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NLSC Podcast #455: Our Definitive Review & Ranking of NBA 2K23

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #455 of the NLSC Podcast!

NBA 2K23 has been out for three months, and the game in its current state is likely what we’re going to have for the rest of its life cycle. As such, this week we’re going in-depth with our definitive review and ranking of NBA 2K23! What are its biggest pros and cons? Where does it rank among the all-time best games in the NBA 2K series? What needs to change in NBA 2K24, and how optimistic are we about the game’s direction? From gameplay to depth and accuracy, to microtransactions and fairness to the gamer, it’s a comprehensive breakdown! We also quiz the community on NBA Live 2003 dunk ratings in this week’s mailbag.

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: Revisiting NBA Live 2003

Wayback Wednesday: Revisiting NBA Live 2003

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 revisiting NBA Live 2003 yet again, albeit with a slightly different perspective.

I’ve profiled NBA Live 2003 in a number of articles now. In addition to the in-depth retrospectives for the 20th and 25th anniversaries of the NBA Live series, I’ve also taken a look back at Freestyle Control. I’ve reminisced about the Courtside Comedy Cutscenes, a myth about the gameplay style settings, the soundtrack, and even my attempts to replicate a move seen in the game’s intro. In short, not only did I spend hours playing and modding NBA Live 2003 when it was new, but I’ve often gone back and revisited it years later. As such, this may seem like a well-trodden path.

However, I do believe that I have some new things to say after revisiting NBA Live 2003 more recently. We’ve also reached the game’s own 20th anniversary, and with my twenty year high school reunion right around the corner, it’s another game that I’ve been reflecting upon. This won’t be an in-depth review along the lines of my previous retrospectives, and I do still stand by observations I’ve made in the past. Nevertheless, even though I played it frequently upon release compared to games like NBA 2K14, NBA Live 06 for Xbox 360, and NBA Live 10, I appreciate NBA Live 2003 far more after revisiting it in 2022. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: A Reunion With 2002

Monday Tip-Off: A Reunion With 2002

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 some reflections as I experience a reunion with 2002.

The song changes from “Without Me” by Eminem to Junkie XL’s remix of Elvis Presley’s “A Little Less Conversation”. Speaking of remixes, Scooter’s take on “The Logical Song” by Supertramp is also on the playlist, along with “By the Way” by Red Hot Chili Peppers. There’s even some Avril Lavigne, among other chart toppers. And speaking of music, that NBA Live 2003 soundtrack is incredible! It’s one of the games that I’m playing, along with its immediate predecessors, NBA Live 2001 and NBA Live 2002. Even NBA Live 99 PC gets the occasional spin. The year is…2022.

Needless to say, I’m experiencing those things a little differently than the first time around. Those hits that were charting in 2002 are on a Spotify playlist, rather than CD or radio (or, more honestly, acquired via LimeWire or Kazaa). Those games are being played thanks to fixes that allow them to run on modern hardware far better than what I had at the time. Thanks to emulation, I can even run NBA Live 2002 on my PC if I’m getting screenshots, or if it’s more convenient than firing up my PlayStation 2. In more ways than one, I’m having a reunion with 2002. Despite what you may think, this isn’t a cry for help from a Grumpy Elder Millennial who’s edging closer to forty.

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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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Wayback Wednesday: My 1996 Roster for NBA Live 2001

Wayback Wednesday: My 1996 Roster for NBA Live 2001

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 my 1996 roster for NBA Live 2001 PC.

Whenever I’ve contemplated making a retro season mod, the 1996 campaign is always the first to come to mind. The reason is simple: not only is it a memorable year in NBA history, but it’s also the season when my basketball fandom truly blossomed. Revisiting the 1996 season, whether by watching real highlights and recaps or via the virtual hardwood, always brings back such fond memories of that joyful time of fully falling in love with basketball. My nostalgia was already firmly entrenched by the early 2000s, leading me to create a 1996 roster for NBA Live 2004.

However, it wasn’t my first attempt at bringing the 1996 season into what was then a new generation of basketball games. It was also far from the first retro roster for NBA Live, as the updates for NBA Live 95 and NBA Live 96 PC had famously included rosters for earlier years as well as the current season. Looking back, it wasn’t the most complete retro project, but I still have fond memories of making the 1996 roster for NBA Live 2001. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: October 29th, 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.

Halloween is almost upon us, so this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays is getting into the spooky spirit! Of course, if you’ll excuse a corny pun, we get some scarily good highlights from the community each and every week. This spooktacular countdown takes things a step further though, with a reminder of an other-worldly cheat in NBA Live 98. Elsewhere, a number of defenders certainly got a fright of their own when they found themselves looking down the wrong end of a poster dunk. I think you get the picture; check out ten fantastic highlights from six games ranging from NBA Live 98 to NBA 2K23!

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 More Creepy Moments in Basketball Games

The Friday Five: 5 More Creepy Moments in Basketball Games

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 more creepy moments in various basketball video games.

Last year, I finally got around to a Friday Five topic that I’d been considering for some time: creepy moments in basketball games. It felt like an appropriate topic for an article coming out around Halloween, and although that spooktacular holiday is next Monday, I thought I’d get us in the mood early rather than repurpose it for the Tip-Off. There are a couple of examples I forgot about when writing the previous Five, and upon further reflection, a few more came to mind. On top of that, I’d suggest that producing a sequel pays fitting tribute to many horror franchises!

