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NLSC Podcast #301: 25th Anniversary of NBA Live (Part 1)

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Episode #301 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! This is Part 1 of a two-part episode, as Dee4Three and I celebrate the 25th Anniversary of NBA Live. We’re covering the series’ origins through to NBA Live 06 in Part 1, with retrospectives, trivia, and personal memories. Be sure to catch Part 2 next week, when we cover NBA Live 07 through to the present!

To mark the 25th Anniversary of NBA Live, we’re taking a look back at the history of the series with retrospectives and other fun content. We’re extending those deep dive retrospectives to the NLSC Podcast, as we start at the beginning with the precursor to the NBA Live series: Lakers vs. Celtics. From there, we move on to the game that started it all – NBA Live 95 – and go through the series year by year, discussing improvements to gameplay, debuting features, modding, and the overall evolution of the series. Along the way, we share some personal anecdotes of our time with the earlier titles, and compare them to the other releases they were competing with. We also discuss how and why the quality of the early NBA Live games is too often forgotten. Part 1 ends with NBA Live 06, a significant turning point for the series that it’s still feeling the effects of today.

Tune in below!

What are your memories of NBA Live 95 through NBA Live 06? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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Wayback Wednesday: My NBA Live 96 Rosters

Wayback Wednesday: My NBA Live 96 Rosters

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 reminiscing about stumbling upon the modding community back in 1997, and the rosters I made for NBA Live 96 PC.

This week’s Wayback Wednesday happens to have fallen on my 35th birthday. As such, I feel like reminiscing about my history in the community, and my modding endeavours in particular. I haven’t been as active modding NBA Live PC in recent years, and apart from my current plans to update the rosters for NBA 2K11, I haven’t been too involved in NBA 2K modding either. There are a few reasons for that, but it mostly comes down to making a lot of updates for many years beginning in 1997, burning out on the hobby, and wanting to create different content.

That’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed my time messing around with mods over the past 22 years. Even though rosters in particular can feel like a chore, it’s tremendously satisfying when a project comes together. Rosters have been my bread and butter for the most part, and I’ve updated several iterations of NBA Live, right through to the final PC release with NBA Live 08. For me it all started back in 1997 with one of my all-time favourite games, NBA Live 96. Since I’m up to NBA Live 96 in our 25th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations and I touched upon the subject of modding the rosters in my retrospective, let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: 18 Years Running the NLSC

NLSC Court in NBA 2K17

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with some reflections as I celebrate 18 years of running the NLSC.

Today, I’m not just tipping off a new week here at the NLSC, but the start of another year of my tenure as the site’s webmaster, administrator, and primary content creator. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was an excited young basketball gamer of almost 17, accepting the offer to take over the biggest and best NBA Live fansite. That was August 26th 2001 however, which means it was quite some time ago: 18 years, to be precise. To say that basketball video games have come a long way, and that the NBA itself has changed a lot during that time, would be an understatement.

I always get reflective around the time of my NLSC anniversary. Maybe that’s part of being a so-called old head, or maybe I’m just the sentimental type. This year feels like a particularly big milestone as at this point, I’ve been running the NLSC longer than I haven’t; literally more than half my life! I’ve mentioned it in previous reflections, but I do sometimes wonder how long I’ll end up running the site for. Presumably until it’s no longer an enjoyable creative outlet for me, and honestly, that time hasn’t come yet. I still plan on being around and keeping the NLSC going for a while yet, especially when some of its most rewarding experiences have come this past decade.

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Monday Tip-Off: Balancing Positivity & Negativity

LeBron James dunks in NBA 2K19

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with a few thoughts on the delicate act of balancing the amount of positivity and negativity as a content creator.

