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The Friday Five: 5 Basketball Gaming Shower Thoughts

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 shower thoughts I’ve had about basketball gaming.

Contrary to what you might believe, I don’t think about basketball gaming 24/7. It’s obviously a passion of mine – I wouldn’t have been running the NLSC for 19 years and counting if it wasn’t – but I do have other interests and hobbies. It is something that is on my mind fairly regularly though, either when I’m playing a game, or creating content for the NLSC. A thought will stroll into my head – sometimes related to what I’m doing, sometimes out of the blue – and I’ll wonder how it didn’t occur to me before then.

For those unfamiliar with the term, “shower thoughts” are ideas or epiphanies that occur to us while doing mundane activities such as taking a shower (which is where the term originates), or carrying out some chore. They’re not all profound pearls of wisdom; indeed, if you go looking for shower thoughts on Reddit or elsewhere that they’re collected, you’ll find a lot of puns and folksy observations. To that end, I can’t promise that these basketball gaming shower thoughts – a couple of which did in fact come about in the shower – will be profound and mind-blowing. Hopefully they’ll at least be amusing or interesting talking points, though.

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NBA 2K21 Next Gen Gameplay Blog #1 Talks Fundamentals

NBA 2K21 Next Gen Gameplay Blog #1

The first gameplay blog for NBA 2K21 Next Gen has been posted, and it’s all about the fundamentals. It discusses the basics of shooting, dribbling, and passing in NBA 2K21. As noted when the Next Gen trailer dropped, further blogs will go into detail about AI, physics, and other aspects of gameplay.

I’ve provided a concise summary of the NBA 2K21 Next Gen gameplay blog below, but some of the key points it touches upon include the ability to control short arcs and bank shots with the Pro Stick, a more readable shot meter, touch around the rim, and jumpers off the dribble. It also mentions foot positioning around the three-point line, new signature dribbles, different dribbling speeds, and reworked passing.

It’s definitely worth checking out the NBA 2K21 Next Gen gameplay blog in full, but once again if you’d like a concise breakdown, check out my summary below. Got any thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments, and join in the discussion here in the Forum!

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NBA 2K21 Patch 1.04 Released; Halloween in The Neighborhood

NBA 2K21 Patch 1.04

Patch 1.04 has been released for NBA 2K21 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. As always, the update will come through automatically as long as you’re online. If it doesn’t, try restarting your console or Steam client, or checking for updates manually.

The new update brings Halloween to The Neighborhood in MyCAREER. It also includes new faces for over 60 NBA and WNBA players, updates the default Quick Play matchup to Lakers vs. Heat, and prepares the game for upcoming 2K Beach events, Season 2 in MyTEAM, and the $250K MyTEAM Unlimited tournament.

Other fixes include adjustments to set screen movement, and changes to shot aiming to combat modded controller exploits. Park dribble moves now also require the Hall of Fame Tight Handles Badge, and some technical issues have been resolved. Please see below for the full notes for NBA 2K21 Patch 1.04; you can also find a complete update history for the game here in our Wiki.

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA 2K11 Retrospective

Wayback Wednesday: NBA 2K11 Retrospective

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 2K11 with a tenth anniversary retrospective.

Monday marked the tenth anniversary of NBA 2K11, so I feel a retrospective is only appropriate. Before we get to that though, the fact that ten years have passed since the release of NBA 2K11 is, for me at least, mind-blowing. It doesn’t feel like a whole decade has gone by since basketball gamers were sinking their teeth into a title that many still consider to be one of the best (if not the best) hoops games ever made. Like NBA Live 2000 before it, it’s managed to hold a special place in our hearts long past its release, because it was such a great game for its time.

