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NLSC Podcast #446: Return of the NBA Live 2001 Legends

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #446 of the NLSC Podcast!

They’re back! Nate and Roger, the NBA Live 2001 Legends, join us once again to talk about their all-time favourite basketball video game, as well as other virtual hardwood classics that they enjoy such as NBA Live 2004 and NBA Live 2005. We discuss the appeal of retro basketball gaming, and compare notes about what drives our nostalgia for specific titles. As fellow creators, they also weigh in on the challenges that come with creating content that’s based around older titles, or otherwise doesn’t chase trends. The guys also share some great stories about interacting with former NBA players thanks to their NBA Live 2001 highlights, name some of their favourite video game teams, throw out a few suggestions for fantasy scenarios, and list other video games that they enjoy.

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!

NBA Live 2001 Highlights: Double OT With 1996 Mod

NBA Live 2001 Highlights: Double OT With 1996 Mod

Dee4Three has put together a reel of NBA Live 2001 highlights from one of our Parsec sessions a few weeks back. In the game, we were using my 1996 season roster mod, taking on the Milwaukee Bucks with the Chicago Bulls in co-op play.

To be honest, we were expecting an easy victory, even as we cranked up the difficulty for more of a challenge. The CPU had other ideas, though! Vin Baker, Glenn Robinson, Eric Murdock, Todd Day, and an aging Terry Cummings were not intimidated by Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and Toni Kukoc, jumping out to an early lead. Even after we seized control, the Bucks weren’t about to quit, leading to a double overtime thriller. Of course, my choke job at the end of regulation didn’t help matters. Watch the highlights below, or check them out over on YouTube!

We’ll be talking about NBA Live 2001 in this week’s NLSC Podcast, as Nate and Roger – the NBA Live 2001 Legends – have returned for another guest appearance. Stay tuned for that show, and possibly a couple of further updates to that 1996 season mod! Now that I’ve been able to troubleshoot my controller issues in NBA Live 2001 PC, you’ll probably see some more highlights from the game here and there. As always, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more basketball gaming content! You may also want to check out my NBA Live 2001 retrospective – part of our 25th Anniversary of NBA Live content – and of course, feel free to discuss the early NBA Live games here in our Forum.

Wayback Wednesday: Shaq & His Superman Tattoo in Basketball Games

Wayback Wednesday: Shaq & His Superman Tattoo in Basketball Games

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 history of Shaq and his Superman logo tattoo in basketball video games.

Not only is Shaquille O’Neal one of the greatest players in the history of basketball, but he’s one of the most prominent faces in basketball video games. By virtue of a 19-year NBA career and the inclusion of historical content, Shaq has appeared in at least one video game every year going back to 1993; a streak that rivals his “teammates in the NBA Finals” record! Of course, when it comes to depicting the Diesel in video games, accuracy demands that he’s sporting his ink. On that note, as you’re probably aware, Shaq has a prominent tattoo of the Superman logo on his left arm.

As the detail on player models improved, virtual Shaq likewise began sporting his Superman tattoo; or did he? As RayRay_953 pointed out in the Forum, there’s an interesting history with Shaq’s ink and its appearance in basketball video games over the years. Certain games have achieved a degree of accuracy with the tattoo, while others have taken some creative liberties with the design. I’ve scoured the games in my collection to bring you an overview of how different titles depicted Shaq with his Superman tattoo throughout the years. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: 5 Gameplay Mechanics You May Have Forgotten

The Friday Five: 5 Gameplay Mechanics You May Have Forgotten

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 gameplay mechanics that you may have forgotten, or not ever been aware of.

It would be wrong to say that basketball video games have tried absolutely every idea imaginable. There are still concepts that have yet to be implemented, or explored to their full potential. Developers have experimented with a multitude of ideas on the virtual hardwood though, from presentation and mode design to gameplay mechanics. While some ideas are better than others, we’ve seen that there are multiple ways to represent basketball in video game form, while striving for a fun and authentic experience. This was particularly apparent when we had several games on the market.

