we are a basketball video game site, and as I’m so fond of saying, basketball video games serve as interactive almanacs. When you’re a retro basketball gamer, you’ll often stumble across familiar faces in familiar places and strange places alike, reminding you of stints that may not be talked about all that much. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: 5 Players In More Video Games Than NBA Games Played (Part 5)

The Friday Five: 5 Players In More Video Games Than NBA Games Played (Part 5)

Welcome to another edition of The Friday Five! Every Friday I cover a topic related to basketball gaming, either as a list of five items, or a Top 5 countdown. The topics for these lists and countdowns include everything from fun facts and recollections to commentary and critique. This week’s Five is Part 5 in an ongoing series listing players that appeared in more video games than actual NBA games.

Due to the interactive almanac aspect of basketball video games – yes, there’s that phrase again – they’re a great way of remembering players long after they’ve retired. If you spent a lot of time poring over the rosters in old games, either while modding or perhaps playing a franchise game, you might even find that you’re able to recall the names of benchwarmers from years ago, without even firing up those titles. Even if you can’t recall them off the top of your head, once you dust off an old game and start browsing the rosters, even the most obscure names will likely come back to you.

Indeed, you’ll probably only recall some of the most obscure names because of the time you spent on the virtual hardwood. As is evident by this being the fifth article covering this topic, there are a number of players who made their way into the official rosters of video games despite never actually playing in the NBA. If you follow the NCAA or foreign leagues, some of these players may be familiar due to their stints and accomplishments elsewhere. Most of us probably remember them as names in the Free Agents Pool, or on the deep bench in the default rosters. Those players do have some interesting stories though, especially when they end up being in multiple titles.

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The Friday Five: 5 Players Who Only Appeared on Certain Teams in Games (Part 3)

The Friday Five: 5 Players Who Only Appeared on Certain Teams in Games (Part 3)

Welcome to another edition of The Friday Five! Every Friday I cover a topic related to basketball gaming, either as a list of five items, or a Top 5 countdown. The topics for these lists and countdowns include everything from fun facts and recollections to commentary and critique. This week’s Five is Part 3 in an ongoing series where I look at players who only appeared on certain teams in video games.

Yes, it’s time to take a look at another five players who only made appearances for certain teams on the virtual hardwood! As much as old basketball games can serve as interactive almanacs, they do lack context that tells the whole story. The snapshot of the NBA that they preserve may just be a fleeting moment, which doesn’t always make them a reliable reference. Of course, if you’re working on a retro roster project, you’ll probably be using a resource such as Basketball Reference instead. Then again, it’s not infallible, either.

Indeed, one of the players that I’m discussing today had a “phantom stint” that isn’t adequately explained over on Basketball Reference. On top of its inclusion in a video game serving as a reminder, this article will probably end up being one of the few places online that mentions it; hooray for search engine visibility! It’s not the only interesting story though, and the five players that I’m covering here in Part 3 are not the final examples of players who are members of the Phantom Stint Club. That means more instalments of this series in the future, but for now, here are five more stints seen only in games. A couple of the names will probably be a surprise!

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The Friday Five: 5 Comebacks That Would’ve Been Fun To Play With

The Friday Five: 5 Comebacks That Would've Been Fun To Play With

Welcome to another edition of The Friday Five! Every Friday I cover a topic related to basketball gaming, either as a list of five items, or a Top 5 countdown. The topics for these lists and countdowns include everything from fun facts and recollections to commentary and critique. This week’s Five is a list of derailed comebacks for NBA players that would’ve been fun to play with in games, had they come to fruition.

We’ve seen some noteworthy comebacks take place in the NBA over the years. Two of the most famous NBA comebacks are Michael Jordan – twice, in fact – and Magic Johnson. A number of other players have likewise returned to action after years away from the NBA, though not all of them were retired for that duration. Nevertheless, whenever there are rumours that a former star is contemplating a return, it grabs our attention. Will it happen? Where will they sign? How much do they have left in the tank? And yes, how will it impact their team in video games?

Even before these comebacks are official, we can speculate and play out scenarios on the virtual hardwood. We can also create our own fictional “What Ifs”. My cousin and I had Larry Bird make a brief but shocking return to the Houston Rockets in our NBA Live 95 PC Season. Bringing Shawn Kemp out of retirement for one last run in my NBA Live 06 PC Dynasty really made the experience. However, there are some real almost-comebacks that likewise present us with some intriguing “What If” scenarios to dabble with in video games. Some of them would’ve required a bit of prep work in the form of modding, while others were quite easy to set up using the default assets.

