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The Friday Five: 5 Players Who Abruptly Left the NBA

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five players who left the NBA quite abruptly.

Not all NBA players receive a big send-off when they call it a career. Farewell tours are generally reserved for future Hall of Famers, and even then, that’s something that only happens when a player makes a definitive declaration that the current season will be their last. Even when a player leaves the NBA without a big announcement or much fanfare, it isn’t necessarily a surprise. If they’re getting on in years and have already enjoyed a lengthy career, there’s usually no mystery as to why they’ve decided to hang it up, and are no longer a fixture after being around for so many years.

And then, there are the players who appear to leave the NBA quite abruptly and without any kind of statement, even when they seem to have several seasons left in them. Some quietly go overseas to play, or officially retire a few years later, but whatever the case, they’ll fail to latch on with a team and then that will be the last we’ll ever see of them in the NBA. While that’s inevitable given the limited amount of roster spots and the constant influx of new talent, we are left wondering what happened when prominent players seemingly just disappear. Here are five such players whose NBA careers came to a rather abrupt halt.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #230

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Episode #230 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Without any technical issues to keep us off the air, we’re back to talk about the latest updates for NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, share our latest impressions of both games, and catch up on the past couple of weeks in basketball gaming news.

On this week’s show…

  • Patch 1.08 has added comprehensive roster editing to NBA Live 18. We’re certainly surprised, and impressed at how the game has continued to improve since launch.
  • NBA 2K18’s Patch 1.06 has addressed some bugs, but also caused a few more problems. To be honest, we’re still feeling disappointed with this year’s release from Visual Concepts.
  • The qualifying round for the NBA 2K League will be taking place in January. We share our thoughts on what the League might be like, given our experiences with 2K Pro-Am.
  • Several t-shirts have been removed from the kiosk in The Neighborhood, mostly due to trademark and copyright concerns. This has led to some issues with lost VC.
  • A teenager has spent over $17,000 AUS on microtransactions across various games, leading us to once again reflect on their intrusive nature in AAA titles.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming has seen our frustration with 2K Pro-Am reach its boiling point, an enjoyable victory in The Playground, and possible plans to change up our habits on the virtual hardwood.
  • We wrap up Episode #230 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA discussion, including recent streaks, and the Jahlil Okafor trade.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #229

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Episode #229 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss the latest updates for NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, recap an eventful week of basketball gaming, and catch up on some NBA news.

On this week’s show…

  • Patch 1.07 provided a significant content update for NBA Live 18, including new rosters and 3v3 play in Live Run. The gameplay itself also continues to improve.
  • A handful of new players have been added to the All-Time teams and historical squads in NBA 2K18. Unfortunately, some of the biggest names are still absent.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming was full and eventful! Although we had some rough sessions of 2K Pro-Am, we did pick up a few victories (including some in The Playground), continued our respective MyCAREERs, and had fun with NBA Live 18 online and offline. We also discuss shooting mechanics in NBA 2K18.
  • We wrap up Episode #229 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA talk, including the Celtics’ winning streak coming to an end, the Thunder/Warriors clash, and Derrick Rose’s future.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #228

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Episode #228 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane and I are back on the air after some more technical difficulties last week, but with any luck, we shouldn’t have any similar interruptions moving forward. In the meantime, join us as we catch up on the past couple of weeks in NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 news, and share our latest basketball gaming experiences.

On this week’s show…

  • The release of Star Wars: Battlefront II has led to some crossover content in NBA Live 18. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but some of the gear is pretty cool.
  • We now know what LIVESTRIKE entails. A series of Live Events will be available for a short period of time, providing premium content drops featuring exclusive gear.
  • It seems that we’ll be getting more than just gear, as EA Sports has also teased some other new content for NBA Live 18. Will it be a 3v3 mode, as currently rumoured?
  • Roster updates seem to have taken a back seat in NBA Live 18, which is less than ideal given the lack of roster editing.
  • Patch 1.05 is out now for the PC and Xbox One versions of NBA 2K18. We also wonder whether a hotfix has come through, resolving lock-up issues in The Neighborhood.
  • Revenue from microtransactions has increased 57% in NBA 2K18. The question is, are gamers spending the money because they support the business model, or simply out of necessity?
  • NBA 2K18 has been nominated for a Sports Game of the Year award. Would it be our pick?
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming has included some very satisfying wins in 2K Pro-Am, a lot of progress in MyCAREER, and Live Events in NBA Live 18.
  • We wrap up Episode #228 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA discussion. Apologies in advance to Boston Celtics fans for jinxing the team.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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The Friday Five: 5 Thoughts As Space Jam Turns 21

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a reflection on the movie Space Jam, twenty-one years after its release.