There’s a reason that I’m still running the NLSC going on eighteen years this August. There’s a reason I decided that I would take the risk on paying for our own hosting after our previous host discontinued their services, and it looked like we might have to shut down after twenty years online. Basketball video games are still a hobby that I enjoy, and enjoy to the extent that I want to create content as part of a community that I discovered way back in 1997. The NLSC was one of my favourite sites before I took over running it, and since that time, it’s become a gratifying creative outlet for me.

I’ve enjoyed establishing original content beyond mods and basketball gaming news: the NLSC Podcast, The Friday Five, Wayback Wednesday, and this feature, Monday Tip-Off. I like covering a variety of topics in these features, from advice and stories about what I’m playing, to constructive articles about improving the games and what I hope is interesting trivia. I’m always aiming for variety in the games that I talk about, but I’m not just balancing coverage between NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other titles. As I discuss all manner of topics regarding basketball video games, I’m trying my best to maintain a healthy balance between positivity and negativity in my features.

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New NLSC Merch by Arcane Uniforms Available At TeePublic

NLSC Merch: Sticker

For anyone who’d like to rep the NLSC out in the real world, we have some good news! Regular NLSC Podcast co-host Arcane has created some new merch for the site through his clothing label, Arcane Uniforms, and it’s available now through TeePublic.

Items include t-shirts, phone cases, wall art, mugs, sticks, pillows, and more. In addition to a retro NBA Live Series Center design, you can also pick up merch branded with the NLSC Polygon design, NLSC Grindtime, and even March Modness. Many of Arcane’s other basketball designs are also available, with all items currently being 35% off.

Find the full range here over on TeePublic, and check out some previews below! Premium NLSC apparel, including personalised basketball jerseys and shorts, is also still available through Arcane Uniforms; you can find more details on how to order it here in the Forum. Be sure to follow Arcane Uniforms here on Twitter and here on Facebook for further updates, and to get in touch with Arcane about ordering information or any other queries.

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Monday Tip-Off: 2018 Year in Review

2018 Basketball Games

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with a look back at the year that was 2018 in the NLSC community and basketball gaming.

For the last few years, I’ve used the Friday Five for an annual Year in Review column. With New Year’s Eve 2018 falling on a Monday, I decided to post a regular feature last Friday, and instead tip off a new week by wrapping up the outgoing year. It’s a little quirky I know, and not as well-timed as being able to tip-off a brand new annum on a Monday as January 1st 2018 allowed me to do, but that’s the way the calendar works. The first new NLSC feature of 2019 will therefore be this week’s Wayback Wednesday, and I think you’re really going to enjoy it!

Before we get there, however, we need to put a bow on 2018. Overall, I feel it was another solid year for the NLSC, our community, and basketball gaming in general. There’s room for improvement – both in the games that we play, and what we do here in our community – and I’m looking forward to championing those efforts as much as I can in 2019. It will be imperative that we continue to provide feedback to the folks developing basketball video games, support each other in our modding efforts, and avoid some of the toxicity that inevitably seeps into gaming communities. I do think we did an admirable job in 2018 however, so let’s reminisce.

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Current Site Issues & Workaround Links

NLSC Forum

We’re currently experiencing a few issues with accessibility around the NLSC. As explained in posts on our Facebook page and Twitter, these issues are the result of installing our SSL certificate. This is something we’ve needed to do for a while to keep up with web standards, and was essential to implement as soon as possible since as of July 2018, Google Chrome will start flagging sites that don’t use SSL as being unsafe.

While the NLSC is basically up and running, we’re still sorting out issues with redirects and subdomains. This means that old links aren’t properly redirecting to HTTPS yet (resulting in some missing images and the like), and forums.nba-live.com currently isn’t operational, meaning it can’t be used to access the Forum or Downloads section.

For the moment, you can use these links to access the Forum and Downloads section:

Browsing the main site, as well as the Wiki, should generally work as normal. As noted, old HTTP links may result in a few missing images until we get everything sorted out.

