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The Friday Five: 5 Players In More Video Games Than NBA Games Played (Part 9)

The Friday Five: 5 Players In More Video Games Than NBA Games Played (Part 9)

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

We’ve arrived at the ninth and (for the moment) final instalment in this series of articles looking at players that have appeared in more video games than NBA games. In hindsight, this could’ve been a few longer articles for Wayback Wednesday, but when I posted the first instalment, I had no idea that I’d find so many examples! As it is, I discarded a number of players that I originally noted in my research. Otherwise, there’d probably be at least four or five more parts, and to be honest, not every player on those lists has a unique story, or interesting tidbit of virtual hardwood trivia.

Indeed, there’s overlap in the reasons that players end up appearing in more video games than actual NBA games. The common factor, of course, is that they were signed to a contract while a game was in production and its rosters were finalised, only to be cut before they could make their official NBA debut. It’s all down to the timing of their signing and release. Nevertheless, over the course of this series, my research has turned up what I feel are some fascinating stories tied in with video game trivia, which is something that I enjoy talking about. I hope that it’s been fun for you, but before I wrap up this series, here are five final examples…at least for now.

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The Friday Five: 5 Players Who Only Appeared on Certain Teams in Games (Part 7)

The Friday Five: 5 Players Who Only Appeared on Certain Teams in Games (Part 7)

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

Yes, we’ve reached a seventh instalment of this series profiling the players that only played for certain teams on the virtual hardwood! Whether it was due to an injury that shelved them for their entire tenure, an offseason move that was outdated by the time a game shipped, or some other circumstance, there are players whose stints with teams didn’t include any playing time in real life, but resulted in the opportunity to suit up for them in video games. As official roster updates became common, we’ve seen more of these on-paper/”phantom stints”, especially with journeymen.

This was originally meant to be the final instalment in this series, at least for now. However, I’ve had some more great examples pointed out to me, including a few very prominent players whose phantom stints I’ve overlooked in compiling the first seven articles. I suppose that speaks to how obscure some of those appearances were, and how easy it is to forget about them with so many games coming out over the years! I will get to them at some point – shout out to David for helping me out there – but in the meantime I’ve got five more examples, most of whom were fairly well-known role players back in their day, though younger fans may not be as familiar with them.

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NLSC Podcast #451: NBA 2K8, NBA Live 2000, & Jordan vs Bird

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #451 of the NLSC Podcast!

Revisiting NBA 2K8 produced a very satisfying co-op win, and also brought back memories of two Bens on the  Chicago Bulls. We also had a session with NBA Live 2000 in order to compare it to NBA Live 99, and the verdict is that they’re both pretty exceptional releases! We’re also going extremely old school this week, as we played the PC version of Jordan vs Bird via floppy disk; after entering the correct value from the copy protection wheel, of course. We also reflect on former Boston Celtic point guard Marcus Banks, discuss recent retro pickups and modding projects, and open up the mailbag to discuss favourite cover players and some interesting cover player trivia.

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 #449: NBA Live 99, Arch Rivals, & NBA 2K23 Updates

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #449 of the NLSC Podcast!

NBA Live 99 PC is arguably one of the most underrated basketball video games of all-time, and we had a blast revisiting it using a 2002 roster update! In addition to giving NBA Live 99 PC its due, our session also inspired us to reflect on the Boston Celtics and Michael Jordan-led Washington Wizards of the 2002 season. We also discuss the latest NBA 2K23 patch, which thankfully appears to have done more good than harm. There’s also some recent retro basketball game pickups to share, including Arch Rivals for the NES, the later NBA 2K titles for PlayStation 2, and a few other classics and rarities that will undoubtedly appeal to our fellow enthusiastic collectors and retro gamers.

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 #448: NBA Showdown 94, Virtual Injuries, & Early 2000s Nostalgia

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #448 of the NLSC Podcast!

After circling back to our plans to revisit NBA Showdown 94, we connected on Parsec for a head-to-head game. Although it was a lot of fun, we can’t help but reflect on what a massive jump NBA Live 95 made in just one year. We also recap our other basketball gaming sessions from the past week, which included another co-op game of NBA Live 2003, and a devastating injury in NBA 2K14 MyCAREER. Additionally, we discuss our future plans with NBA 2K23, and feeling more inclined to play old favourites instead as of late. In this week’s mailbag, the community tells us which retro hoops titles they’d pick up if they had $20 to spend.

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 5)

The Friday Five: 5 Players Who Only Appeared on Certain Teams in Games (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 where I look at players who only appeared on certain teams in video games.

As much as I enjoy talking about the gameplay experience and all the ins and outs of modes in basketball video games, I also love player-related trivia. Forgive me for dusting off a phrase that I probably use way too much, but old sim games do act as interactive almanacs. Just as re-watching old games and highlights can trigger our memories of unusual and forgotten stints, so too can browsing the rosters in video games from many years ago. It’s one of the fun parts of retro basketball gaming for me, and it can lead down a rabbit hole of researching old lineups and transactions.