Of course, being a great game for its time doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s still the benchmark, which raises a few questions: just how good is NBA 2K11, and how well does it hold up? What makes it so special that a vocal contingent of basketball gamers opine that no game since has been able to top it? They’re pertinent questions for an NBA 2K11 retrospective to explore, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA 2K21 Next Gen Trailer Showcases Gameplay

NBA 2K21 Next Gen Trailer

The gameplay reveal trailer for NBA 2K21 Next Gen has provided us with a glimpse of what to expect from the upcoming game. As you might expect, the trailer is mostly comprised of cinematic angles, but also features a few clips that show off more of the action. The NBA 2K21 Next Gen trailer has also been accompanied by a brief list of key features:

  • An eye-popping leap in graphical advancements: next-gen lighting, textures, physics, animations, and more that push NBA 2K21’s visual presentation to the bleeding edge;
  • Rebuilt player movement and player impact, driven by new on-court animation and collision engines that make for a smoother, tougher game;
  • The entire arena comes to life, with more than 150 unique AI-driven characters interacting seamlessly to create a groundbreaking Lower Bowl experience;
  • An expanded soundtrack with 202 songs at launch and more to come.

More details on NBA 2K21 Next Gen will be coming tomorrow in the form of three gameplay blogs. The blogs will outline the improvements to core gameplay, AI, player movement and the new “Impact Engine”, and changes to the MyPLAYER Builder. Over the coming weeks, we’ll also learn more about changes to MyCAREER, MyLEAGUE, MyGM, and the WNBA. It also appears that The Neighborhood has been revamped and renamed for the new generation.

Check out the NBA 2K21 Next Gen trailer below, share your thoughts in the comments, and feel free to jump into the discussion taking place here in our NBA 2K21 Forum! Tune in to the NLSC Podcast this weekend for our thoughts on the trailer, and all the info that will be revealed this week. NBA 2K21 is scheduled for release globally on Xbox Series X/S on November 10th, November 12th on PlayStation 5 in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, and South Korea, and November 19th on PS5 in all other regions.

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File Additions for NBA 2K20

NBA 2K20 Cover Art

Not everyone has moved on to NBA 2K21 yet – and indeed, may not – and so we have some new file additions for NBA 2K20 today. Pick up a handful of retro mods from sevin0seven, available at the links below!

sevin0seven
2007 Rookie Monta Ellis Face
1994 Dream Team II Court
1992 Dream Team Mural
1992 Phoenix Suns Logo
1990 Mike Gminski Face
Charles Barkley Portrait & 92 Suns Team Mural

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: Thoughts on Skill-Based Matchmaking

Monday Tip-Off: Thoughts on Skill-Based Matchmaking

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 skill-based matchmaking.

Did you know that the concept of skill-based matchmaking, commonly abbreviated to SBMM, is controversial? I’ll admit that I was surprised at first, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense; especially given my experiences playing NBA 2K online. As the name implies, skill-based matchmaking is a system for matching both teammates and opponents in online play according to their abilities. The criteria and algorithms for this vary from game to game, but are generally based on winning percentage, ranking or reputation systems, and other statistics relevant to the genre.

Sounds like a good idea, right; the kind of proper matchmaking that we’d expect to see in a basketball game like NBA 2K, with all of its connected experiences? Well, you would think so, but not everyone is a fan of skill-based matchmaking. This disdain stretches beyond NBA 2K and the basketball gaming community, but the basic reasoning behind gamers’ objections to the concept remains the same. Frankly, this is unfortunate. SBMM is indeed a good idea, and would undoubtedly clean up the online scene in NBA 2K by reducing the toxicity and sense of gatekeeping. I’d like to explore why it’s necessary, and also examine the controversy surrounding SBMM.

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NLSC Podcast #343: The Making of a Classic (Part 2)

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #343 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this week’s show.

Part 2 of our latest chat with Josh and Dave from Namo Gamo continues our conversation about the traits of good and bad basketball games, and how they factored into the development of Basketball Classics. We also talk about the one game that we’d want to be stuck on a desert island with, which Donkey Kong Country title is objectively the best, and how to handle custom ratings in basketball video games. There’s also one last tidbit about future features in Basketball Classics, and possibly a few more nods to a certain Simpsons-themed platformer.