Hey, everyone who grew up in the 90s! Want to feel old? A couple of days ago, it was twenty-one years since Space Jam was released in theatres. Yes, really! Time does indeed keep on slipping into the future. In retrospect, I should’ve covered Space Jam for this week’s Wayback Wednesday, as it fell on the actual anniversary of the film’s release, November 15th. However, I completely spaced on that (no pun intended), and I’ve also wanted to revisit NBA Jam Tournament Edition for a while, so I did end up overlooking an obvious opportunity. As such, I’m making up for that with a bit of additional retro content for this week’s Friday Five.

Even if you weren’t around in 1996, chances are that you’ve seen, or at least heard of, Space Jam. The plot basically has some fun with Michael Jordan’s stint playing baseball, suggesting that he was inspired to return to the hardwood after helping Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes defeat a group of aliens who had stolen the talent of five NBA players: Charles Barkley, Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson, Patrick Ewing, and Shawn Bradley. It’s popular and silly, often criticised, and also the highest grossing basketball movie of all-time. It even spawned a video game, which is also worth talking about. So, let’s take a look back…way back…in five points.

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The Friday Five: 5 Players & Their Forgotten Final Seasons

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five NBA players whose careers petered out, with their final seasons being somewhat forgotten.

Not all NBA players get a big send-off, or season-long retirement tour. Even if they were big stars at one point, some players end up spending their latter part of their careers in relative obscurity. There are many causes of that phenomenon, from injuries and basketball-related reasons to unfortunate personal problems. Whatever the case may be, for some fallen stars, it’s easy to forget the brief stints they had with certain teams towards the end of their careers. Indeed, it sometimes comes as a surprise when you look back and realise how long their careers lasted, or how recently they retired.

You’ll often come to those realisations when you fire up old basketball video games. When I cover those older titles for features such as Wayback Wednesday, I’m not only reminded of the experiences I had with those games, but of what the league looked like at the time. Old games serve as a time capsule for seasons gone by, making them effective reminders of the often overlooked later seasons of many players’ careers. For this week’s Friday Five, I’m taking a look back at the forgotten final seasons of five players who were big names at one point, but became somewhat overlooked as their careers wound down.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #227

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Episode #227 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! We’ve been off the air for a couple of weeks due to scheduling conflicts and other issues, but Arcane and I are back to talk about the latest news, as well as our recent basketball gaming experiences.

On this week’s show…

  • We tip things off with the revelation that Arcane took part in a community playtesting event at EA Tiburon back in May. Arcane reflects on his experiences, which included a celebrity encounter.
  • A couple of patches (1.05 and 1.06) have come through for NBA Live 18, as well as some roster updates. We’re liking some of the improvements, though we’ve also identified issues that need to be resolved in NBA Live 19 and beyond.
  • A new patch (1.05) has also been released for NBA 2K18, at least for PlayStation 4. It too has included some welcome improvements, but has unfortunately caused a couple of new problems.
  • Two NLSC T-Shirts are now available to purchase from the kiosk in NBA 2K18’s Neighborhood. Rep us in The Playground, preferably by winning more games than we’ve managed to so far!
  • In response to a mailbag question, we discuss the future of microtransactions in NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, particularly the latter. How bad could it get, and do we foresee any changes next year?
  • We also give our thoughts on a question regarding issues with unfinished and unpolished releases.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming, or rather our past couple of weeks in basketball gaming, have included several games of 2K Pro-Am, further progress in MyCAREER, and the new DLC for NBA Playgrounds.
  • We wrap up Episode #227 of the NLSC Podcast with our thoughts on 2018 NBA season so far.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #224

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Episode #224 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and myself as we discuss the past week in basketball gaming and NBA news, as well as provide our ongoing impressions of NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18.