Of course, some ideas were better than others. Contrary to what some basketball gamers, NBA Twitter, and Barney Stinson may claim, new isn’t always better. By the same token, nostalgic doesn’t necessarily mean good. Some ideas were good solutions at the time, but would be unsuitable now. We could argue that others are preferable to their modern equivalents, or could be updated for use in new games. It’s interesting to look back at the gameplay mechanics that were attempted, abandoned, or evolved into something else. We remember concepts such as Freestyle Superstars, the original Isomotion, and separate shoot buttons, but here are some that you may have forgotten.

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NLSC Podcast #442: The Final Countdown to NBA 2K23

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #442 of the NLSC Podcast!

It’s the final countdown to NBA 2K23! Snippets of news are coming through on a daily basis leading up to the release, though the details aren’t always substantial. We’ve got thoughts to share on the MyCAREER trailer, GOAT Boat developer blog, J. Cole cover, guest announcers, and soundtrack reveal (such as it was). We also reflect on an incredible steal of a retro collecting pickup, and respond to a Tweet that perfectly demonstrates Next Gen snobbery. In this week’s mailbag, our listeners tell us about the role players and benchwarmers that became Virtual Hardwood Legends for them, and we share a few more examples of our own unlikely stars throughout many years of basketball gaming.

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!

Wayback Wednesday: Looking Back At The GameSpy Years

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 era during which the NLSC was hosted by the GameSpy network.

Having run the NLSC for over twenty years now, I can’t help reflecting on my long history in the online basketball gaming community. While it’s ultimately about the games we’ve played – and I obviously love revisiting them – our community does have an interesting history. There have been plenty of ups and downs, and some incidents that I’d rather forget. I’m not a fan of drama, so there are probably some stories I won’t ever tell, at least beyond some vague allusions. Many of us were young when we first joined the community, and several incidents stemmed from immaturity.

In other words, I’m not going to drop too many juicy tales about people who have made running the NLSC – normally a fun and fulfilling creative outlet – unpleasant from time to time. However, I’ll never pass up the opportunity to take a few shots at one of our former hosts: GameSpy. If you’re old enough, you may remember them for both their coverage of video games, and powering the online functionality in over 300 PC and console titles. They also provided hosting for sites like us, and while it kept us running, we were definitely hurt by it. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast #441: NBA 2K23 MyTEAM, The W, & Other Wins

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #441 of the NLSC Podcast!

The latest developer blogs delivered some more great news about NBA 2K23, this time concerning MyTEAM and The W. As release day looms, we’re allowing ourselves to feel optimistic. We also revisited NBA Live 2001 this week, while dusting off an old retro season mod. It produced a dramatic win, but we were reminded that the game can be very hit and miss! A session with NBA Inside Drive 2003 yielded a fun Easter egg, though a reply to a Tweet about it prompts us to defend retro basketball gaming once again. There are also a couple of recent retro pickups to reflect upon, updates on our NBA 2K19 MyLEAGUE and NBA 2K14 MyCAREER games to share, and a mailbag question about using players out of position.

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 #440: MyNBA Eras in NBA 2K23 & Other Wonderful Throwbacks

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #440 of the NLSC Podcast!

MyNBA Eras have added a feature to the franchise experience in NBA 2K23 Next Gen that we once thought wouldn’t ever be possible. Although we do have some concerns about the quality of certain elements, and its absence in Current Gen is a bummer, we’re definitely impressed and excited! That joy carried over to our retro gaming this week, as we were able to resolve some technical issues for a better experience. Another instalment of Dee’s Deals provides a roundup of some very fairly-priced classics for aspiring collectors. We also reflect on the lineup of basketball games circa 2002-2003, once again lamenting the lack of choice we have some twenty years later. In this week’s mailbag, our listeners tell us which MyNBA Era they’re most excited to play in NBA 2K23.

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: August 20th, 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.

It wouldn’t be the NLSC Top 10 Plays without some thunderous poster dunks! As usual, this week’s assortment of spectacular slams comes courtesy of a variety of titles, ranging from the original NBA 2K all the way up to NBA 2K22. There are also some wild buzzer beaters, from quarter-ending long bombs to a cold-blooded gamewinner. Needless to say, you’ll find some great plays by historical players, as well as a truly unbelievable highlight that I’m sure you’ll agree is hands down worthy of being crowned the number one play of the week!

