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NLSC Podcast #431: Heroes in a Half-Court

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #431 of the NLSC Podcast!

The release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge has demonstrated the popularity of retro-style gameplay with modern sensibilities. It leads us to consider how this could apply to the virtual hardwood, with Basketball Classics being a great example. We also lament the lack of a new NBA Jam title, and reflect on the shortcomings of the NBA Playgrounds games. Mention of Konami also sends us down the rabbit hole to discuss some of our favourite games from the company, basketball or otherwise. Our Lakers vs. Celtics Tournament will be tipping off soon, and we’re also keen to continue our co-op sessions on Parsec. In an update on our NBA 2K19 MyLEAGUE and NBA 2K14 MyCAREER games, we’re talking sliders, streaks, and the growing legend of Terry Hanson. This week’s mailbag features a discussion about the influence that playing real hoops has on basketball gaming, basketball book recommendations, and the best classic seasons to watch.

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 Top 10 Plays of the Week: June 11th, 2022

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

Get ready for more fantastic highlights from the basketball gaming community in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week, curated by Dee4Three! New and old games alike are featured in this celebration of spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood. To submit your clips, post them in this topic, or hit up Dee on Twitter.

On a recent episode of the NLSC Podcast, we discussed how it tends to be easier to create offensive highlights compared to spectacular defensive plays. Appropriately enough, this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays demonstrates that great defense does indeed create memorable moments on the virtual hardwood, especially when it leads to impressive buckets at the other end. On top of some impressive D, this week’s countdown also features the usual assortment of entertaining dunks and crafty moves. Once again, these great plays came from a variety of titles, from NBA Live 2001 to NBA 2K22.

What was your favourite highlight this week? Sound off in the comments below, and once again, get in on the fun by sending us your best plays! Remember, as long as it’s a basketball game, it’s eligible for the countdown. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places (Part 6)

Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar 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 another ten players that became familiar faces back in familiar places.

Since there are a number of players who became familiar faces back in familiar places at some point in their career, its time for the sixth instalment of this series! For those who are unfamiliar with the topic, I’m taking a look back at players who returned to teams that they’re usually most closely associated with, after stints elsewhere. While many big names never had a proper reunion with their former clubs until after they retired, others did don the same jersey once again (or an updated version of it). The same goes for players who weren’t stars, but still noteworthy names that we recall.

Of course, sometimes we forget about their return stints, especially if they were brief and towards the end of their career, and there was no hoopla of an “official” farewell tour. As I’ve said before, one way to recall these familiar faces being back in familiar places is to fire up an old video game, and see them there in the rosters. It’s why I’m looking at these examples through the lens of basketball video games, on top of them being what we’re all about here at the NLSC. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: The Worst Virtual NBA Finalists

Monday Tip-Off: The Worst Virtual NBA Finalists

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Join me as I begin the week here at the NLSC with my opinions and commentary on basketball gaming topics, as well as tales of the fun I’ve been having on the virtual hardwood. This week, I’m tipping things off with a look at the worst virtual NBA Finalists that I’ve encountered in all my years of basketball gaming.

Simulation engines are far from infallible. They already have a tough task as far as generating realistic results, given that the actual NBA can produce some unexpected outcomes. However, some of the results we see in our virtual seasons are definitely unrealistically favourable to upsets and underdogs. It makes me wonder about the articles that simulate the forthcoming season in NBA 2K. Did they run with the first simulation, or did they have to keep trying until the game produced more believable results, with realistic NBA Finalists and Champions?

Having finished seasons in multiple games, I’ve encountered a variety of virtual NBA Finalists, including a few surprising ones. The Minnesota Timberwolves in Year 3 of my NBA 2K14 MyCAREER would definitely qualify as such a squad. Indeed, when I mentioned to Dee4Three that they were my opponent, and sent him a screenshot of their roster, he observed that they were a strong candidate for the worst team to ever make the NBA Finals. Dee suggested that they merited a closer look in an article, and I liked the idea; especially as it got me thinking about some of the other virtual NBA Finalists I’ve faced in games, and whether any were as weak as those Timberwolves.

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NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: June 4th, 2022

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

Get ready for more fantastic highlights from the basketball gaming community in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week, curated by Dee4Three! New and old games alike are featured in this celebration of spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood. To submit your clips, post them in this topic, or hit up Dee on Twitter.