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Returns After Extended Absences

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Returns After Extended Absences

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 NBA players that made returns after extended absences from the league.

Yes, it’s another “interactive almanac” Wayback Wednesday feature, taking a look back at some historical NBA trivia through the lens of video games! This time, I’m focusing on players that made their way back to the NBA – and therefore the virtual hardwood as well – after at least two years away. There have been a handful of very notable names that have made NBA returns following extended absences, as well as some key role players and journeymen that reappeared after their time in the NBA had seemingly drawn to a close.

Indeed, that’s a common theme with most of these players. Whether they retired due to age or injury, they were no longer drawing interest from any teams, or they found a comfortable spot playing in another league, we didn’t expect these NBA returns. Of course, that’s what makes them so interesting, then and now. Incidentally, this topic was suggested by The BBall Pundit on Twitter, so shout out to you! With that being said, let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Buying NBA Tapes & DVDs From PonTel

Wayback Wednesday: Buying NBA Tapes & DVDs From PonTel

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 reminiscing about buying NBA tapes and DVDs from PonTel.

I’m shifting focus away from the virtual hardwood here, and while I have done that before in Wayback Wednesday, on this occasion it’s tough to relate it back to video games. However, I trust that most of us are basketballs fans with a keen interest in the NBA, so I believe that you’ll find it relevant. With that being said, if you live in the United States or Canada, you’re probably not familiar with PonTel. After all, their products are not available in those countries, as they aren’t licensed to distribute there. Of course, they don’t really need to, given the access to sports in the US and Canada.

So, what is PonTel? They’re a licensed distributor of complete games for US sports leagues, namely the NBA, NFL, and MLB, as well as college basketball and football. They also have a large library of classic NBA games, which was of particular interest to me when I discovered them. If you were an NBA fan living in Australia, Europe, or Asia in the early 2000s, there’s a chance that you made at least a few purchases from PonTel. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: The 1990s Dallas Mavericks

Wayback Wednesday: The 1990s Dallas Mavericks

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 the 1990s Dallas Mavericks, and their presence in video games of the era.

This might seem like another very esoteric idea for a Wayback Wednesday feature. After all, I don’t usually profile historical NBA teams, and when I do discuss the history of the real NBA, it’s still through the lens of video games. That’s what I’ll be doing again today, but even so, you may be wondering why I’m covering the Dallas Mavericks of the 1990s and not the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls obviously enjoyed far more success during that decade, and given that they’re my favourite team, there’s a lot of nostalgia for me there.

However, those Mavs teams from the 90s stand out in my memory, particularly when I think back to video games of the era. They’re not entirely unique in that regard, as I can remember a lot of players from the decade and am nostalgic for it general, with video games playing a significant role in that nostalgia. There were many noteworthy teams that I recall playing with and against on the virtual hardwood back in the 1990s, with several of them being far better squads than those Dallas Mavericks. Those Mavs are memorable for a reason though, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places (Part 4)

Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places (Part 4)

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 another collection of players that ended being familiar faces back in familiar places.

Just as I’m continuing my series on familiar faces in strange places, I have another instalment of its counterpart today. As the name would imply, the familiar faces back in familiar places series takes a look at players that returned to the team that they’re often closely associated with, after leaving to play elsewhere. In some ways, it’s an even more interesting phenomenon, particularly with star players as many of them have only moved on to new teams after leaving their original club. Over the years, we’ve seen more players return to their old teams for second runs and farewell tours.

As always, I’m looking at these familiar faces back in familiar places through the lens of basketball video games. I do that in part because it ties in to our coverage of the virtual hardwood, and because I enjoy the “interactive almanac” aspect of revisiting older titles. With that being said, let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces in Strange Places (Part 5)

Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces in Strange Places (Part 5)

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 another collection of players that became familiar faces in strange places.

Yes, it’s time for a fifth instalment in my ongoing series profiling familiar faces that ended up in strange places! In case you missed the previous articles, or the title is a bit too esoteric, this series looks back at well-known players that are generally associated with a particular team, and their stints wearing unfamiliar jerseys that looked strange at the time as well as in hindsight. Because video games capture these unusual stints, I’m also looking at them through the lens of the virtual hardwood. As I’ve said before, I love the “interactive almanac” aspect of old video games!

