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The Friday Five: 5 Mind-Blowing Basketball Gaming Facts for 2022

The Friday Five: 5 Mind-Blowing Basketball Gaming Facts for 2022

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 offers up five basketball gaming trivia tidbits that are mind-blowing facts in 2022.

This will be difficult to appreciate if you were born in the late 90s or early 2000s, but there was a time that the Year 2000 screamed “futuristic”. It felt that way for me as a kid and later a teenager in the 90s, and I’m sure it really felt that way for my parents who were born in the 40s. The Year 2022 truly seemed like the stuff of science-fiction all those years ago, yet here we are. Granted, we’re somewhat behind schedule as far as flying cars, living on the moon, and everyone wearing shiny jumpsuits. Still, when it comes to certain technology, we have many things that were once the stuff of sci-fi.

They’re now just normal, everyday conveniences, but that’s how it goes as technology marches on. All the same, there’s something mind-blowing about it being the Year 2022, especially for those of us who remember the Year 2000 like it was only five, ten, or at most fifteen years ago. Once the years start flying by, the rising stars of the NBA are suddenly the veterans with a decade under their belts. The basketball video games you’re nostalgic for suddenly feel very retro. Even the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are beginning to seem old! In the spirit of acknowledging the passage of time, here are five basketball gaming facts that are – all clickbait aside – mind-blowing.

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NLSC Podcast #382: A Community Connected

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Episode #382 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 haven’t been able to get enough of Parsec as of late, but we’re not the only ones taking a shine to it. More members of the community are participating in head-to-head games, with Parsec facilitating clashes in NBA 2K17 and NBA 2K19 using retro season and classic team mods. Speaking of retro season mods, which is our favourite so far? As for NBA Live 10, it’s still on our agenda, as we’ve got plenty more ideas for Fantasy Teams mode! Fresh NBA 2K22 rumours give us something else to talk about this week, though we still miss the longer and more exciting preview seasons of yesteryear. In this week’s mailbag, we answer a question about the new Space Jam game, which leads us to reflect on some other esoteric games starring basketball players.

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: NBA What Ifs Portrayed in NBA Live 10

Wayback Wednesday: NBA What Ifs Portrayed in NBA Live 10

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 some famous NBA What Ifs, and portraying them in NBA Live 10.

What Ifs can be fun to ponder, whether they concern the NBA or video games. There are trades and signings that, if they’d happened, would’ve changed the course of NBA history. Likewise, we can point to game-changing moments in the history of the virtual hardwood. Indeed, NBA Live 10 is an example of such a turning point. If EA Sports had elected to continue building on the base it established rather than trying to reboot the series with the ill-fated NBA Elite 11, the basketball gaming landscape would undoubtedly be very different today.

As far as NBA What Ifs are concerned though, they’re something that we can play out in video games. It’s a great concept for a roster, and while that’s not what I’m doing today, I’ve decided to mix a couple of ideas together by reflecting on some of the biggest NBA What Ifs and portraying them using NBA Live 10; a game that has an air of What If about it. Obviously there are some other historical NBA What Ifs that I won’t be touching on here because the players aren’t in NBA Live 10, but feel free to discuss those in the comments as well. Let’s wonder what might have been as we take a look back…way back…

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File Additions for NBA 2K21

NBA 2K21 Cover Art (Current Gen)

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K21 PC feature the latest face updates. Download them all at the links below!

Shuajota
Drew Eubanks Face
Facundo Campazzo Face
Mike James Face

XeqTeR
LeBron James Face by XeqTeR

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: The Case of the Mysterious Screenshot

Monday Tip-Off: The Case of the Mysterious Screenshot

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 the story about a mysterious screenshot that I found in my collection.

For a long time – far too long, in fact – I left my weekly articles until the last minute. Not just writing them, but coming up with the topic, too. Even after I devised lists of ideas for future articles, I didn’t always have anything prepared by the time Monday, Wednesday, and Friday rolled around. In recent years, I’ve made a point of building up a buffer of articles based on my list of topic ideas. It’s meant that I’ve always got something ready to go, and if I’ve set aside the time, I’m able to schedule features a week or two in advance.

This prep work has been important for time management, consistency, and quality. Even though I’ve been pleased with certain articles that were actually written at the last minute, I’m far more satisfied with features that I haven’t had to rush. Part of preparing articles in advance is ensuring that I have appropriate screenshots to use, which means taking the time to fire up the necessary games to capture them, and set up any specific scenarios as required. It’s usually obvious why I have a particular screenshot in my archives, but recently I discovered one that left me stumped. This mysterious screenshot was for an article idea that I’ve completely forgotten about.