Thank you for your patience as we troubleshoot these issues. Hopefully everything will be working as normal very soon. Note that the aforementioned links will still work after we get everything back up and running as intended, but the plan is to use the subdomain as before. If you have any questions or encounter any other errors, please let me know.

UPDATE: The regular links are now working again. We’re still cleaning up a few issues with redirects and mixed content warnings, but generally speaking, everything is operational.

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NBA Live 19 & NBA 2K19 Forums, Resources Added

NBA Live 19: Crossover in The Streets

As you may have noticed, over the weekend we added forums for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19. With the preview season more or less underway, it seemed only appropriate to move discussion about this year’s games to their own sections in the NLSC Forum, rather than keep them in the NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 forums respectively.

I’ve also created the portals for each game here on the main site. You can find the NBA Live 19 subsite here, and the NBA 2K19 subsite here. The initial screenshots for NBA Live 19 have already been added to the game’s portal, and both subsites have links to all of the resources that are available so far. That includes articles in the NLSC Wiki; check out the NBA Live 19 article here, and the NBA 2K19 article here.

More details will be added throughout the preview season, so stay tuned to the NLSC for the latest news and information on this year’s games from EA Sports and 2K Sports. As always, I invite our community to help out with our Wiki resources, not only adding new info to the NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 articles as it becomes available, but also our other articles as well. With our new forums launched nice and early this year, we’re also hoping to get some good discussion going, so join in the conversation today!

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #239

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Episode #239 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I for a discussion of the latest basketball gaming news, including NBA Live 18’s digital sales on PlayStation 4, a new branding opportunity for EA Sports, the aftermath of the NBA 2K League Combine, and our inaugural March Modness event. Also, the word “obviously” is overused. Obviously.

On this week’s show…

  • We tip off Episode #239 of the NLSC Podcast with the story behind our new design, specifically how it came to be launched earlier than expected.
  • Our inaugural March Modness event is underway! New mods will be coming throughout the month of March, and modders have a chance to win a copy of either NBA Live 19 or NBA 2K19, just by releasing new work.
  • NBA Live 18 is currently among the most popular titles in the PSN Store, indicating strong digital sales on PS4. Clearly, the discounts have been working as far as getting more people to try out the game.
  • EA Sports are also partnering with SportsCrate. We discuss the promising nature of the commercial partnerships in NBA Live 18, and what it means for the recovering strength of the brand.
  • And then there were 250! The top players from the NBA 2K League Combine have advanced to the next round, but will it have any affect on us casual 2K Pro-Am gamers?
  • We wrap up Episode #239 of the NLSC Podcast with Our Week in Basketball Gaming, which included another session of 2K Pro-Am where nothing was going right, and hitting The Streets with a brand new player in NBA Live 18.

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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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, basketball gamers! I’m glad to have you back at the NLSC as we tip off 2018, and gear up for another year of hitting the virtual hardwood. In that spirit, a new Monday Tip-Off article will be out shortly, but before that, I wanted to lay out some of our plans for a new year of basketball gaming.

I’m actually currently out of town, but as soon as I’m back, I’ll start catching up on any files that have been added to our Downloads section. It’s my hope that our modding community will continue to make good use of our hosting facilities, so that we may avoid losing mods that have been uploaded to hosts that routinely delete files after a period of inactivity. In any event, I’m sure that we’ll see many great releases this year.

On a personal note, I’d like to be a bit more active in the modding community this year, if possible. I had grand plans to do that last year, but unfortunately, things kept getting in the way. I do have a list of ideas for mods that I’d love to make if I can find the time, and with a couple of them already out there as beta/demo releases, I’m eager to give that a try. I can’t make any promises, but it’s certainly my intention to try to release some work here and there.

If nothing else, I’ll continue creating original content in the form of my weekly features. In addition to Monday Tip-Off, I’ll continue to post Wayback Wednesday and The Friday Five features every week. The NLSC Podcast will be back on the air – hopefully as soon as this Sunday – and we’ll do our best not to miss weeks as we unfortunately ended up doing last year. I’m eager to get some more video content out there on a regular basis, possibly in the form of a revamped Tuesday Triple. We may also be looking to finally add a few new content creators to the NLSC Team, so stay tuned for more details.

