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Wayback Wednesday: A Long-Lost NBA Live 07 Preview

Dirk Nowitzki shoots a three-pointer in NBA Live 07

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 an NBA Live 07 preview that we had to pull due to spoilers.

The NBA Finals often brings us our first glimpse of the upcoming sim titles, though for the moment, both EA Sports and Visual Concepts are remaining tight-lipped. I’ve previously reflected on how the preview seasons seemed longer and more exciting in years gone by, and that was certainly the case in the mid 2000s. Back then, a lot of sites (including the NLSC) were on a mailing list for preview assets from EA. As the 2006 NBA Finals began, we received a press release detailing a simulation of the series in NBA Live 07, some prior gen screenshots, and new gen gameplay.

Unfortunately, we then received a directive from EA Sports that the feature and all of the media needed to be immediately pulled, as they contained something that wasn’t meant to be seen yet. As such, it would be a few weeks before we received any media that we could publish, and that 2006 Finals simulation in NBA Live 07 was lost to time. It’s something I’ve kept in my archives though, and since the Finals are upon us, it seems like a good time to bring it out of the vault. So, what was the result of the simulation, and why was the feature pulled? Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: Cynicism & Developer Blogs

Developer blogs always deliver promising information (NBA 2K19, MyLEAGUE)

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 cynicism we often feel when we read developer blogs.

NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 are just a month away from release, which means we’re in the thick of the preview season. We’re not necessarily getting huge information dumps or new media every day of the week, but the stream of previews is growing steadier as their launch draws nearer. Of course, there are still quite a few things that we’d like to learn about the upcoming games, even though they’re already available to pre-order and will be released in just four weeks. As previously discussed, this has become the norm for basketball gaming’s preview season.

So far, we’ve had one deep-dive developer blog for NBA 2K19, detailing all of the improvements and additions to MyLEAGUE, MyGM, and MyLEAGUE Online in this year’s game. More developer blogs should be on their way, and Mike Wang has also been dropping some important information about gameplay enhancements via his Twitter account, but sometimes it’s difficult to take even the best news at face value. When we take a look back at the developer blogs throughout the years, it’s easy to notice a few patterns and recurring themes. Some people may call it “hating”, but if you’ve experienced a few preview seasons, it can be tough not to get a little cynical.

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New NBA 2K18 Developer Blog: Gameplay

NBA 2K18: Kyrie Irving Shoots

It’s always exciting to get a new trailer and see an upcoming game in action, but what we really want to know is, what kind of improvements have actually been made to the gameplay? Fortunately, we don’t have to wait very long for answers in regards to NBA 2K18, as Gameplay Director Mike Wang (aka Beluba) has posted a developer blog detailing the work that has gone into improving this year’s gameplay experience.

As you might expect, it’s a lengthy read, and therefore somewhat difficult to succinctly summarise. However, here are some of the key points:

  • The animation and motion engine has been reworked, in order to remove canned moments and a lack of responsiveness. Stick input and attributes govern how players move around the court, so no more getting stuck with an unfavourable animation.
  • Shot aiming has been removed this year, with the goal of balancing stick skills and basketball IQ, as well as making sure that a player’s ratings and shooting form are properly factored in. It also sounds as though green releases won’t be as easy or cheesy in NBA 2K18, as they won’t be based solely on release timing.
  • The Shot Meter has been positioned beside players for better visibility. Expanded shot feedback informs the user about the quality of their release timing, and how tightly they were covered (Smothered, Heavily Contested, Lightly Contested, Open, or Wide Open).
  • There are quicker “load ups” for jumpshot attempts, and some new, explosive hop jumpers. Layup packages have been reworked along the lines of different player styles, such as Euro Specialist, Floater Specialist, Crafty, and so on.
  • Weight and strength plays a bigger role in the post game. Multiple moves can also be chained together.
  • Tapping or double-tapping the Post Up button will perform triple threat, dribble, and post moves. This is intended as an alternative for users still coming to grips with the Pro Stick moves. There are also more dribbling moves in general.
  • Receiver Control will allow users to take control of the pass recipient, to better position them to receive the pass. It’s also possible to choose between a short pass and long skip pass, for more precision.
  • Collisions between offensive and defensive players have been improved. There’s more “hip riding” and less “stonewalling”, the logic for ball vulnerability has been enhanced, and foul calls have been revamped. Closeouts are also less cheesy, especially when using Intense D. Attention has also been paid to loose ball situations.

All in all, Beluba describes some very promising improvements to the gameplay in NBA 2K18. Be sure to check out the developer blog for the full details, and share your impressions in the comments section below, as well as here in the Forum.

