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The Friday Five: 5 Players In More Video Games Than NBA Games Played (Part 6)

The Friday Five: 5 Players In More Video Games Than NBA Games Played (Part 6)

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 6 in an ongoing series listing players that appeared in more video games than actual NBA games.

When it comes to trivia like this, I’m always concerned about running the topic into the ground. I always want my features to be fresh and interesting, and going back to a particular subject does invite repetition, while potentially appearing to be lacking in imagination. At the same time, I want to be thorough, covering all of the relevant and interesting examples. It’s why I’ve repurposed some topics that I originally planned as Friday Five series into longer lists for Wayback Wednesday. Since this one goes back a few years and has five instalments already, I figured I’d keep the ball rolling.

Meta musings about my “process” aside, I do have another five examples of players who appeared in more video games than NBA games. It’s not an unprecedented phenomenon – obviously, since we’re up to Part 6 – but it’s still somewhat unusual. You’d expect there to be more examples of players who made the NBA yet were left out of games, but that’s become rarer thanks to official roster updates. Alternatively, you might expect players who fall just short of officially debuting in the NBA to be absent from video games entirely. When the timing is right though, those players get to play on the virtual hardwood, while having some interesting stories in real life.

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NLSC Podcast #436: How To Get Into Retro Basketball Gaming

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #436 of the NLSC Podcast!

Revisiting Fox Sports NBA Basketball 2000 reminded us of how hilariously bad it is, but it also found a new way to mess with us. Not surprisingly, NBA Live 2004 holds up much better, especially with a broadcast camera mod and the 1996 season roster. We received a couple of responses to last week’s show asking about acquiring copies of NBA Live PC and other older releases, so this week, we dive into how to get into retro basketball gaming/collecting. It needn’t be expensive, nor do you need to be the crazy collectors that we are! In this week’s mailbag, we circle back to the question of what counts as retro in basketball gaming, with our listeners sharing some interesting and differing opinions on the matter.

To get involved with the mailbag or to provide any feedback on the show, hit us up in the comments, reach out on social media, or post here in the NLSC Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. You can also find the show on our YouTube channel, along with the rest of our video content. As always, thanks for tuning in, and go get buckets!

The Friday Five: 5 Players Who Only Appeared on Certain Teams in Games (Part 4)

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 4 in an ongoing series where I look at players who only appeared on certain teams in video games.

It’s time for some more video game roster trivia! As I’m so fond of saying, old NBA video games are like interactive almanacs, capturing snapshots of the league at the time of their release (or indeed, their most recent roster update). Revisiting those titles reminds us of players who became familiar faces in strange places, as well as those who later returned to familiar places. We can see comebacks that were over before they began, as well as odd situations such as Michael Redd’s appearance on the Dallas Mavericks in NBA Live 2003 PC.

Those are the stints I’m taking about again today: the players that only appeared on certain teams in video games. There are several reasons why this happens, from an offseason acquisition that was cut in between the rosters being finalised and the real season tipping off, to injuries resulting in a stint that only occurs on paper and the virtual hardwood. Unless you have an encyclopaedic knowledge of trades and free agent signings over the years, it may not be until you dust off an old game that you remember a player only technically appearing on a roster. Of course, you may not be a crazy collector of old games like I am, so allow me to provide some more examples!

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NLSC Podcast #435: How EA Could Sell Us On NBA Live 24

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #435 of the NLSC Podcast!

Barring a very surprising announcement, NBA Live won’t be back in 2022. However, EA Sports has a golden opportunity to make a triumphant return with NBA Live 24 in 2023. The question is, how do they sell it to basketball gamers, and meet their expectations? We posed the question to the community, and received many enthusiastic answers as to what would encourage gamers to switch back to NBA Live, or double dip with NBA Live and NBA 2K. An old story about Julius Erving and the Utah Jazz also prompts us to consider interesting scenarios for a “What If” roster mod, and we recap a fun co-op session of NBA Inside Drive 2003 over Parsec.

To get involved with the mailbag or to provide any feedback on the show, hit us up in the comments, reach out on social media, or post here in the NLSC Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. You can also find the show on our YouTube channel, along with the rest of our video content. As always, thanks for tuning in, and go get buckets!

NLSC Podcast #430: Return of the Server

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #430 of the NLSC Podcast!

During a session of NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, we made the exciting discovery that the servers appear to be reactivated! We’re hoping it isn’t temporary, and note a few other games we’d like to see receive online support again. A vague Tweet from EA has invited those of us hoping for NBA Live’s return to speculate once more. This leads us to discuss our concerns about influencers giving a new NBA Live game a fair chance, if and when it comes out. A clip from the archives prompts us to reflect on The Jordan Challenge in NBA 2K11, and the attention to detail that was paid to Michael Jordan’s return to video games. We also answer a question about whether games have become too realistic, and open up the mailbag to talk about our favourite highlights, real and virtual.

To get involved with the mailbag or to provide any feedback on the show, hit us up in the comments, reach out on social media, or post here in the NLSC Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. You can also find the show on our YouTube channel, along with the rest of our video content. As always, thanks for tuning in, and go get buckets!

The Friday Five: 5 Cover Players That Made the Finals The Same Year

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 five cover players that made the NBA Finals in the same season their game came out.

The 2022 NBA Finals are upon us! Fittingly, in this 75th Anniversary season, the two teams squaring off are the Golden State Warriors, and the Boston Celtics. Not only are they two of the original three BAA/NBA teams – the New York Knicks being the third – but the Warriors and Celtics have plenty of championship history between them. The Warriors were the inaugural BAA champions, and have gone on to win another five titles since. Boston, meanwhile, were long-time record holders for total NBA championships, and are currently tied with the Los Angeles Lakers with 17.