On this week’s show…

  • New rosters have come through for NBA Live 18, and they include the two biggest transactions from the past week or so. Unfortunately, there are still some issues with missing transactions and players, incorrect jersey numbers, and a couple of other problems.
  • Master Challenges have been added to Ultimate Team in NBA Live 18. We’re glad to see new content being added so early, and hope that it will continue throughout the season.
  • NBA 2K18 has received another patch this week, addressing some noteworthy technical problems in modes and gameplay. It’s quite welcome, but how many title updates will we see this year?
  • The problems with microtransactions and grinding in NBA 2K18 continue to be a big story. It has spread beyond the basketball gaming community, as mainstream publications and content creators are touching upon it. We crunch a few numbers, and provide some more thoughts on the situation.
  • Downloadable versions of the updated NBA 2K18 cover are now available. It’s a nice gesture, but could it result in collectors being scammed?
  • Our Week in Basketball gaming included a tentative second attempt at 2K Pro-Am, more grinding, some fun Play Now games in NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, more grinding, MyTEAM games, and yes, more grinding. MyLEAGUE games to follow, closer to the start of the 2018 season.
  • Dwyane Wade has joined the Cleveland Cavaliers. Can anyone in the East compete with the Cavs this season?
  • We wrap up Episode #224 of the NLSC Podcast with a nice story about Dirk Nowitzki and an appreciative Dallas Mavericks fan.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #223

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Episode #223 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane, Kenny, and myself as we offer up further impressions on NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, discuss some recent controversies, and comment on the Carmelo Anthony trade.

On this week’s show…

  • Following on from our initial positive impressions, we continue to enjoy our experiences in NBA Live 18. There is still room for improvement however, and we’ve identified some issues that we definitely hope can be patched.
  • We’re glad to see the new Nike Statement jerseys added to NBA Live 18, but the latest roster update leaves something to be desired. Hopefully, post-release support will be on point this year, once the season begins.
  • Moving on to NBA 2K18, while we’re still liking the 5v5 gameplay and looking forward to MyLEAGUE, we’ve really soured on MyCAREER. 2K Pro-Am meanwhile proved to be a disaster last week, which is a shame given how much we enjoyed the mode in NBA 2K17.
  • A lot of users has been losing their MyPLAYERs in NBA 2K18, which has been a tremendous pain for anyone who happened to purchase VC to upgrade them. A nasty bug has also caused problems with pre-order bonuses disappearing when creating new MyPLAYERs.
  • Although NBA 2K18 has been receiving high scores from several publications as usual, some reviewers – and a lot of gamers – aren’t so enthusiastic. One review in particular has attracted controversy.
  • We wrap up Episode #223 of the NLSC Podcast with a few thoughts on the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Is Melo a little underrated?

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #219

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Episode #219 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Kenny returns to the show this week, joining Arcane and I in a discussion of all the latest topics of interest to our community, including further NBA Live 18 demo impressions, the new historical content in NBA 2K18, and the Kyrie Irving trade.

On this week’s show…

  • We tip off the show with some further impressions of the NBA Live 18 demo. The game has also been receiving some support in IGN’s Player’s Choice Awards.
  • Arcane is running a Madden 18 giveaway for PlayStation 4. Entries close August 31st, so get them in ASAP!
  • All of the new classic teams in NBA 2K18 have been revealed, including an additional seventeenth squad. The full lineups for the All-Time Teams have also been posted. We share a few opinions on the new historical content.
  • With Kyrie Irving being traded to the Boston Celtics, it seems that a new cover for NBA 2K18 will be issued at some point.
  • An upcoming Facebook event will provide us with details on MyCAREER in NBA 2K18. We speculate on this year’s story, based on the event name and hashtag.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included 2K Pro-Am cheese – surprise, surprise – and MyLEAGUE success.
  • Backing up a little, we talk about the Kyrie Irving trade in more depth. Did the Cavs make a steal in the deal?
  • We wrap up Episode #219 of the NLSC Podcast by picking our Ultimate Australian 3-on-3 squads.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #212

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Episode #212 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! In addition to a wild week of free agency in the NBA, Arcane and I discuss DeMar DeRozan’s NBA 2K18 cover, Saber Interactive’s battle with Nintendo to push through patches for NBA Playgrounds, a rare collectable, and more.

On this week’s show…

  • DeMar DeRozan will grace the Canadian cover of NBA 2K18. It’s the first time that Canada will receive a region-specific cover for NBA 2K, though it’s worth noting that DeRozan himself isn’t Canadian.
  • Nintendo Switch users are still waiting for the NBA Playgrounds patches, but it isn’t Saber Interactive’s fault. CEO Matthew Karch has provided some hints as to why there’s been a holdup at Nintendo’s end.
  • A rare copy of the unreleased PAL version of Lakers vs. Celtics for the SEGA Mega Drive is currently attracting some huge bids on eBay.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included a 2K Pro-Am victory that was tough to get excited about, some great card pulls in MyTEAM, and Arcane’s first look at the full version of NBA Playgrounds.
  • We wrap up Episode #212 of the NLSC Podcast with a recap of the wild first week of the 2017 NBA offseason, and our thoughts on all the big player moves.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #211

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Episode #211 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Without any new previews for NBA Live 18 or NBA 2K18 in the past week, Arcane and I take the opportunity to catch up on recent events in our modding community. We also talk about a couple of the big stories heading into this year’s NBA free agency bonanza.