This week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays features eight different games, ranging from the Super Nintendo version of NBA Live 98 through to NBA 2K22. You’ll see Isaiah Rider pulling off the East Bay Funk dunk in NBA 2K13 using URB, Larry Johnson throwing it down in NBA 2K19 thanks to the 1995 season mod, and eras colliding with a Doctor J windmill in NBA 2K17. There’s even one of my highlights from NBA Live 15 Ultimate Team, discovered in the archives and remastered by Dee! In short, it’s another countdown filled with flashy moves and fun moments on the virtual hardwood.

What was your favourite highlight this week? Sound off in the comments below, and once again, get in on the fun by sending us your best plays! Remember, as long as it’s a basketball game, it’s eligible for the countdown. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

Wayback Wednesday: Signature Skills in NBA 2K

Wayback Wednesday: Signature Skills in NBA 2K

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 Signature Skills in NBA 2K.

A key improvement as basketball video games have evolved is the way in which different player abilities are represented. Indeed, the difference between an old basketball video game that shows its age and a title that holds up extremely well is that in the former, every player tends to play the same. Whether it’s their speed, shooting ability, or another part of their game, they might as well be generic. Of course, in games like Double Dribble, they were! It worked there, but NBA games that utilised real players needed to accurately represent their skills and athleticism.

This led to the implementation of player ratings, many of which became standard across basketball video games. As games became more sophisticated, ratings alone weren’t enough. Player-specific moves and animations, as well as tendencies, helped games take the next step. There needed to be a mechanic that went beyond ratings, though; something that represented an uncanny knack or specialised skill. These days, NBA 2K achieves this through the use of Badges. Before Badges however, we had Signature Skills. In some ways, they were better than their successors. If nothing else, they paved the way for them. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Returns After Extended Absences (Part 2)

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Returns After Extended Absences (Part 2)

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 some more NBA players that made returns after extended absences from the league.

The time has come to profile another group of players that made returns to the NBA after several years, and the video games that reflected those comebacks. Well, for the most part. Some of these NBA returns occurred after the rosters were finalised, and thus the players appeared in the following year’s games, usually after their comeback run had concluded. And, while it’s probably giving away one of the examples, at least one of them occurred long before video games, thus it has no official representation on the virtual hardwood.

Because my aim is to revisit these moments in NBA history through the lens of video games, I was originally on the fence about including such examples. However, there are good stories and interesting trivia to share, and for the most part, I’m adhering to the original aim. Once again, credit to The BBall Pundit on Twitter for suggesting this topic! Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: The OMG Trailer for NBA 2K14

Wayback Wednesday: The OMG Trailer for NBA 2K14

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 the OMG Trailer for NBA 2K14.

Is there a more important and impactful trailer in the history of basketball gaming than the OMG Trailer, promoting NBA 2K14 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One? While there have been other fantastic trailers and promotional spots for basketball video games, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that turned as many heads, and that gamers still know by name. It boldly announced the arrival of a new generation, and made a statement that Visual Concepts were eager to make full use of the technology they now had at their disposal.

The OMG Trailer for NBA 2K14 is something you can still appreciate today. It still looks amazing almost a decade and entire console generation later. In a way, it’s even more impressive now that we know the game lived up to the hype; even if a few of us discovered that later than others! There’s more to the OMG Trailer for NBA 2K14 than just reflecting on how awesome it was, though. It’s had a lasting impact on the series and basketball gaming as a whole, but has also proven to be a hard act to follow. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Oldest NBA Rookies & Their Video Game Debuts

Wayback Wednesday: Oldest NBA Rookies & Their Video Game Debuts

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 the oldest rookies in NBA history, and their subsequent video game debuts.

One of the interesting oddities about early iterations of MyCAREER is that you were able to set your age. This meant that if you wanted to role-play as an established pro that was finally making their way to the NBA, then you could effectively make that part of your bio. These days, your MyPLAYER avatar has a fixed age that fits their back story, that generally being a young player coming out of college. It makes sense, but considering that there have been many rookies that are new to the league but not to professional basketball, it’s a shame that such an option is no longer available.

Of course, we still see real examples of latecomers to the NBA in the official rosters, and there have been some noteworthy stories over the years. I’ll admit that since I’ve entered my 30s, I have a greater appreciation for the NBA’s oldest rookies, especially in an era where there seems to be a Logan’s Run approach to veteran players. In fact, referring to them as the “oldest rookies” feels rather strange now that I’m older than they were at the time! Between these rookies being the oldest debutants and some of the games that they were featured in, this is definitely one for the “old heads”. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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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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Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places (Part 5)

Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places (Part 5)

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 another ten players that became familiar faces back in familiar places.