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 Top 10 Plays of the Week: August 6th, 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 celebrates highlights at both ends of the virtual hardwood, with a bevy of high-flying jams, brutal poster dunks, blocks, and behind-the-back passes. The NBA Live 2001 Legends Nate and Roger return with their favourite game, LookyDaGamer lives up to his reputation as a Putback King with an incredible clean up of a miss, and I even take a break from MyCAREER (albeit still with a highlight from NBA 2K14 PS4)! This week’s countdown also pays tribute to the late great Bill Russell, who sadly passed away last Sunday.

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 7)

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.

We’ve reached the seventh and (for the moment) final instalment of the Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places series! As a spinoff of the Familiar Faces in Strange Places series of articles, I wanted to match its seven instalments and 70 examples of players with interesting stints. One of the reasons I love compiling these lists is that these stints – both the ones in strange places and back in familiar places – are often forgotten. Of course, sometimes we’d prefer that, as the players were shells of their former selves by that point!

Once again, I’ll note that I’m looking at these examples through the lens of basketball video games. As I’ve explained before, I do this because it fits in with our content as a site about basketball gaming, and because revisiting old games is one way that we’re reminded of the stints that we’ve forgotten. It also makes things more challenging as I’m trying to seek out the most interesting stories, and limit examples to ones that can be found in official rosters. To that point, there are fewer stars in this instalment, but certainly some noteworthy NBA player trivia. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast #435: How EA Could Sell Us On NBA Live 24

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #435 of the NLSC Podcast!

Barring a very surprising announcement, NBA Live won’t be back in 2022. However, EA Sports has a golden opportunity to make a triumphant return with NBA Live 24 in 2023. The question is, how do they sell it to basketball gamers, and meet their expectations? We posed the question to the community, and received many enthusiastic answers as to what would encourage gamers to switch back to NBA Live, or double dip with NBA Live and NBA 2K. An old story about Julius Erving and the Utah Jazz also prompts us to consider interesting scenarios for a “What If” roster mod, and we recap a fun co-op session of NBA Inside Drive 2003 over Parsec.

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: July 16th, 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.

As we discussed on last week’s NLSC Podcast, the NBA Inside Drive series is somewhat overlooked and underrated. This week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays demonstrates how, with a virtual Vince Carter re-creating one of his signature jams from the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest with impressive accuracy! There are plenty of other poster dunks to enjoy as well, with a surprising but nevertheless spectacular change of pace at the top spot. Seven different games spanning from NBA Live 2001 right through to NBA 2K22 are featured this week, providing a variety of impressive highlights from players representing multiple eras.

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: NBA Returns After Extended Absences (Part 3)

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Returns After Extended Absences (Part 3)

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.

Look, when it comes to NBA trivia and its representation in video games, I can’t get enough! When The BBall Pundit suggested this topic, it required a bit of research, which is always fun. We remember the big names that made returns to the NBA after extended absences – at least two years or more – but there have been other key role players and memorable journeymen that surprised us when they inked new contracts. Perhaps it’s a reminder to never underestimate the intrigue of a young player who still has potential to fulfil, or a capable veteran who can slot right back into a lineup.

In case it isn’t clear, I should note that by returns after extended absences, I’m talking about players who were out of the league entirely. Someone like Klay Thompson, who missed two consecutive seasons due to injury, doesn’t count as he was still on the Warriors’ roster. Comebacks after missing multiple years due to injury is another topic altogether – and there are certainly some interesting examples I could cover – but this is about players who were retired or out of the league and not expected to return. With that being said, let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: July 2nd, 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.

Fans of the Seattle SuperSonics should be delighted by this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays, as Shawn Kemp appears twice in the countdown! Admittedly he’s wearing a Bulls jersey in one of them: a dunk plus the foul in NBA Live 15 Ultimate Team. Nevertheless, I’m sure you’ll still enjoy seeing The Reignman throw it down after going coast to coast! There’s also an incredible move by Doctor J, a poster dunk by new Lakers coach Darvin Ham, and more great highlights from nine different games, from Looney Tunes B-Ball all the way up 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.