Developer Diary: The Art Behind NBA 2K18

LeBron James in NBA 2K18

2K have posted a new developer diary for NBA 2K18, and this time, it’s a video. It talks about the development team’s goal of achieving photo-realism in the aesthetics of this year’s game. Some of the key points include:

  • There has been a great deal of focus on accurately representing active players, including more realistic physiques. Player faces have been completely rebuilt, while scars, stretch marks, and faded tattoos are also represented.
  • A lot of attention has been paid to how the new Nike uniforms fit, compared to the old uniforms. 2K’s artists went to the NBA offices in New York to scan the jerseys to ensure true-to-life colours and other details. Player accessories have also been scanned, and there are improved cloth physics.
  • Face scanning for MyPLAYERs has been improved. Facial editing has been revamped, and there are new hairstyles available. We’ll also have more control over the body models of our MyPLAYERs, based on height, weight, shoulder width, and so on.

The blog also serves as an official announcement for The Prelude to NBA 2K18, which as previously mentioned, will be released September 8th. It features gameplay from cinematic angles, so it also provides us with our first glimpse of several players in action. Watch it below, or check it out here on the official NBA 2K YouTube channel.

Your thoughts? Do you like what you see? Post your thoughts in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

NBA Live 18 Demo Release Date; The Streets Preview

NBA Live 18: Pro-Am

Confirming rumours from a few weeks ago, EA Sports has announced that the NBA Live 18 demo will be available on August 11th. Progress from the demo will once again carry over into the full version as it did with NBA Live 16, so presumably the companion app for face scanning will also be made available next week. That hasn’t been confirmed as yet though, nor are there any other further details on the demo right now.

We do have some new information about The Streets, however. As explained by the feature page over on the official website, The Streets incorporates the Pro-Am experience of The One, NBA Live 18’s brand new single player career mode. While the NBA portion of your career will take place in The League, you’ll also be able to head to The Streets to take part in LIVE Events challenges, play cooperative multiplayer games in LIVE Run, and build a legacy on the Pro-Am Tour.

Judging by the screenshots on the feature page, it appears as though reward crates have been implemented in NBA Live 18. These crates will be earned by completing the LIVE Events, which will consist of real-time challenges all year long. You can check out the screenshots below.

Seven legendary Pro-Am locations have also been confirmed: Rucker Park (New York), the Drew League (Compton), Venice Beach (Los Angeles), The Crawsover (Seattle), Dyckman Park (New York), Barry Farms (Washington), and Cherashore Playground (Philadelphia). EA Sports has released videos previewing all the courts, which you can check out below.

Hopefully, more details on The One, as well as Dynasty, Ultimate Team, and of course gameplay itself, are coming in the near future. With any luck, previews for NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 will be rolling out steadily over the next few weeks, and of course, we’ll be able to get our hands on the demo very soon. In the meantime, what do you make of The Streets? Will you be trying out the NBA Live 18 demo on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

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First NBA Live 18 Screenshots & Videos Revealed

NBA Live 18: LeBron James

It would seem that we’re not going to have to wait until EA Play 2017 to get our first proper look at NBA Live 18. While there’s obviously still a lot yet to learn about the game, we’ve got our first glimpse of what it will look like, by way of the first official screenshots and some gameplay videos posted by prominent YouTubers.

The first NBA Live 18 screenshots feature LeBron James, James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan, and Russell Westbrook, and they all seem to be pretty on-point. A lot of advertising for NBA Live at EA Play features Westbrook, so for what it’s worth, it seems there’s a good chance that he’ll be the cover player once again. If so, it would be the first time in the history of the NBA Live series that a cover player is repeated.

Gameplay clips are from cinematic angles, but they do obviously show the players in motion and the new animations that the team has been working on. There’s also some behind the scenes footage from the recent EA Sports event that produced the previously posted off-screen screenshot.

Check out all of the screenshots and videos below after the jump; more will be added as they’re released. I’ve also gone ahead and launched an NBA Live 18 section in the NLSC Forum, so head on over there to join in the discussion, in addition to sharing your thoughts in the comments below. A couple of people in our community will be heading to EA Play 2017 in June, so be sure to post any questions you’d like them to ask, or things you’d like them to look out for, over in this thread. More NBA Live 18 news should be coming soon and we’ll be doing our best to keep on top of it, so stay tuned!

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New Trailer & Information on NBA Playgrounds

Russell Westbrook in NBA Playgrounds

The CEO of Saber Interactive, Matthew Karch, has posted a new preview of NBA Playgrounds over on the PlayStation Blog. It includes a gameplay trailer, as well as a brief rundown of some of the key features of the game.

