Even More Memories of the NBA Live Domain

Wayback Wednesday? That’s what’s replacing the Midweek Patch Report now?

Yes indeed, Wayback Wednesday is the midweek feature I’m currently running on the NLSC. And since we’re picking up our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations once again, it seems only fair that I use the feature to talk a little about my old site, the NBA Live Domain. This one. The one that’s been resurrected…kind of.

I decided that my previous reflections post wasn’t quite enough, so I’m offering up some more memories in this week’s edition of Wayback Wednesday. There’s a bit of overlap with the post I made here, but hopefully you’ll enjoy some of the additional anecdotes and recollections. If you’re a veteran from the old days, take a walk down memory lane! If you’re newer to the community, find out a little about how things used to be.


Memories of the NBA Live Domain

So, here it is, resurrected. My old NBA Live website, the NBA Live Domain.

While I’ve been running the NLSC since 2001 (when it was still the NBA Live Series Center, and I was still in my teens), and I’m proud of what I’ve been able to do with it, I’ll always have a certain fondness for the site that I founded and ran for three years. It introduced me to the online NBA Live community, and ultimately got me the NLSC gig. It was a fun experience, and certainly a stepping stone.

I’ve recapped the history of the NBA Live Domain elsewhere, but the quick rundown is as follows: I created the site on Geocities in 1998, moving it a couple of times as I changed “neighbourhoods”. Eventually, Geocities offered vanity URLs based on your username, so the NLD became geocities.com/livedomain. It was a place where I provided my own coverage of the NBA Live series, in particular the patches I was making. The site managed to gain some popularity, I fostered a relationship with Tim, Lutz, and Brien over at the NLSC, and when Tim took the job with EA Sports, he asked if I’d be interested in taking over the site. Obviously, I was.

I initially tried to run the NBA Live Domain alongside the NBA Live Series Center, turning it into something of an “editor’s choice” site and retaining it as a personal side project. However, towards the end of 2001, it was clear that I was spreading myself too thin. I’d been sharing content between the two sites – like Webmaster News and the Midweek Patch Report – but I really needed to spend more time with the NLSC. The NLD was the smaller site, and becoming redundant.

So, in December 2001, I made the difficult decision to close down the NLD. Although it was the right thing to do, it was tough. I’d put a lot of time and effort into building up the site, and I was proud of what I’d done, keeping it updated regularly and developing all sorts of content. However, I spoke to a few people about it, including Tim, and sought their advice. Deciding¬†it was for the best, I more or less folded the NLD, and focused entirely on the NLSC. After my farewell post, there was one further update – after an unfortunate incident with an overly enthusiastic fan who created an imposter site – but that was the last thing I did with the NBA Live Domain.

Until this year.

When I was thinking of things to do for the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live, I had the idea one evening to relaunch the NBA Live Domain, as something of a museum site. It’s a relic of the time when NBA Live was the premiere basketball series, and there were quite a few fan fansites dedicated to it. For me, it’s a reminder of some really good times I had as a part of this community, being the endeavour that ultimately got me the NLSC job, which opened up even more opportunities. I remember the fun of all the re-designs from scratch, my excitement of hitting milestones in the daily traffic, and the satisfaction of putting out new content. In many ways, I think it helped me develop some of the work ethic and creativity I’d need upon completely dedicating myself to the NLSC.

And so, fuelled by nostalgia, I made this re-creation of the NBA Live Domain. This design is based heavily on the final layout I created for the NLD, with an updated banner that Arcane made, and a background from NBA Live 99; the one I had been using in the final NLD design wasn’t really suitable. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with the site – just leave it tucked away after having some fun with it, show it off as some kind of museum site, or make regular use of it – and to be honest, I’m still not exactly sure. Of course, since Arcane went to the trouble of whipping up a nice new banner, it seemed a shame not to show it off, so I decided I’d at least do that. Whether it’s simply a walk down memory lane, or something we can put to use in the future…well, we’ll just have to see.

