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 8 in an ongoing series looking at players that only appeared on certain teams in video games.
Just when I thought I’d finished this series with Part 7 last year, I was presented with a bunch of names making it clear that some further articles were in order! Shout out to David L for his memory and research on the topic, as he provided a vast majority of the examples that I’ll be discussing in the articles to come. There are some significant names and other well-known players that I overlooked in the previous instalments, and once they were pointed out, I knew I’d have to follow up on them. Other players aren’t as famous, but hardcore basketball fans and gamers will no doubt recall them.
As I’ve said before, players end up only appearing on certain teams in games for very familiar reasons. Before official updates were common, the default rosters remained a snapshot of some point during the offseason. If a player ended up being cut or traded after the roster cut-off date, the game would preserve a stint that never came to be in real life. Similarly, a player might have remained on a team’s roster beyond the game’s launch, but still didn’t ever play for them before they parted ways. And of course, official roster updates also sometimes reflect these stints. Whatever the case may be, they’ve left us with some interesting NBA and roster trivia in a variety of games.