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The Friday Five: 5 Basketball Gaming Theories

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 suggests five basketball gaming theories that are as yet unproven, but I believe are certainly plausible.

Video games are full of mysteries, usually thanks to cut or unfinished content, or some other aspect that is left unexplained. Sports games generally don’t hold quite as many of these secrets or causes for speculation compared to other genres, but they do still have their points of interest. Over the years, basketball games have contained traces of planned features, or other signs of interesting development back stories that have been left untold. It’s led to a lot of speculation and guessing in our community, but hey, they’re just theories; basketball gaming theories!

Ham-fisted references to a popular YouTube channel aside, I’ve been thinking about a few unusual occurrences and unexplained content in a handful of basketball games. I wanted to offer up some explanations, and since I can’t definitively prove them, I was originally going to title this article “5 Wild Basketball Gaming Theories”. However, I decided to drop the “wild”; not only because it was a bit clickbait-y, but also because I believe at least a couple of these theories are quite plausible. It would be nice to get definitive answers about these matters one day, but for now, here are five basketball gaming theories for your consideration.

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Wayback Wednesday: Vince Carter & The NBA Live 2000 Sim

Vince Carter Dunks in NBA Live 2000

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 simulating to today in NBA Live 2000, in order to see how long virtual Vince Carter (and a few other stars) stick around.

Some nineteen years ago, my cousin and I spent an afternoon simulating way into the future in the brand new Franchise mode in NBA Live 2000. Back then, the year 2020 seemed so far away, and yet, we’re only four months away from the calendar flipping over into that futuristic annum. Keeping with the theme of Wayback Wednesday, I’ll quote a classic 1980s film by John Hughes and say that life moves pretty fast. Ferris Bueller was right on the money with that line, and one only has to look at the NBA to see how a couple of generations of stars have seemingly come and gone in a blink.

A name that still remains on an NBA roster all these years later is Vince Carter. The future Hall of Famer known as Vinsanity and Half-Man, Half-Amazing, has just re-signed with the Atlanta Hawks to play in his 22nd and final NBA season; a record that will see his career span four different decades. As the last player standing from the 90s, Vince Carter is also the last active player from NBA Live 2000 still in the league. Would virtual Vince stick around as long as his real life counterpart? What about some of the other stars? To answer that question, I’m simulating until today in NBA Live 2000’s Franchise mode! Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Kobe Bryant’s Fictional NBA 2K10 Cover

Kobe Bryant New York Knicks NBA 2K10 Cover

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 Kobe Bryant’s fictional NBA 2K10 cover.

Since the preview season officially tipped off with the reveal of NBA 2K20’s cover players, I thought it would be appropriate to look back ten years to NBA 2K10. If you poke around for NBA 2K10 images on Google, you’ll no doubt come across a version of the cover featuring Kobe Bryant in a New York Knicks jersey; a uniform he never wore during his career. Of course, many basketball gamers have made mock-up and fictional alternate covers for various games over the years (to say nothing of bootleg copies), and they tend to show up in Google Image searches as well.

What’s interesting about this particular cover is that it’s an official fake, if that’s not too much of a contradiction in terms. More specifically, it’s an image that 2K made following the announcement that Kobe would be appearing on the cover. What’s the story behind this unusual cover that no doubt made Knicks fans wistful, and Lakers fans cringe? Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA 2K19 Broadcast Trailer Featuring Bill Simmons

NBA 2K19: Broadcast Trailer

2K has released the second of two trailers for NBA 2K19 this week. The latest trailer previews the broadcasters and presentation in this year’s game, and includes several highlights from cinematic angles, along with snippets of gameplay. Not surprisingly, the game’s cover players – Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, and Ben Simmons – are heavily featured in the trailer.

The trailer confirms that Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett will be returning this year to provide guest commentary. Sportswriter Bill Simmons of The Ringer also joins the broadcast team this year as a guest commentator, with the trailer providing us with a preview of some of the remarks he’ll share during games. Behind the scenes footage of his recording session is also shown.

Watch the Broadcast Trailer below, or catch it here on YouTube.

What are your thoughts? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in our NBA 2K19 Forum!

NBA 2K18 Special Guest Commentary Trailer; Gameplay Videos

NBA 2K18: Shaquille O'Neal vs. Kevin Garnett

Confirming the EB Games Australia leak, 2K Sports have released a new NBA 2K18 trailer announcing guest commentary in this year’s game. Future Hall of Famers Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett will join the broadcasting teams in NBA 2K18, making guest appearances on a rotating basis.