It’s something I did on a lark as I was working on some other 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content, but I’m glad that I did it. With Geocities shutting down, the original site is no longer online…though I do still have it in my backups. I’m glad that I’ve been able to incorporate elements of the NLD into the NLSC over the years, in the form of weekly columns and the like, so that in some way, the site can live on. And now, it lives on more directly, with this mini-relaunch. Gotta love that NBA Live action, indeed…

Looking Back: Midweek Patch Report

Webmaster News wasn’t my only regular column on the NBA Live Domain. Every week, I published the Midweek Patch Report; you can probably guess when that came out, and what it was about.

The Midweek Patch Report was probably a little more interesting to visitors than Webmaster News. Every Wednesday, I’d use the feature to talk about the patches that I was working on, and when I expected to release them. Over time, I’d also use it to talk about other noteworthy patching developments and releases around the community.

Once again, there was no comments section on those articles back in the day – no content management system, just new HTML files that I’d manually upload – so I didn’t get a whole lot of feedback on them, week to week. However, I do remember that a few people seemed to find them useful and informative, and I found it fun to keep everyone posted on what I was working on.

Like Webmaster News, the Midweek Patch Report also appeared on the NLSC, while I was running it alongside the NLD, and basically ended when I closed the NLD. I have actually thought about bringing it back on the NLSC from time to time, but these days, there are other avenues of announcing, previewing, and discussing patching developments. With the Podcast, and of course the NLSC’s YouTube channel – not to mention bulletins and the Forum – the Midweek Patch Report would probably be overkill. It’s better suited to being a segment in another feature, such as the Podcast, but in that sense, the concept does live on in some form.

Looking Back: Webmaster News

Long before The Friday Five, I had another column that I penned every Friday: Webmaster News.

If I’m to be totally honest, it probably wasn’t nearly as interesting as the Five to most visitors. Of course, this was long before I was using any kind of content management system, so there was no comments section and thus not a whole lot of feedback on it. Perhaps some people really enjoyed it! But given the subject matter, I’d say that most people probably prefer reading about basketball video games and the real NBA.

In Webmaster News, I mostly talked about future and on-going projects at the NBA Live Domain. Occasionally, I’d sprinkle in some other opinions and commentary. It was one of my first attempts at branching out into some original content, beyond patches and daily news. I’d like to think I’m a bit better at that now!

Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that my desire to provide visitors with something to read as the weekend approaches is nothing new. I did actually start publishing the column on the NLSC after I took over from Tim, but when I closed the NLD, that basically put an end to the feature.¬†There’s not really a call for a Webmaster News type of column on the NLSC these days – beyond announcements on the main page and in the Forum, I have the Podcast and other features – but it was something I enjoyed doing back in the NLD days. These days, features like The Friday Five suit me just fine.

Gotta Love That…


Seriously, there’s no way that this can just remain on my hard drive, where the world can’t see it. This cringe-worthy effort has to be out there for everyone to enjoy!

NBA Live Domain Promo GIF

I’d like to think that I could whip up something a little better these days. If nothing else, I’d know better than to use Comic Sans. I’d also have the text appear a little slower, and display the URL for a little longer. And I’d probably just make it a video, instead of an animated GIF.

But would that be as funny? Probably not. So let’s enjoy this relic together!

Where Have You Been?!?

Where has the NBA Live Domain been? Lurking on my hard drive and in my back-ups, waiting to rise again, and find a place as part of the NLSC. Well, truth be told, the “rise again” part is actually a recent whim.

So, what does this mean? Well, what with the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live and all, it seems like a good opportunity to do something with the NLD “brand”, faux retro aesthetic and all. A bit easier to manage with today’s web development tools, I might tell you.

Also, with the NLSC expanding its approach to NBA 2K and basketball gaming in general, and EA Sports’ bid to rebuild the NBA Live franchise, I’m sure we can come up with…something. Stay tuned!