As mentioned in an earlier bulletin, NBA Playgrounds is an arcade basketball game in the style of NBA Jam and NBA Street. In addition to high flying dunks, the game will also feature other arcade elements. Extra points can be earned for perfect releases on shots, and other boosts can be earned through the Lottery Pick wheel. Interestingly, gamers can be placed at a disadvantage by knocking down opponents on defense as it depletes the lottery bar, making it more difficult to earn the aforementioned boosts.

Players can be upgraded with new moves by earning XP, and several have signature moves. Online and offline tournament play will be featured, based in locations around the globe. The blog also confirms that the roster consists of over 200 current and former NBA players. You can see a few of them in action in the gameplay trailer; check it out below, or here on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded video.

NBA Playgrounds is scheduled for release in May, and will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. We’ll continue to cover the game, especially if the PC version is moddable, so stay tuned. In the meantime. feel free to post any thoughts in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion here in the Forum.

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 2005 GamePro Preview

Carmelo Anthony dunks the basketball in NBA Live 2005

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.

The next retrospective that I’ll be posting as part of our ongoing 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content will take a look back at NBA Live 2005. The second release during a strong three year run for the series, NBA Live 2005 is still considered to be one of EA Sports’ best basketball titles. That’s something I’ll obviously be examining in greater detail in my retrospective, but for now, I wanted to share something that I came across in my archives: a scan of a GamePro magazine article from way back in April of 2004, which offered up a quick preview of NBA Live 2005.

It’s always interesting to reflect on previews of basketball video games and our reactions to them, and then compare to them how the games actually turned out and how we felt once we got to play them ourselves. There’s obviously been plenty of time for the dust to settle on NBA Live 2005, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA 2K17 Momentous Trailer Released

NBA 2K17: Kyrie irving

With the game’s release looming, 2K Sports has released the Momentous Trailer for NBA 2K17. As we’ve come to expect, the trailer is another slick production, showing off this year’s game from a variety of cinematic camera angles.

The trailer begins with the ring ceremony for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and spotlights several players including cover player Paul George, and Team 2K members Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Andre Drummond, and Karl-Anthony Towns. It also includes a couple of very nice dunks from Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon, and a smooth crossover by Damian Lillard.

Check out the trailer below, or catch it here on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded video.

From the looks of things, NBA 2K17 is already available to pre-load on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, for gamers who pre-ordered digital copies. The PC version should also be available to pre-load on Steam very soon, so if you’ve pre-ordered, keep an eye on your emails for your key. Incidentally, the system requirements for NBA 2K17 PC have recently been revealed. For more information, check out this thread.

What’s your reaction to the NBA 2K17 Momentous Trailer? Are you hyped to play the game? Sound off in the comments below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

NBA 2K17 MyTEAM Pack Opening Trailer; Developer Blog

NBA 2K17: MyTEAM Domination

With the release of NBA 2K17 only a few days away, 2K Sports has released another trailer for the game, this time spotlighting MyTEAM. The trailer features members of the NBA 2K community opening MyTEAM packs, with the promise that they could keep any of the cards they pull once the full game drops.

As you would expect, the trailer provides us with a glimpse of the redesigned cards in NBA 2K17, as well as the new pack opening animations. Several of the gamers pull high cards including LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Carmelo Anthony, Anthony Davis, and Blake Griffin.

Watch the trailer below, or catch it here on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded video.

Further information on MyTEAM in NBA 2K17 has been revealed in the latest developer blog by Associate Producer Peter Cornforth. Highlights of the blog are as follows:

  • “Moments” cards will come through much quicker, and we’ll be able to re-live moments in MyTEAM.
  • Legends cards are now based on specific moments or eras, rather than a particular season.
  • There are new gem levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Emerald, Sapphire, Ruby, Amethyst, Diamond, and Pink Diamond), and overall ratings have been tweaked.
  • Dynamic Duos provide a performance boost, and are not just based on current teammates.
  • Free Agent trial cards provide an opportunity to play with the best players for a few games. We’ll get to pick one upon starting MyTEAM, out of a choice of five players: Russell Westbrook, Kristaps Porzingis, Steph Curry, Kawhi Leonard, and LeBron James.
  • Quick Challenges have been added, for anyone who doesn’t have time for a full game.
  • Completing collections results in player cards, not team balls or anything else superficial.
  • Gauntlet is now MyTEAM Blacktop. No more Bronze or Silver players on the wheel this year, and the pick board has been re-worked.
  • Road to the Playoffs has been re-named MyTEAM Online. It includes nine leagues corresponding to the gem levels.
  • Stat tracking has been added.
  • New rewards with The Diamond Board.
  • MT rewards for defensive plays, as well as offensive plays.
  • There’s a new lineup management screen, making it easier to adjust your lineup.
  • Certain players will have Hall of Fame badges.