What’s your take on this week’s conversation? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. 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.

File Additions for NBA 2K21

NBA 2K21 Cover Art (Current Gen)

The latest file additions for NBA 2K21 include a modifier tool, court template, new face for Deron Williams, updated Charlotte Hornets jerseys, and custom cover art. Download all of the new and updated releases at the links below!

Flytheon Team FLS
MyCAREER Modifier

Lethanos
Updated Court Template by Lethanos (originally by Lagoa)

Shuajota
Deron Williams Face

golden boy30
Stephen Curry Cover Art

pinoy21
Charlotte Hornets Jersey (pinoy21) (Updated to v1.2)

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.

The Friday Five: 5 Community Issues NBA 2K21 Has Spotlighted

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 look at five issues within the basketball gaming community that NBA 2K21 has spotlighted.

NBA 2K21 Current Gen has been out for about a month, and following its release, gamers have had a lot to say about it. The game has had a mixed reception to say the least, and some of the new concepts haven’t resonated as positively as the developers no doubt hoped they would. A big patch came through on September 14th, which does seem to have allayed some concerns with the game. No release is ever perfect though, and not all issues can be caught before the game is in our hands, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic is presenting developers with several obstacles.

Gamers have been noting the issues with NBA 2K21 and sharing feedback with the developers accordingly, but I’ve noticed something else in the wake of the game being released. It seems as though NBA 2K21 has also spotlighted some issues within the community itself, both in the way we approach the games and how we interact with each other. These community issues aren’t necessarily new, and in some cases they’re the result of toxicity that’s compounded over the years. At the same time, I do feel as though certain aspects of NBA 2K21 have shone a light on some of these community issues, and I honestly feel that we could (and should) be doing better in these areas.

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NBA Street Vol. 2 Legendary Edition Mod V1.5.7 Released

NBA Street Vol. 2 Legendary Edition Mod

The Legendary Edition mod for the GameCube version of NBA Street Vol. 2, created by agent_michael_scarn, has been updated once again! The new version (1.5.7) adds updated Mamba Edition jerseys for the Los Angeles Lakers, with a Gianna Bryant heart patch. A full breakdown of the key updates in the most recent releases is as follows:

  • Update incorporates Mazzochi’s updated logo and icon artwork, along with Team Giannis & Team LeBron
  • Added Dream Team Logos and Composition
  • Fixed Tim Hardaway Home Jersey Misspelling
  • Added Era Specific Jerseys for several players including: Doc Rivers, Ron Harper, Larry Nance, Kareem Abdul Jabber, Ray Allen, Lamar Odom, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Gilbert Arenas, Elvin Hayes, Wes Unseld, Grant Hill, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, Yao Ming, Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol, Mike Bibby, Amare Staudemire, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett, and Allen Iverson, among others.
  • Replaced Eastern Conference All-Star Team with Generic NBA Star Team Logo
  • Fixed Donovan Mitchell’s name
  • Updated Heights for specific players, including Giannis and Ray Allen
  • Updated Jerseys for Lakers and Utah Jazz
  • Lakers Have Mamba Away Jerseys (Updated in v1.5.7)
  • Jazz home/away jerseys were swapped, so purple jerseys are home (avoid confusion when playing home Suns)
  • Replaced/swapped Kings Jersey for same reason

You can pick up NBA Street Vol. 2 Legendary Edition here in our Downloads database! For more information on how to install it, as well as previews, further support, or if you just want to say thanks, check out this topic in the Forum.

Wayback Wednesday: Discovering an NBA Live 08 Roster

Wayback Wednesday: Discovering an NBA Live 08 Roster

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 an old custom roster for NBA Live 08 on Xbox 360 that I discovered in my archives.