As I said in my previous article, creepiness and horror aren’t usually the hallmarks of basketball video games. It’s not in the spirit of the genre to be creepy and frightening, but there are nevertheless moments on the virtual hardwood that make us jump. Once again, they’re generally unintentional, being the results of glitches or perhaps strange design choices. However, this time there is one example that is definitely deliberate, and while it likely didn’t cause any nightmares, it’s fitting for Halloween. To borrow the tag line of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series: reader beware, you’re in for a scare! Well, perhaps not, but these are some unusually creepy moments in virtual hoops.

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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!

NBA Live 2003 Rockets vs Suns Parsec Highlights

NBA Live 2003 Rockets vs Suns Parsec Highlights

In addition to our sessions, Dee4Three has been connecting with a number of people from the NLSC Forum and wider basketball gaming community to play games using Parsec. He recently connected with Forum member JuicyShaqMeat for a co-op session of NBA Live 2003 that produced several highlights.

As Dee and I discussed in Episode #447 of the NLSC Podcast, though NBA Live 2003’s arcade-leaning gameplay may not be to the taste of hardcore simheads, it can be an extremely fun game when you enjoy it for what it is. Indeed, these highlights demonstrate the loose, fast-paced fun that can be had with NBA Live 2003. Even underdog teams like the 2003 Rockets and Suns are a blast to play with and against, on top of being a fun trip down memory lane. Catch the reel below, or watch it over on YouTube!

Once again, Dee has been spearheading our efforts to upload more content to our YouTube channel, from highlight reels to the Top 10 Plays of the Week. There’s so much more that we want to do with the channel moving forward, so please give it a look, and subscribe while you’re there! We’d also love to hear your memories of NBA Live 2003, so feel free to share them in the comments below.

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: October 15th, 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.

Every week, the community comes through with great highlights for the NLSC Top 10 Plays, and the latest countdown is no exception. Elbow passes, crazy lobs, and jaw-dropping poster dunks are on the menu as always, frequently with an entrée of slick moves and canny defensive plays. Six games are represented this week ranging from NBA Live 2003 through to NBA 2K23, and we also have a couple of first time contributors. From exhibition games to MyCAREER to MyLEAGUE with retro rosters, these highlights should tell you just how much fun the community is having with basketball games right now!

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 6)

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

Can you believe this topic has produced six instalments of The Friday Five? Actually, it’s not altogether surprising. With the amount of player movement in the NBA, the timing of video game releases, and the eventual introduction of regular official roster updates, stints where players never officially tallied a minute for a certain team have made their way onto the virtual hardwood. It’s something that’s happened for a lot of players who are career journeymen, and generally benchwarmers and training camp fodder. However, it’s also happened with some bigger names as well.

With that being said, the five examples that I’m profiling this time were not big name players. I’m sure most long-time basketball fans will recognise at least some of them though, especially as one is a streetball legend. It’s easy to forget the “phantom stints” that can only be found in video games when it comes to players that move around a lot, but when you revisit an old title, the memories come flooding back. Alternatively, you’ll be led down a rabbit hole when something looks like a mistake! Along with familiar faces in strange and familiar places, it’s an aspect of basketball video game trivia that I really enjoy exploring. To that end, let’s get to five more examples!

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NBA Live 2003 All-Time Lakers vs Celtics Highlights

NBA Live 2003 All-Time Lakers vs Celtics Highlights

As Dee and I discussed in Episode #447 of the NLSC Podcast, I spent an evening putting together a rough draft of an All-Time Teams roster for NBA Live 2003 PC. We recently connected on Parsec, and tested out that work-in-progress mod in a co-op game.

Although the roster is still in its very early stages, the default assets allowed me to assemble fairly complete versions of the All-Time Lakers and All-Time Celtics. Dee and I opted to control the All-Time Celtics, with both teams wearing the throwbacks that are available in NBA Live 2003. It was a fun, fast-paced game featuring high-flying dunks, NBA Live 2003’s trademark booming swats, and some timely three-pointers. We eked out the win, and the fun we had has certainly encouraged me to keep working on the roster! Check out the highlights below, or catch them over on YouTube.

Once again, moving forward I’ll be making a much better effort to share our video content here on the NLSC, but don’t forget that you can see it first when it’s uploaded to our YouTube channel! Be sure to subscribe as we’re always looking to do more basketball gaming videos, from highlight reels and game retrospectives to various tutorials.

NLSC Podcast #447: Fun With NBA Live 2003 & NBA 2K23

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #447 of the NLSC Podcast!

After putting together a rough draft of an All-Time Teams roster for NBA Live 2003 PC, we decided to test it out over Parsec. The result was a fun co-op game, and incentive to keep working on the project! We’ve still been having a blast with NBA 2K23 as well, and recap our recent sessions with MyTEAM, MyNBA, MyCAREER, and 3v3 Pro-Am. We also feel compelled to call out egotistical influencers who dismiss opinions based on follower counts, and remind everyone that you don’t need to be a “big name” to have a worthy opinion. After brainstorming some more modding ideas, we open up the mailbag to discuss ideas on how to improve customisation features.

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 #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!