While there’s plenty of real life history involved with this year’s Finals matchup, it is lacking a tie-in with the virtual hardwood, namely involving cover players. There was only one game on the market for the 2022 season – NBA 2K22 – and while it boasted a few different covers, none of them featured a player that will be competing in this year’s championship series. Popularity and marketability are obviously the deciding factors when EA Sports and Visual Concepts choose their cover players, rather than likelihood of winning or at least competing for a title that year. Of course, it’s quite fortuitous when they do! Here are five cover players that made it as far as the Finals.

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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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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 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: 20 Players With No Official Appearances in Games

Wayback Wednesday: 18 Players With No Official Appearances in Games

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 twenty NBA players that have made no official appearances in video games.

I have an ongoing series of Friday Five articles documenting players who appeared in more video games than real NBA contests. While a handful of those players did tally playing time in at least one NBA game while sometimes appearing in multiple titles, several of them only saw action on the virtual hardwood after being cut in real life while the game was still in production. This article is basically the opposite of that series, instead focusing on players that did make it to the NBA, but due to the timing of their stints, never made it into a video game’s official rosters.

I’d originally planned this as a counterpart series of Friday Five articles, but I’ve instead opted for a single article listing twenty noteworthy examples. To that point, I’ve tried to select players who had interesting stories, and/or multiple opportunities to make official appearances in video games. I’ve also focused on games from NBA Live 96 onwards, as those titles have included more comprehensive lineups thanks to inactive rosters and official updates. Official roster updates have also made this a far less likely phenomenon as the years have gone by. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast #402: Winners Don’t Quit

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Episode #402 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this weekly podcast that’s all about basketball gaming.

NBA Live 19 still has an active online scene, but sadly it displays similar toxicity to NBA 2K’s community. We dissect the issue of poor online sportsmanship, and lack of competitiveness in what is supposedly a competitive environment. While we’re in the mood for callouts, we also respond to some recent comments that were unnecessarily snarky. On a brighter note, our second attempt at a co-op game in NBA Live 06 for Xbox 360 over Parsec has us pumped to dive into a Season. Elsewhere, Take Two’s attitude towards Grand Theft Auto modders has us wondering if we should be worried about our own modding community, especially with 2K understandably cracking down on MyCAREER hackers. In this week’s mailbag, we’re reflecting on games that we wish we could’ve personally modded, or downloaded mods for.

Join in the conversation in the comments below, or here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as mailbag questions and topic suggestions for future shows. 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.

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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NLSC Podcast #371: Hold The Guacamole

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Episode #371 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this weekly podcast that’s all about basketball gaming.

We’ve both caught the modding bug, but one of us has been far more motivated and productive than the other. Of course, that doesn’t stop us from making lofty plans for roster projects! A recent Tweet by the EA Playtesting account offers a glimmer of hope for the future of NBA Live, though we’re wary about reading too much into it. Meanwhile, polls on Twitter and Reddit have made it clear how the community feels about the prospect of shot aiming in NBA 2K22…and invited toxic responses from the online elitists. In this week’s mailbag, we’re reminiscing about ESPN NBA 2K5 and NBA Live 2005, and discussing the idea of MyTEAM being released as a standalone game.

Join in the conversation in the comments below, or here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as mailbag questions and topic suggestions for future shows. 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.

NBA2K5 for NBA 2K20 by RMJH4 Now Available

NBA2K5 for NBA 2K20 by RMJH4

A new retro roster mod is now available for NBA 2K20 PC! With the help of several contributors, RMJH4 has released a 2005 season roster, with the project being aptly titled NBA2K5. Further work is still being done on the rosters, but they are now ready to play with.

You can find NBA2K5 in 2K Share under the name “2004-05 In Progress”, shared by RMJH4. You can also find compatible MyLEAGUE settings, shared under the name “2004-05 Settings”. To download all of the required art files, as well as optional add-ons, visit this topic in the Forum. If you run into any issues or have any feedback on the mod, feel free to post in that topic.

If you’d like to continue beyond the 2005 season in MyLEAGUE, RMJH4 has advised using Thunder Shaq’s Draft Classes, as they are fully compatible with the project. Be sure to check it out, and congratulations to RMJH4 and everyone involved for making the project happen! These retro roster mods are a huge undertaking, and it’s always great to see them come together. RMJH4 has also previously released 2001 and 2002 season rosters for NBA 2K20 PC, so be sure to check them out as well for more retro goodness!

Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places (Part 3)

Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places (Part 3)

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 ten more familiar faces who found themselves back in familiar places.

Yes, there are even more examples of familiar faces in familiar places, and video games that represent those tenures! Many well-known players who leave the team they’re most closely associated with ultimately end their careers in strange (or at the very least, different) places, but quite a few of them do end up donning a familiar jersey once again. As I’ve said before, while one might think that the familiarity of the situation would make those stints stand out, sometimes we end up forgetting that stars and key rotation players returned to their former team.

On the other hand, there are also players whose returns were quite successful, and thus tend to be remembered. Of course, whether it’s a low-key homecoming, a high profile farewell tour, a brief reunion, or the welcome return of a player that still has a lot left in the tank, they lead to some interesting situations in the real NBA, and on the virtual hardwood. Once again, I’ve compiled ten more examples to reminisce about through the lens of basketball video games, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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