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The Friday Five: Top 5 Coincidences in Basketball Games

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 countdown of the Top 5 coincidences that we’ve seen in basketball video games.

Coincidences are everywhere in basketball gaming. As Thunder Shaq and Dee4Three pointed out, NBA 2K used very similar phrasing to my Familiar Faces in Strange Places series of Wayback Wednesday articles to describe a themed set in MyTEAM. Of course, there are only so many ways to phrase things, and similar ideas will end up with similar titles and terminology. As this 2015 post about joke stealing explains, the phenomenon of parallel development accounts for many similarities, especially when something is topical or a common point of interest.

Beyond that, a lot of coincidences are fun, owing to the way they seemingly predict the future. We’ve seen coincidences like that occur more than a couple of times in basketball video games over the years. It’s easy to call them predictions in hindsight, while conveniently ignoring a lot of things that aren’t…well, anything! The ones that do look like predictions and foreshadowing are merely coincidences, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable. Today, I’m counting down my picks for the Top 5 coincidences in basketball gaming. There’s some overlap with my previous article on predictions, but there are also some new coincidences that you might find amusing.

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Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places

Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places

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 some examples of familiar faces returning to familiar places, and the games where we see those stints.

In an ongoing Wayback Wednesday series, I’ve been taking a look back at familiar faces in strange places; in other words, well-known players and their stints with teams that are less talked about and usually weird to see, and the video games where those stints were represented. This week, I’m inverting the idea and taking a look back at familiar faces back in familiar places; in other words, well-known players who made a return to a team they’re most closely associated with, after leaving to play elsewhere in the NBA.

On the surface, this may not seem as interesting as seeing familiar faces in strange places. However, these return stints are interesting in their own right, as they have their own stories. Some of them were brief and essentially retirement tours, while others lasted longer and saw more success. Oddly enough, it can also feel strange to see a player back in an old uniform after we get used to seeing them in a new one. As I like to say, basketball games act as interactive almanacs for these stints of note, so let’s use them to take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: 5 Hilarious-in-Hindsight Moments in Basketball Games

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 moments in basketball video games that are hilarious in hindsight, for one reason or another.

I’ve grown fond of saying that basketball games serve as time capsules, preserving snapshots of the league when they were released. It’s something that I believe, and it’s one of the things that make dusting off old titles fun. Scrolling through all the teams and looking at the rosters, you’re reminded of the forgotten stints of journeymen and stars alike, lineups that had so much promise but never panned out, and players who were pegged as being future stars. As I’ve said, basketball games become interactive almanacs of sorts, as they mark NBA milestones.

That’s not all they do, however. Sometimes they can seemingly predict the future, with the virtual hardwood suggesting unexpected events that actually come to pass in real life. Of course, other occurrences are clearly not prophesising the future, which underscores how it’s easy to call something a prediction in hindsight. Coincidences are amusing to note however, as are details that age poorly or become ironic when we look back at them. In either case, these moments found in various basketball video games become hilarious-in-hindsight – or at the very least, good for a smirk or a chuckle – and to that end, I have five examples to share with you today.

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Monday Tip-Off: Free Content in Basketball Games

Monday Tip-Off: Free Content in Basketball Games

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 free content in basketball games, and whether or not it’s fair to criticise it.

There are many maxims about appreciating generosity and accepting gifts with grace and gratitude that may seem well-worn and trite, but are nevertheless apt. Sayings such as “the price is right” in reference to something that’s free, or “never look a gift horse in the mouth” and “beggars can’t be choosers” in regards to something that is given generously, are a few that come to mind. They’re all relevant, of course. When something is free, we’re not only expected to be grateful, but also make allowances as far as quality, promptness of delivery, and so on.

However, does that still apply to free content in basketball games, such as the Locker Codes and login bonuses in NBA 2K’s MyTEAM? Criticism of disappointing rewards is often met with derision. It’s understandable, because we are rightfully conditioned to be gracious and appreciative of gifts, but it’s also myopic. I would suggest that there is still room to be critical of free content in NBA 2K and NBA Live, and to hold certain expectations as far as its overall quality. After all, it can be the difference between an empty gesture and a genuine act of goodwill. Unfortunately, some of the free content that we receive definitely trends towards being the former.

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NLSC Podcast #311: Sliding Into Better Gameplay

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #311 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! This week, Dee4Three and I react to some rather gross sentiments by ESPN personalities and other talking heads, talk about recency bias, and discuss the approach to sliders and difficulty settings in modern games.