As always, I encourage everyone to make good use of our Forum, as I’d love to see lots of great discussion taking place throughout the new year. Our Wiki could always use a few extra helping hands as well, so if you have the knowledge, the time, and the enthusiasm, please feel free to pitch in and help keep our resources up to date.

Since it’s a new year, I will mention our Patreon and GoFundMe campaign once again. As I’ve said before, I don’t want to push them too aggressively or more than a few times a year, but if you are able to help out with our hosting fund in any way, we’re grateful for any and all contributions. A big thanks to everyone who has already dug deep and lent a hand in that regard. I hope we’ll continue to justify your generosity with our content and facilities.

With all that being said, let’s get Year 22 here at the NLSC underway! Thanks for being a part of our community!

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New Year’s Eve 2017

New Year's Eve Fireworks

And so, 2017 is all but in the books. I know I reflected on the year that was in my most recent Friday Five article, but I’ve generally made it a tradition to post a few final thoughts on New Year’s Eve. With that in mind, here goes!

It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to run the NLSC for another year, its 21st in operation. It’s been great to see all the talented modders sharing their work with the community, and I’ve enjoyed releasing my own work here and there when I’ve found the time. As I mentioned in my Year in Review in the Friday Five, I’ve enjoyed creating original content throughout 2017, and in particular, covering some topics that have been on my To Do list for some time.

Something that I forgot to mention in last year’s New Year’s Eve message is that we’ve managed to post a daily update of some kind every day without fail since December 31st, 2006. Our archives currently don’t go back that far as we changed to a new content management system in 2011, but I promise you, the streak is indeed intact. One of my goals with the NLSC is to bring basketball gamers something new every day, be it a round-up of the latest additions to our Downloads section, news from the preview season, one of our regular features, or other information of interest to basketball gamers. I’m proud of the fact we’ve been able to do that for over ten years running.

This was our first full year with our current host, and I would have to say that for the most part, it’s been smooth sailing. Thanks to a combination of donations, our Patreon supporters, and advertising revenue, we’ve been able to cover the monthly hosting costs, and expect to be around for a while yet. As such, I’m hoping to do more fun things as we enter our 22nd year covering basketball video games.

Thank you for your support throughout 2017, I hope to see you all back with us in 2018. Until then, as is the tradition around these parts, I’ll leave you with Lutz’s words of wisdom for the occasion: Remember the safest order of things on New Year’s Eve: 1. Fireworks, 2. Drink, and not vice versa!

See you in 2018!

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The Friday Five: 2017 Year in Review

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 recap of the year 2017 here at the NLSC, and a look ahead to 2018.

It’s the final Friday of 2017, which means we’ve also reached the final Friday Five of the year. As we’ve mused several times on the NLSC Podcast, the year seems to have just flown by, and it seems like only yesterday that I was writing the Year in Review for 2016, as well as our traditional New Year’s greetings. Either we’re all getting older, or we’ve just had a lot of fun over the past twelve months. Nevertheless, I’m going to assume that my calendar is correct, which means it’s time to look back at the year that was here at the NLSC.

2017 was another eventful year across the board, especially as we had three new games to play. Those releases had their highs and lows, with a little bit of controversy and a couple of surprising additions along the way. In our community, we saw a lot of great mods released for games new and old, and some interesting discussions take place in the NLSC Forum. We maintained our regular schedule of original content throughout the year – for the most part – and managed to cover some topics that have been on the To Do list for some time. We’re looking forward to our 22nd year in operation in 2018, but before that, let’s take a look back at what happened in 2017.