Got any thoughts, MyTEAM gamers? Have your say in the comments below, and join in the discussion here in the NBA 2K17 section of the NLSC Forum.

NBA 2K17 MyLEAGUE, MyLEAGUE Online & MyGM Blog

NBA 2K17: Season Starting Option in MyGM & MyLEAGUE

Erick Boenisch has posted a deep-dive developer blog on MyLEAGUE, MyLEAGUE Online, and MyGM in NBA 2K17. Needless to say, it’s a must-read for franchise gamers! If you missed his earlier blog on league expansion, you should also check that out here.

In the newest blog, Erick talks about building on the foundation they established with MyLEAGUE Online in NBA 2K16. This year’s mode takes more of fantasy league approach, rather than utilising contracts and salaries. Players instead have a number of “Keeper years”, and GMs are able to keep a set number of players, as long as the players have one Keeper year left. The Draft allows GMs to either choose incoming rookies, or free agent players. Admins also have more control over the league, from unretiring players and customising Keeper settings to importing Draft Classes.

Erick also runs down the different mode options, including returning features such as Playoffs, Season, and Start Today, and the new option of redoing the 2016 offseason. Any uniform updates that are pushed through will also be available in existing MyLEAGUE and MyGM saves, so there’ll be no need to start over to make use of those assets.

In regards to the rule changes between seasons, few are likely to get approved, and it is possible to override and disable them. Examples of rule changes include the number of players selected for the All-Star Game, shot clock length, number of seconds the offense has to advance past halfcourt, and foul limits. Draft pick protections and the ability to swap picks in Draft Day trades are also confirmed, along with jersey retirements.

Trades can now happen throughout the offseason, though the rule that newly signed players can’t be traded before December 15th is in effect. Improvements have also been made to the offseason trade logic, with more factors going into whether or not a trade is accepted. It’s now also easier to swap or assume control of multiple teams, even after starting a MyLEAGUE game. However, MyGM is still restricted to one team. Roster editing is easier, with the ability to edit all player ratings from a single screen, rather than having to edit players individually. Staff editing is also available outside of MyLEAGUE and MyGM.

Team Rivals have been implemented, tracking overall win-loss records and affecting atmosphere during gameplay. Record tracking has been expanded, and Draft Classes can be imported while a season is on-going. Scouting logic and trade rumours have been improved, and several new rules and free agency clauses have been added, such as the veteran’s minimum, “Derrick Rose Rule”, re-trading rule, and so on. A lot of additions have been made and tweaking done in the name of, as Erick puts it, “Innovation. Authenticity. Engagement.”, which is great news.

Be sure to check out the blog for the full scoop. Got any thoughts, franchise gamers? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NBA 2K17 section of the Forum.

New Details on MyLEAGUE & MyGM in NBA 2K17

NBA 2K17: Expansion Teams in MyGM & MyLEAGUE

Brian Mazique has been posting his hands-on impressions of NBA 2K17 over on, providing a detailed insight into this year’s game. He’s also posted a few new tidbits about MyLEAGUE and MyGM, providing some clarification on rule changes and the names of the pre-made expansion teams.

The rules committee will apparently meet after every season to determine whether there will be any changes, just as in real life. Changes must also be approved by the requisite percentage of team owners. Unfortunately we can’t disable rule changes, but in MyLEAGUE, we will be able to override them. Changes to the shot clock are one example of the new rules that we can experience in NBA 2K17.

As previously mentioned when league expansion was first announced for MyLEAGUE and MyGM, the game will ship with ten pre-made expansion teams. These teams will include primary and secondary logos, as well as audio assets. The ten pre-made teams in NBA 2K17 are the Nashville Stars, Pittsburgh Force, Kansas City Knights, Virginia Storm, Vancouver Ravens, San Diego Surf, Cincinnati Lions, Baltimore Barons, Louisville Liberty, and St. Louis Sound.

What’s your take on the latest information, franchise gamers? Have your say in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion in this thread in the Forum. We’re now less than two weeks away from the Early Tip-Off Weekend for NBA 2K17, and The Prelude is scheduled to drop this week on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, so stay tuned for more tidbits and impressions!

NBA 2K17 MyCAREER Blog; Shoes Matter Trailer

NBA 2K17: Press Conference in MyCAREER

We’re not quite done with the NBA 2K17 developer blogs this week, as Ben Bishop has posted an in-depth look at MyCAREER in this year’s game. He outlines the player archetypes that we’ll be able to select for our MyPLAYERs, revealing that the archetypes and physical attributes will matter in terms of starting ratings and rating caps. From the sounds of things, it will no longer be possible to make a 7’3″ centre with the skills of a point guard, which is also great news for 2K Pro-Am.

