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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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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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The Friday Five: 5 Cover Players That Won Titles The Same Year

The Friday Five: 5 Cover Players That Won Titles 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 won NBA titles in the same season their game came out.

Last week, I listed five players who graced video game covers in the same year that they made the NBA Finals. More specifically, I was referring to players who made the Finals, but were ultimately the runners-up. Obviously, cover players who won titles while being the face of a game technically qualify as examples for last week’s list as well. However, I did want to draw a distinction between the cover players who “only” made it to the Finals that same year, and those who actually won titles. While both are accomplishments and interesting trivia, the latter is naturally rather more special.

To that end, the number of cover players that won titles in the same year is smaller than the already select group of names who made the Finals while being the face of NBA Live, NBA 2K, or another title. As I noted last week, publishers like EA and 2K are no doubt more interested in a player’s popularity and marketability than whether they’ll be in the Finals, or NBA Champions. I have no doubt that they’re happy when it does occur, but given that it’s a gamble even if they ink a deal with a player from a contender, it’s a bonus boost to the brand at the end of the day. NBA Champion cover players are something that a handful of titles can boast however, including these five.

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NLSC Podcast #420: The Legend of Keyon Dooling

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #420 of the NLSC Podcast!

Inspired by QB1120’s stories of Keyon Dooling in NBA 2K7, we fired up the game to see what the fuss was all about. Turns out, we have a newly-minted Video Game Legend! We also connected with Brent and NBA Live Girl for a 4-player session of NBA Jam: On Fire Edition that none of us wanted to end. After recapping some other recent adventures on the virtual hardwood, we talk about the reason we’re able to play so many basketball video games: our passion for collecting. We open up the mailbag to talk about the games that our listeners wish that they owned, as well as some of the purchases that they regret.

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 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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NLSC Podcast #417: Picking an All-Virtual Hardwood Team

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #417 of the NLSC Podcast!

Our College Hoops 2K8 Tournament is set to tip off! Talking about college basketball games leads us to ponder whether EA Sports’ best move would be to revive their NCAA series before they attempt another comeback with NBA Live. We also reflect on the madness of collecting retro basketball games, the size of our respective collections, and the current prices in retro video game stores and on eBay alike. We’re also interested in spending more time with a cancelled Sega Genesis game starring Shaquille O’Neal that was leaked a few years back. This week’s mailbag topic is all about picking our All-Virtual Hardwood teams. We share our selections, along with the community’s picks.

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 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: NBA Returns After Extended Absences

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Returns After Extended Absences

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

Yes, it’s another “interactive almanac” Wayback Wednesday feature, taking a look back at some historical NBA trivia through the lens of video games! This time, I’m focusing on players that made their way back to the NBA – and therefore the virtual hardwood as well – after at least two years away. There have been a handful of very notable names that have made NBA returns following extended absences, as well as some key role players and journeymen that reappeared after their time in the NBA had seemingly drawn to a close.

Indeed, that’s a common theme with most of these players. Whether they retired due to age or injury, they were no longer drawing interest from any teams, or they found a comfortable spot playing in another league, we didn’t expect these NBA returns. Of course, that’s what makes them so interesting, then and now. Incidentally, this topic was suggested by The BBall Pundit on Twitter, so shout out to you! With that being said, let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast #406: What A Croc!

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Episode #406 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.

Crocs have been added as footwear in NBA 2K22’s MyCAREER, and we’re…underwhelmed. This leads us to discuss 2K’s priorities, and how we’d prefer that they make fairer deals with historical players, not to mention finally license some prominent absentees. Voting has closed on the game for the next NLSC Tournament, and one of us may have put our hand on the scales. While we’ve been enjoying playing a variety of older titles as of late, certain games do make us miss enhancements from newer releases. To that point, we reflect on how it took an unusually long time for NBA 2K to adopt right stick dribbling controls, and an overlooked mechanic in NBA Live. We also cover some recent retro roster modding developments, and resolve to keep playing the games that we  find the most appealing in 2022.

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: 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 #397: Asking The Big Questions

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Episode #397 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.

A birthday prompts us to once again reflect on long tenures in the basketball gaming community, and the stigma against gaming as an adult. This leads to us getting a little deep with some handy life advice for our listeners, young and old! After catching up on some modding developments and discussing the end of a retro kick with NBA 2K14, we start to ask each other the big questions; well, the big questions about basketball gaming, anyway. Our conversation covers games we’d give a second chance to, underutilised features, alternate choices for franchise teams, and modding projects we’d undertake given the time and resources. With the FIFA series possibly rebranding, we also consider new titles for NBA Live, and read some suggestions from the community.

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.

NLSC Podcast #392: First Impressions of NBA 2K22

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Episode #392 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 2K22 is out, and many people are calling it the best NBA 2K game ever. We’re not so sure about that, but we do have some initial impressions to share, including lists of pros and cons for Current Gen and Next Gen. An issue with the PC release will also hopefully be sorted out ASAP. The addition of Evan Eschmeyer to the 2003 Mavericks prompts us to share some interesting trivia about his career, and its impact on the virtual hardwood. Elsewhere, the NBA Live 10 Tournament rolls on with some exciting games, and NBA 2K14 continues to be a captivating retro kick. In this week’s mailbag, we’re reflecting on some memorable basketball video game launches, and titles that impressed us from Day One.

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.

NLSC Podcast #385: Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One

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Episode #385 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.

Parsec continues to impress, as we’ve now found a way to play NBA Jam: On Fire Edition by using it in conjunction with the Xbox One app. Between NBA Live 10 and the two NBA Jam games from EA Sports, we’re deeply entrenched in a 2009-2011 retro basketball gaming kick! Looking to the future, we’ve had our first glimpse of NBA 2K22. The game is set to feature the best Dirk Nowitzki face we’ve ever seen, but we’re sceptical about some of the touted gameplay improvements. On the other hand, matchmaking in The City and Seasons in MyCAREER sound promising. Meanwhile, EA Play gave us little hope for the future of NBA Live, leading us to join our fellow gamers in lament. We also reflect on our favourite teams to use in Play Now games.

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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Wayback Wednesday: College Hoops 2K7 Retrospective

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 College Hoops 2K7 on PlayStation 3.

Finally getting my hands on the college games from Visual Concepts has been just as rewarding as adding EA Sports’ NCAA titles to my collection, but playing them has been a slightly different experience. While there’s still the novelty of finally getting to play games that I wasn’t able to import for so long, I don’t have the same history with NBA 2K7 as I do with NBA Live 07. If nothing else, it isn’t as jarring to see NCAA branding in a menu that I associate with an NBA game that I’m far more familiar with, and played more extensively when it was new.

I do own NBA 2K7 though and have spent time with it, so I am aware of what 2K’s basketball games were like at the time, and thus can make comparisons with College Hoops 2K7. Needless to say, it’s interesting to compare the College Hoops games to its contemporaries in the March Madness series as well, especially since the latter utilised technology from a very rough era in NBA Live’s history, and 2K has usually taken a different approach to certain core features and mechanics. With that being said, let’s take a look back…way back…

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