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Wayback Wednesday: Midweek Patch Report & Webmaster News

Patrick Ewing in the Complete Update for NBA Live 96

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 my old columns, the Midweek Patch Report and Webmaster News.

If you’ve been around the community for a long time or perhaps read some of my previous articles, you may know that I used to run a site called the NBA Live Domain before I took over the NLSC in August of 2001. It started out as a place for me to host my own patches for NBA Live, but after a while, I felt like branching out with feature articles and the like. I experimented with the odd opinion piece and even created a subsite dedicated to covering the real NBA, but the columns that stuck were the Midweek Patch Report, and Webmaster News.

Both were regular weekly columns that became fixtures of the NBA Live Domain until I closed the site in December 2001, in order to properly focus on updating and developing content for the NLSC. They were instrumental in my development as a content creator though, so join me today as I take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: NLSC GrindTime vs. Elite Team in 2K Pro-Am

NLSC GrindTime in 2K Pro-Am (NBA 2K18)

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with a video of NLSC GrindTime taking on an Elite tier team in NBA 2K18’s 2K Pro-Am.

As Arcane and I discussed in Episode #228 of the NLSC Podcast, our 2K Pro-Am squad for NBA 2K18, NLSC GrindTime, has been having some competitive games as of late. Although we had a rough start to this year’s campaign, our record has been improving, and we’ve had some enjoyable sessions in recent weeks.

We’re at the point where we’re starting to get matched up with some Elite teams, which naturally puts our stick skills to the test. One of our recent matchups with an Elite tier squad turned out to be quite a game right from the opening tip. I present to you that game in its entirety, accompanied by some classic NBA Live menu music.

You can also catch it here on our YouTube channel, if you can’t see the embedded video. With any luck, we’ll be able to reach the Elite rank at some point this year, and implement our full NLSC branding as we did with THRILLHO in NBA 2K17. No doubt we’ll be sharing more highlight reels from time to time, in addition to our other video content, so be sure to subscribe. Our 2K Pro-Am sessions are a staple of the “Our Week in Basketball Gaming” segment of the NLSC Podcast, so tune in every week for recaps and commentary on our latest sessions on the virtual hardwood.

Who else has been spending some time playing 2K Pro-Am or The Playground in NBA 2K18? What have your online experiences been like? Sound off in the comments section below, and as always, feel free to take the discussion to the NLSC Forum!

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NBA 2K18 Modding Forums & Downloads Sections Added

NBA 2K18 Cover

With the imminent release of NBA 2K18, it’s come time to add a few more sections to our Forum and Downloads database.

As we gear up for another season of creating great updates for the latest NBA 2K game, I’ve added a Modding section to the NBA 2K18 forums. That’s the place to post all releases, previews, requests, and any other topics related to modding the game. I’ve also prepared our Tutorials & FAQs section, where we’ll be compiling modding guides and other resources for NBA 2K18. Please note that the NBA 2K17 forums have now been moved to the Older Games section.

I’ve also added a new section to our Downloads database, so that we have a place to upload and list mods for NBA 2K18. This year we’re bringing back the Rosters section, so that modders can link to a release thread containing information about how to get their rosters via the in-game sharing function, as well as links to any required art packs. Hopefully, it won’t be long before we start seeing the first releases for this year’s game!

Since we are on the cusp of a new modding season, I would like to encourage modders to make use of our free upload facilities. I realise there are reasons why you may prefer to host files elsewhere and simply add them to our Downloads section via the external link option, but in the past couple of years, we’ve had to remove a lot of files due to broken links after only a few months. Please consider hosting or mirroring your files on the NLSC, or at least ensuring that your host of choice does not routinely remove uploads.

In addition to all the mods that our community creates, we’ll also be covering NBA 2K18 through our original content, including Monday Tip-Off, The Friday Five, YouTube videos, and of course, the NLSC Podcast. We’ll naturally be doing the same for NBA Live 18, so keep it locked to the NLSC for all your basketball gaming needs!

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