If you’ve been checking out my Wayback Wednesday features for some time now, you probably know the drill when it comes to this topic. For those who are new or perhaps missed the first four instalments, this is a series in which I profile stars and other noteworthy NBA players who returned for a second stint with a team that they previously played for. In other words, they’re the familiar faces back in familiar places. It’s a counterpart to my familiar faces in strange places series, which profiles players in stints that were unusual and sometimes forgotten.

As always, I’m looking at these familiar faces back in familiar places through the lens of basketball video games. I do so because we are a basketball video game site, and as I’m so fond of saying, basketball video games serve as interactive almanacs. When you’re a retro basketball gamer, you’ll often stumble across familiar faces in familiar places and strange places alike, reminding you of stints that may not be talked about all that much. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: March 19th, 2022

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

Get ready for more fantastic highlights from the basketball gaming community in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week, curated by Dee4Three! New and old games alike are featured in this celebration of spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood. To submit your clips, post them in this topic, or hit up Dee on Twitter.

With March Madness underway, there are some timely virtual college basketball highlights in this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays! This includes an NCAA mod for NBA 2K22 on PlayStation 5, and some great plays from our College Hoops 2K8 Tournament. As for the virtual NBA highlights in this week’s countdown, we’ve got some retro mods for NBA 2K13 and NBA 2K19 on display, and an encore performance at the number one spot. There’s also a very unique game spotlighted at number ten, and some new community members contributing to the countdown for the first time.

What was your favourite highlight this week? Sound off in the comments below, and once again, get in on the fun by sending us your best plays! Remember, as long as it’s a basketball game, it’s eligible for the countdown. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

NLSC Podcast #416: Three Games & An Island

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #416 of the NLSC Podcast!

In an exciting development, NBA Live 2001 enthusiasts Nate and Roger are on Parsec, which means a 2v2 showdown is in our future! Speaking of Parsec, our recent sessions have given us a new appreciation for a couple of often-criticised games in the NBA Live series. Our NBA Jam: On Fire Edition Tournament also wrapped up, and it ended in spectacular fashion. Dipping into our collection as we often do leaves us wondering: which three games would we take with us to an island we’d be stuck on indefinitely? We share our answers, and open up the mailbag to see which games the community would pick. With February drawing to a close, we also look ahead to March Modness.

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 Top 10 Plays of the Week: February 26th, 2022

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

Get ready for more fantastic highlights from the basketball gaming community in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week, curated by Dee4Three! New and old games alike are featured in this celebration of spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood. To submit your clips, post them in this topic, or hit up Dee on Twitter.

This week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays isn’t officially a belated All-Star Edition, but as you might expect, there are some All-Star highlights in the countdown! These include plays from NBA 2K22, and NBA 2K14 with the latest version of U R Basketball installed. You’ll also see some spectacular moments from Parsec sessions, including the Finals of our NBA Jam: On Fire Edition Tournament. One of my favourite moments from my NBA 2K14 MyCAREER so far is also featured this week. It’s another countdown that’ll inspire you to hit the virtual hardwood this weekend!

What was your favourite highlight this week? Sound off in the comments below, and once again, get in on the fun by sending us your best plays! Remember, as long as it’s a basketball game, it’s eligible for the countdown. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

U R Basketball 2K13 & 2K14 V90 Released

U R Basketball 2K13 & 2K14 V90 Released

Right on the heels of V89, V90 of U R Basketball by skoadam and slimm44 is now available for NBA 2K13 and NBA 2K14 PC! Key features of V90 are as follows:

  • Trades/signings/extensions/buyouts accurate as of February 20th
  • Added All-Star court courtesy of Pandagraphic
  • Added All-Star and Rising Star jerseys courtesy of Makoy
  • Added 2022 LBJ and KD teams
  • Added Isiah/Payton/Barry/Worthy teams
  • Updated coaches for All-Star teams
  • Added portraits for Rising Star coaches
  • Added 4 G League players to Rising Stars teams (portraits included)
  • All-Star and Rising Stars replacements added
  • Rising Stars accessories color updated
  • Rising Stars rotations updated (after the game)
  • Accessories colors updated
  • Around 50+ new portraits
  • All contracts and extensions updated
  • All jersey numbers updated
  • All rotations/minutes updated
  • Updated 50+ faces
  • Implemented a few changes for 2022 Roster (start of the season)

U R Basketball for NBA 2K14 can be downloaded here; please see the release topic here for more information and support. The NBA 2K13 mod is available here, while the release and support topic can be found here. Further updates to the retro rosters are in the pipeline, so stay tuned to the release topics for more information.