On this week’s show…

  • NBA 2K17 PC is currently 75% off on Steam. If you’ve been looking to double-dip, or you’ve been holding off on getting the latest game from 2K, now’s a good opportunity.
  • The 2017 season may be over, but our modding community is still hard at work. We talk a little about the latest roster projects for the PC, including Dee4Three’s releases and the upcoming community roster update, and SkillzFromThe6’s detailed offseason roster for PlayStation 4.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming has mostly revolved around NBA Playgrounds, which is currently also on sale through Steam.
  • Phil Jackson is out in New York. Knicks fans seem to be happy, but are also wondering why it took so long.
  • Chris Paul has been traded to the Houston Rockets, setting up what might be a very interesting offseason.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #209

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Episode #209 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we give our thoughts on all the NBA Live 18 news coming out of EA Play, discuss a couple of other basketball gaming tidbits from the past week, and share a few final thoughts on the 2017 NBA season.

On this week’s show…

  • Coming out of EA Play 2017, we now know about The One, the new single player career mode in NBA Live 18. From the basic concept to the approach to Playstyles, it’s definitely sounding good.
  • A lot of the hands-on impressions of NBA Live 18 have also been very positive, which has us feeling quite optimistic. A couple of other details are also potentially quite promising.
  • Opponents quitting on you in online games of NBA 2K? 2K Support has some…interesting advice.
  • The latest patch for NBA Playgrounds has continued the trend of adding more content and making some very welcome fixes and adjustments.
  • We answer a listener question: would we like to see a story-driven career mode in NBA Live, similar to what we’ve seen in MyCAREER?
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included our most enjoyable 2K Pro-Am game in a while…after some more frustrating contests, of course.
  • With the Golden State Warriors’ victory in Game 5, the 2017 NBA Finals are over…of course, the MJ vs. LeBron debate is not.
  • We wrap up Episode #209 of the NLSC Podcast with a short discussion of Jerry West’s new role with the Los Angeles Clippers, and the announcement regarding 3-on-3 basketball at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

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The Friday Five: 5 Failed Ideas Newer Basketball Games Salvaged

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of ideas that were busts in older basketball video games, but have since been implemented more effectively.

Sometimes, disappointing basketball video games still bring surprisingly good ideas to the table. Likewise, even the best basketball video games can have features that seem kind of weak compared to the rest of the product. And of course, ideas that were good in theory can be executed poorly, regardless of the game’s overall quality. In the best case scenario, great ideas that didn’t pan out the first time around or were overshadowed by their game’s shortcomings can be dusted off, polished up, and put to use in much better releases. If an idea has merit, it’s worth revisiting.

While it may be harsh to call some of the ideas I’m discussing here “failures”, their first incarnation was at the very least problematic, and their basic concepts ended up being shelved for at least a few years. Upon making their way back into more recent basketball video games, they’ve benefitted from advancements in technology and fine-tuning of the original concept, ultimately working out a lot better as a result. Some credit therefore has to be given to those original ideas, which obviously weren’t all bad. Not every one of these ideas is universally liked by basketball gamers, but at the very least, they’ve been salvaged and done better since their debut.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #206

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Episode #206 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! We’re a little late this week due to some technical difficulties, but everything has been sorted out, so Arcane and I are coming at you with our thoughts on the latest news in basketball gaming, some tales from our basketball gaming experiences over the past week, and a few thoughts on the forthcoming 2017 NBA Finals.

On this week’s show…

  • We’ve received our first proper glimpse at NBA Live 18, including a bunch of screenshots and some cinematic gameplay clips. We reflect on some of the community’s reactions, and provide our own take.
  • The PC versions of NBA 2K14 and NBA 2K15 are no longer available on Steam, which is potentially bad news for completionists and retro basketball gamers.
  • NBA Playgrounds has received a big patch on PC and PlayStation 4, containing several tweaks and additions demonstrating that Saber Interactive are paying close attention to gamer feedback.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming includes a long-awaited cutscene in MyCAREER, and another decent session of 2K Pro-Am.
  • We wrap up Episode #206 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA talk. Topics include LeBron James’ new milestone, predictions for the 2017 NBA Finals, and Chris Bosh’s future.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

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