The ten familiar faces in strange places that I’m profiling this time around feature a mix of several big names, as well as some prominent role players from back in the day. Although it’s more jarring to see All-Stars and future Hall of Fame inductees wearing unfamiliar uniforms, we can still come to associate long-tenured role players with a certain team as well. As such, it’s similarly strange when they move on to a new club, both in real life and in video games. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: 5 Players In More Video Games Than NBA Games Played (Part 4)

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 more players that appeared in more video games than real NBA games.

It’s been a while since the last entry in this series about players whose appearances on the virtual hardwood outnumber the amount of games they officially played in the real NBA. I’ve covered some interesting examples of such players in the previous three articles, but since then, I’ve continued to build my basketball video game collection, and have pored over the rosters to find other players who hold this distinction. There are quite few of them, and I compiled a comprehensive list in anticipation of writing future instalments of this series.

However, I’ve actually whittled the list down to a smaller number that doesn’t include every single example. Although there are at least 80 players that I could discuss here (including the ones I’ve already mentioned in previous articles), not all of them have an interesting story. For the most part, it’s the same tale: they made the cut when a game’s roster was being finalised, but were released soon after and never played a single game. Noteworthy and kind of cool for them, but it’s a repetitive tale to tell. Instead, I’ll probably end up covering around half that number in my articles as I’d like to focus on the most interesting stories, beginning with these five players.

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Wayback Wednesday: Stints Lasting Longer Than I Remembered

Wayback Wednesday: Stints Lasting Longer Than I Remembered

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 some stints that lasted longer than I remembered, and the games that corrected me.

I’ll never claim to be an infallible source of knowledge, whether I’m talking about real basketball or basketball video games. There’s a lot of stuff I remember off the top of my head, but I’ve certainly found that it pays to double-check and look things up. When it comes to the players I grew up watching, I tend to have a good memory as far as who they played for, how long they played for them, and when they moved on to a new team. However, my recall definitely isn’t perfect. As such, when I revisit an old game, I’m sometimes surprised to see a player still on a particular team’s roster.

Yes, this is another example of basketball video games being interactive almanacs. As I’ve said, it’s one of the most appealing parts of dusting off old video games: seeing that snapshot of the NBA at the time they were developed. Just as there’s something really fun about seeing familiar faces in strange places, or back in familiar places for that matter, it’s interesting to be reminded of stints that lasted longer than I recalled. As usual, I’m looking at these examples through the lens of the games that reminded me of these tenures. With that being said, let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Returns Over Before They Began

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Returns Over Before They Began

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 NBA returns that were over before they began, with a representation of how they’d look in games.

Although our content is obviously focused on the virtual hardwood, I like to mix in topics related to the real NBA as well. After all, it directly influences our experiences in video games, and the games in turn capture a snapshot of what the league was like when they were released. To that end, I’ve enjoyed branching out with topics like Familiar Faces in Strange Places, and its counterpart Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places, in previous Wayback Wednesday features. It’s easy to bring it all back to video games, because of the way they act as interactive almanacs.

This is a spinoff of those two series that came to mind as I was researching them. I recalled players that were reacquired by their former teams, but didn’t end up playing for them again. As I noted in my Familiar Places articles, there’s something fun about seeing players rejoin their old teams; especially when they end up wearing an updated uniform we never thought we’d see them don. Likewise, there are some interesting “What If” scenarios involving NBA returns that were over before they even had a chance to begin, or otherwise didn’t result in an official appearance. We can see and make NBA returns happen in games however, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Stints Spanning Two Generations

Wayback Wednesday: Stints Spanning Two Generations

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 the players whose stints with their current team runs through the past two generations of consoles.

It seems almost inevitable that the stars of the NBA will play for more than one team these days. While player movement is nothing new, and some of the biggest names in NBA history had stints with more than one team, we’re seeing more and more future Hall of Famers jump ship in their prime. With the retirement of Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, and the late Kobe Bryant, we may have seen the last players to spend their entire career with one franchise, or at least retire where they had their most success. It’s certainly becoming more of a rarity, as the culture of the league continues to shift.

At the same time, there are a few players who are in the midst of lengthy tenures with their current teams. With the launch of a new generation of consoles, there’s a group of players who are still with the same teams they played for at the beginning of the previous generation. How many do they number, and how does that compare to older eras and console generations? Let’s take a look back…way back…

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