Through looking back at old basketball video games for Wayback Wednesday, I’ve been able to make a few discoveries. Whether it’s changing my opinion on a game one way or another, recalling a forgotten feature, or even noticing an error that I’ve been able to some overlook for more than two decades, covering old games on a regular basis has resulted in some interesting experiences. There’s something very satisfying in gaining a new perspective, filling in a gap in your knowledge, and for that matter, simply discovering something cool. It’s like finding buried treasure.

Today, I’d like to talk about a different kind of discovery: a custom roster for the Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 08. Now, I’ve been able to go back and find a few roster mods and the like in my archives over the years, but they’ve generally been for the PC version of various NBA Live titles. Finding some original content for the console releases is much rarer, at least when it comes to my archives. As soon as I found it, I knew it was something I’d have to revisit and talk about here in Wayback Wednesday. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA 2K21 Patch 1.03 Released; Combined Patch on PC

NBA 2K21 Patch 1.03

Patch 1.03 is now available for NBA 2K21 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. As always, it should come through automatically as long as your PC or console is connected to the Internet. If you run into any issues, try restarting your Steam client or console, or checking for updates manually.

The PC patch is a combined update, as the previous patch hadn’t yet come through. Checking the patch notes for both title updates, the PC version definitely includes all of them. This obviously comes as great news, as it means the PC version isn’t a patch behind. Hopefully there won’t be too many similar delays moving forward.

In addition to the usual technical fixes across various game modes, NBA 2K21 Patch 1.03 lowers the ballhandling requirement for Pro level dribble moves, assigns Park dribbles to a click of the left stick (L3), increases the size of the shot meter, boosts ankle breakers, improves defensive movement, and addresses a Pro Stick exploit (but not the modded controller issue). It also adds a new page to player cards in MyTEAM indicating upgradeable Badges, improves Ball Drop physics, and updates the brackets in Playoffs mode.

Please see below for the full notes for NBA 2K21 Patch 1.03. Feel free to share your impressions in the comments, as well as join in the discussion here in the Forum. You can also find a complete update history for NBA 2K21 here in our Wiki.

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Monday Tip-Off: Is NBA 2K Pay-To-Win or Not?

Monday Tip-Off: Is NBA 2K Pay-To-Win or Not?

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 by pondering the question of whether or not NBA 2K can fairly be called pay-to-win.

Yes, discussing VC, microtransactions, and recurrent revenue mechanics in NBA 2K might seem like I’m beating a dead horse. However, it remains a persistent issue as of NBA 2K21, one that threatens the overall quality of the game. That might seem like I’m stating the obvious and preaching to the choir, but there are gamers who will still defend grindy mechanics and microtransactions. In all fairness, they admittedly aren’t mandatory, and the savvy NBA 2K gamer can find ways of enjoying the game’s most popular modes without buying VC, or even opting for the special edition.

Based on some remarks I’ve seen on basketball gaming Twitter though, I fear that we’ve grown somewhat complacent and dismissive of the problems that recurrent revenue mechanics cause. People, including prominent content creators, have declared that modes like MyTEAM and MyCAREER are no longer pay-to-win, owing to the amount of content that can be earned even if you staunchly refuse to buy VC. I do see their point of course, but I also believe that it’s missing the forest for the trees. There’s nuance and other problems that are being overlooked. First things first, though. Let’s address the question: is it fair to call NBA 2K, in its current state, pay-to-win?

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NLSC Podcast #342: The Making of a Classic (Part 1)

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #342 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this week’s show.

In Part 1 of a two-part episode, we welcome Josh and Dave from Namo Gamo back to the show! The guys share some news on the exciting features that are in the works for Basketball Classics, including something that should pique the interest of our modding community. After that, we get into our main discussion topic: the hallmarks of good and bad games, and what makes a hoops title a classic or a dud. We talk about the traits that are common to good and bad basketball games alike, and Josh and Dave describe how those examples inspired and guided them in the development of Basketball Classics. The conversation also turns to collecting, and other classic video games that shaped our tastes.

What’s your take on this week’s conversation? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. 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.