This year’s story is focused on a dynamic duo: our MyPLAYER, and a player called Justice Young. The duo’s nickname is “Orange Juice”, and the story itself will be less linear, with choices that result in story branching. We’ll also be able to direct Justice Young to make cuts to the basket or take a shot, or even assume complete control over him. Young is portrayed by actor Michael B. Jordan, while Aaron Covington (Creed) is the story’s writer/director.

Off-day events return from NBA 2K16, and there will be more communication with other players and sponsors through text messages. Players can also stop by your MyCOURT, and MyCOURT is more connected to the story and overall MyCAREER experience. Endorsements will also be available earlier on in your career, and there are exclusive deals. Training has been revamped with new drills, and a “Doin’ Work” meter that earns progress towards levelling up.

Be sure to check out the developer blog for the full scoop on MyCAREER in NBA 2K17. Additionally, a new trailer has been released today, spotlighting the shoes in NBA 2K17. Check it out below, or catch it here on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded video.

As always, feel free to share your impressions in the comments below, as well as in the NBA 2K17 section of the NLSC Forum.

NBA 2K17 Gameplay Blog from Mike Wang

NBA 2K17: Terrence Ross

It’s the deep-dive developer blog that a lot of basketball gamers have been waiting for! Gameplay Director Mike Wang (aka Beluba) has posted a blog detailing the various improvements to gameplay in NBA 2K17, which you can check out here.

The blog touches on a lot of points that have been mentioned in recent previews, but in much greater detail. Beluba reiterates the aim of giving us more control over the action with the changes to shooting on the Pro Stick, but also mentions that we won’t be penalised for using the Shoot button. He also explains what the timing on layup attempts will mean for contact shots in heavy traffic, and the way that they have preserved realism with the new controls.

Beluba also explains NBA 2K17’s new Shot Meter, and confirms that green releases will not miss, as well as the ability to perform evasive layups with left and right movements of the Pro Stick. The Pro Stick can also be used to perform a dig steal on defense, and the stealing system takes into account more factors than it did before. He also discusses how blocks have been revamped and enhanced in NBA 2K17.

Signature Size-Ups have been broken down into small combos that can be chained together, for a better a one-to-one feel. A lot of work has also gone into making the animations smoother, from motion capture to blending techniques. Lots of new animations have been added, from off-ball collisions to putback dunks, and there is increased physicality between players. Beluba also drops a lot of information about the Adaptive Coaching Engine, enhancements to AI, and some other tidbits.

Be sure to check out the blog for all the details, and if you’ve got any thoughts, feel free to post them in the comments section below! You can also join in the discussion that’s taking place here in the NBA 2K17 section of the NLSC Forum.

Tons of NBA 2K17 News (via Operation Sports)

Andre Drummond shoots the basketball in NBA 2K17

Mike Lowe of Operation Sports had an opportunity to visit Visual Concepts’ studios this week, where he received an advanced sneak peak at NBA 2K17. He’s been able to share a lot of juicy information about this year’s game, in a post that you can read here over on OS.

There’s far too much information for me to summarise in just a few points, and I don’t want to just flat out copy and paste an entire article, so be sure to check out OS for the full scoop. However, a quick overview of some of the highlights is as follows:

  • There’s been a huge emphasis on enhancing video and audio accuracy in NBA 2K17, from shoes to the commentary team.
  • Blacktop features more customisation options, and improved matchmaking. Matchmaking has also been improved in Play Now Online.
  • Moments cards and Challenges in MyTEAM will be coming through a lot quicker, there will be a prize board, and users can pick a Free Agent card upon starting MyTEAM.
  • MyLEAGUE and MyGM have received under-the-hood enhancements to AI and logic, as well as the addition of protected picks, the ability to start in the 2016 offseason, changes to league rules and the CBA, and much more.
  • MyLEAGUE Online will feature more admin options this year.
  • Custom jumpshots are back, there’s a new off-ball collision system, the post-game has been revamped, and there’s been an emphasis on smooth animations.
  • Team owners in 2K Pro-Am will feature a roster of ten, and the owner doesn’t need to be present to play. However, teams do need to level up to use advanced customisation features.

Once again, be sure to check out Mike’s article over on Operation Sports for all the details. What’s your take on the latest information? Sound off in the comments below, and join in the discussion taking place here in the NBA 2K17 section of the NLSC Forum!