As the basketball world still reels from the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant, various talking heads are using it as an excuse to prop up LeBron James. We talk about our disgust with the practice, particularly some very inappropriate sentiments from Rachel Nichols. This leads us to once again reflect on recency bias, both in real basketball and basketball video games. In particular, we note how the good isn’t remembered as often as the great, and how it’s too readily dismissed. After that, we get into our main discussion topic, concerning sliders and difficulty settings in games. We touch on how games and attitudes have changed, as well as the importance of “out of the box” quality. The issue of modes without sliders is also discussed, along with some ideas for the community.

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on gameplay sliders, and everything else we talked about this week? 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.

Wayback Wednesday: NBA 2K13, Executive Produced by Jay-Z

Wayback Wednesday: NBA 2K13, Executive Produced by Jay-Z

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 the role Jay-Z played as an executive producer on NBA 2K13.

Back in December, I wrote an article about Jay-Z’s forgotten cameo in NBA Live 07. I received some nice compliments from people who enjoyed learning about that for the first time, as well as some suggestions to look back at Jay-Z’s involvement as an executive producer on NBA 2K13. That topic was actually already on my list of ideas for Wayback Wednesday features, but since it’s been requested, I figure there’s no point delaying it any further. After all, it’s even better if I can cover these topics when there’s interest, and to that end, I’m open to suggestions!

For now though, let’s focus on Jay-Z and his role with NBA 2K13. Obviously, the rapper wasn’t actually spending hours coding at Visual Concepts’ studio in Novato, but as it turned out, he had a significant impact on the game. His title also briefly inspired a trend in our modding community. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: 5 Predictions That Were Way Off

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 NBA predictions that ended up being way off.

Here it is, the first Friday Five of 2020! It’s been a while since I’ve covered a topic related to the real NBA rather than the virtual hardwood, so I thought that I’d tip off the year (and decade) with a change of pace. Don’t worry, I’ve still got plenty of topics related to basketball video games that I’ll be covering in my features, but this week, I’d like to talk about NBA predictions. After all, we’re rapidly approaching the midway point of the 2020 season, and we’re starting to get a clearer picture of the top teams and how they stack up against one another.

It’s as good a time as any to start throwing out some midseason predictions, but keep in mind that there’s a lot of basketball left to play. A lot can change very quickly in the NBA, and while we can make educated guesses in our picks, a seemingly likely outcome can be denied by a twist of fate. At the same time, some people – including supposed expert analysts – will make wild predictions. Some may be trying to get ahead of the curve by expecting the unexpected, while others are relying on sources that are less than reliable. Whatever the case may be, we’ve seen some bold and crazy predictions over the years, with these five examples turning out to be quite wrong.

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25th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 2004 Retrospective

25th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 2004 Retrospective

To mark the 25th Anniversary of NBA Live, we’re taking a look back at every game in the series with retrospectives and other fun content! This also includes re-running some features from our 20th Anniversary celebrations, with a few revisions. Whether you’re a long-time basketball gamer who grew up with NBA Live and are keen on taking a trip down memory lane, or you’re new to the series and want to learn about its history, we hope that you enjoy celebrating the 25th Anniversary of NBA Live here at the NLSC! Today, it’s a retrospective of NBA Live 2004.

After NBA Live 2003 leaned too much towards an arcade style of gameplay, NBA Live 2004 was a very welcome course correction. It took the strong points of its predecessor, such as Freestyle Control, and built a more robust sim game on that foundation. It was also the beginning of a very solid three year run for NBA Live on PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox, before the series began to struggle with its transition to the next generation. NBA Live 2004 was generally very well-received in its day, and it remains a favourite for many long-time basketball gamers. It was definitely a return to form for the series, and the game most of us wished NBA Live 2003 had been.

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NBA 2K20 Screenshot Featuring LeBron James & Anthony Davis

First NBA 2K20 Screenshot: LeBron James & Anthony Davis

Although we’re likely at least a few weeks away from in-depth developer blogs, 2K has released the first official NBA 2K20 screenshot. The screen features new teammates LeBron James and cover player Anthony Davis standing side by side, in their gold Los Angeles Lakers jerseys.

As you might expect this late in the generation, there isn’t a tremendous leap in quality when compared to NBA 2K19. However, it does look as though there is a new lighting effect this year, as the atmosphere does appear noticeably brighter. The screen has also obviously been taken late in the game, in order to spotlight the sweat effects.

In case you missed it, a First Look Teaser has also been posted over on the official NBA 2K YouTube channel. The teaser doesn’t give much away as it’s basically just small snippets of gameplay from cinematic angles, but it is our first look at this year’s release in action. As previously noted, it also officially confirms that WNBA teams will be playable in some capacity.

Check out the first NBA 2K20 screenshot below, as well as a comparison with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in NBA 2K19. What are your thoughts on our first glimpse at this year’s game from Visual Concepts? Sound off in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum!

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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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