I have several features where I reflect on unusual and noteworthy stints for players, be they stars, journeyman role players, or benchwarmers. It’s fun to look back at familiar faces in strange and familiar places through the lens of basketball video games, as well as other oddities such as returns to teams that were over before they began. As evident from this article being a Part 5, I’ve also been reflecting on several players who only ever saw court time for a specific team on the virtual hardwood. This has usually been due to injuries, or the timing of transactions related to the release of video games and their roster updates. Either way, they’re interesting to look back on!

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NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: July 23rd, 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.

Shawn Kemp tips off another NLSC Top 10 Plays with a signature dunk in NBA Live 2004 using my 1996 mod, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg! This week’s countdown features a variety of highlights: emphatic dunks, crafty ankle breakers, slick passes, and buttery smooth layups. Five different games are providing this week’s assortment of spectacular plays including NBA 2K8, which also showcases a classic camera angle. NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K22 also remain very popular, with the bottom line being that the community is having a blast. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about!

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.

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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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Returns Over Before They Began (Part 2)

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Returns Over Before They Began (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 returns that were over before they began.

As I’ve said so many times before, as an avid fan of basketball and basketball video games, I love trivia concerning both. It’s even better when that trivia intersects, which is why I write articles covering familiar faces in strange and familiar places, players with more video game appearances than NBA games played, phantom stints that were captured in games, and NBA returns following extended absences. That last idea was a suggestion that was spun off of another article, which looked at NBA returns that were over before they even began.

In this case, I’m talking about situations where players almost became familiar faces back in familiar places, but didn’t end up donning an old jersey once more. This is in contrast to comeback attempts that fell short, as there have been some big names that mulled NBA returns, only to remain in retirement. Today however, I’m looking at the players whose returns to their former NBA teams did actually happen on paper, but ended before a reunion could truly begin. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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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 Top 10 Plays of the Week: July 24th, 2021

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

It’s time to enjoy some virtual hardwood highlights in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week! This is a weekly feature curated by Derek (aka Dee4Three) spotlighting the best plays from the basketball gaming community, which includes a few of our own memorable clips from time to time. Submit your clips in the Forum, or hit up Derek on Twitter!

Dunks dominate this week’s Top 10 Plays from the virtual hardwood and blacktop alike, but it’s not just about throwing it down; there are some nifty moves and crafty passes preceding those spectacular slams! Once again, Stildo33’s retro roster mods for NBA 2K19 are on display, and a few old favourites have been used to create new memories. Enjoy ten more great highlights from the basketball gaming community! I’m sure you’ll agree that once again, the number one play has earned the top spot.

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 spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood or blacktop. All basketball games are welcome, new and old! Also, be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

NLSC Podcast #375: The Gold Standard of Retro Hoops Gaming

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Episode #375 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.

The announced lineup for EA Play 2021 doesn’t include NBA Live, which has given life to more speculation and clickbait. We share our thoughts on the situation, and our expectations regarding any surprise announcements. We’ve also been having a lot of fun playing NBA Live 10 over Parsec, and while it makes us wistful at times, it’s also given us a new appreciation for the game. Raja Bell has also become a virtual hardwood legend. In the mailbag this week, we’re talking about the effect that basketball gaming discourse has on opinions and enjoyment, as well as some of the worst cyberfaces throughout the years.

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: College Hoops 2K8 Retrospective

Wayback Wednesday: College Hoops 2K8 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 2K8 on PlayStation 3.

College Hoops 2K8 is a title that generally makes basketball gamers feel wistful, the same way football gamers look back at ESPN NFL 2K5. Both games marked the end of their respective series, and were very highly regarded. They have an enduring popularity, as gamers who enjoyed them when they were new are still able to dust them off and play them today, especially College Hoops 2K8 with all of its roster customisation. Indeed, gamers have continued to make new rosters for College Hoops 2K8 for many years afterwards, some of which are still available.

As I look back at College Hoops 2K8, it seems accurate to say that it’s many people’s favourite college basketball game. As with College Hoops 2K7, I’m coming from the position of someone who wasn’t able to play it when it was new, and also didn’t spend a lot of time with its NBA counterpart at the time either. I therefore don’t have any nostalgia for it, and while I am able to make comparisons to NBA 2K8, there isn’t quite the same novelty as there was when comparing NBA Live 08 and NCAA March Madness 08. Nevertheless, it’s unquestionably a significant title, and a great release that’s well worth remembering. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Returns Over Before They Began

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Returns Over Before They Began

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 returns that were over before they began, with a representation of how they’d look in games.

Although our content is obviously focused on the virtual hardwood, I like to mix in topics related to the real NBA as well. After all, it directly influences our experiences in video games, and the games in turn capture a snapshot of what the league was like when they were released. To that end, I’ve enjoyed branching out with topics like Familiar Faces in Strange Places, and its counterpart Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places, in previous Wayback Wednesday features. It’s easy to bring it all back to video games, because of the way they act as interactive almanacs.

This is a spinoff of those two series that came to mind as I was researching them. I recalled players that were reacquired by their former teams, but didn’t end up playing for them again. As I noted in my Familiar Places articles, there’s something fun about seeing players rejoin their old teams; especially when they end up wearing an updated uniform we never thought we’d see them don. Likewise, there are some interesting “What If” scenarios involving NBA returns that were over before they even had a chance to begin, or otherwise didn’t result in an official appearance. We can see and make NBA returns happen in games however, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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