As demonstrated in the trailer, Kobe and KG will share anecdotes about their playing days and provide their thoughts on the current generation of players. Both legends have a history with the NBA 2K series, with KG appearing on the cover of NBA 2K9, while Kobe appeared on the covers of NBA 2K10, and more recently, the Legend Edition of NBA 2K17. Kobe also made a cameo appearance in Shaquille O’Neal’s trailer for the Legend Edition of NBA 2K18.

The latest trailer also features more gameplay clips from cinematic angles, notably featuring cover player Kyrie Irving wearing #11 for the Boston Celtics. While the status of that trade is currently in question, 2K have indicated plans to issue a new cover as necessary.

Check out the trailer below, or catch it here on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded video.

Speaking of gameplay, a handful of videos from the recent Gamestop expo are making the rounds. They are filmed over the shoulder and off-screen, so that’s something to keep in mind when evaluating what you see. In any event, you can check those out below, as well as in this topic in the NLSC Forum. Feel free to share your impressions of the trailer, and the new gameplay videos, in the comments section below!

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EB Games Australia Leaks New NBA 2K18 Details

NBA 2K18: Kobe Bryant

As reported by The Gaming Tailgate and Operation Sports, the listing for NBA 2K18 on EB Games Australia has leaked a few new details about this year’s game. The information has since been removed from the listing, but a screenshot has preserved the details that were revealed, which are as follows:

MyPLAYER. Build your career in NBA games, hit the courts in the Playground or join the Pro-Am circuit. Featuring new MyPLAYER upgrade and endorsement systems and so much more.

MyTEAM. Collect and compete with player cards featuring NBA legends from yesterday and today. Construct a salary-capped team for the all-new Super Max season mode, or draft cards for a 5v5 tournament in the new Pack & Playoffs mode.

ELITE GAMEPLAY. The new motion system engine brings player control to a new level of realism. Now, dribbling and off the ball movement are no longer driven by animations. This groundbreaking technology dynamically creates animations to deliver the best gameplay experience possible. You are now in complete control.

SPECIAL GUEST COMMENTARY. The biggest roster of broadcasting talent in sports videogame history gets even bigger. Legends Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett join the booth on a rotating basis to lend their expertise to the broadcast.

LEGENDARY TEAMS. The greatest players in NBA history from all 30 teams, together on all-time franchise rosters for the very first time. Compete in Play Now to decide once and for all which franchise’s all-time greats reign supreme.

In addition to Kobe and KG joining the NBA 2K18 broadcasting team, it’s interesting to note that MyPARK appears to have been renamed to Playground. Alternatively, that may simply be a mistake, similar to an earlier hands-on impression article that erroneously referred to MyTEAM as “MyDYNASTY”, leading to speculation of a new mode.

These details are obviously still subject to official confirmation, though we’ll likely know more after the upcoming “Run the Neighborhood” Facebook event on August 31st. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as in our NBA 2K18 Forum.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #178

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #178 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! We’ve got plenty more NBA 2K17 impressions to share with our listeners this week, as well our thoughts on a couple of recent NBA stories (hey, remember real basketball?).

On this week’s show…

  • We tip things off with another quick update on some recent advancements in NBA 2K17 modding. Our community has continued to make some exciting discoveries over the past week.
  • Our plans to pick up where we left off with the NLSC 2K Pro-Am team have hit a snag, as the mode has not been kind to us. In fact, following patch 1.03, it’s close to unplayable. We share a few of our complaints.
  • Once again, we touch on the fact that Virtual Currency rewards have been severely nerfed in this year’s game, and wonder if the new patch has reduced them even further.
  • While we have our complaints this week, it’s not all bad news. We still have a very high opinion of offline/single player gameplay in NBA 2K17, and have some positive experiences to share.
  • Wrapping up Our Week in Basketball Gaming, a few thoughts on finishing the Jordan Challenge in NBA 2K11, ahead of next week’s Wayback Wednesday feature.
  • After 21 NBA seasons, Kevin Garnett is hanging up his sneakers. We reflect on the career of The Big Ticket, the last remaining NBA player from the 16-bit era.
  • From the sounds of things, Chris Bosh’s career might also be over. However, given the health scares he’s endured the past couple of seasons, it may be for the best.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.