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Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places

Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places

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 some examples of familiar faces returning to familiar places, and the games where we see those stints.

In an ongoing Wayback Wednesday series, I’ve been taking a look back at familiar faces in strange places; in other words, well-known players and their stints with teams that are less talked about and usually weird to see, and the video games where those stints were represented. This week, I’m inverting the idea and taking a look back at familiar faces back in familiar places; in other words, well-known players who made a return to a team they’re most closely associated with, after leaving to play elsewhere in the NBA.

On the surface, this may not seem as interesting as seeing familiar faces in strange places. However, these return stints are interesting in their own right, as they have their own stories. Some of them were brief and essentially retirement tours, while others lasted longer and saw more success. Oddly enough, it can also feel strange to see a player back in an old uniform after we get used to seeing them in a new one. As I like to say, basketball games act as interactive almanacs for these stints of note, so let’s use them to take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: 10 Longevity Records in Basketball Games

Wayback Wednesday: 10 Longevity Records in Basketball Games

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 ten longevity records players have set on the virtual hardwood.

With the Atlanta Hawks’ 2020 season officially over, Vince Carter has officially retired after 22 seasons in the league. The player once dubbed Half-Man, Half-Amazing, has certainly had a wholly amazing career. Beyond his breathtaking dunks, 360 layups, and other highlights, Carter set new marks for longevity, not only by playing the most seasons in NBA history, but also becoming the first player to appear in four different decades. Not bad for a player who briefly gained a reputation – albeit one that was somewhat overblown – for being fragile and constantly injured!

Needless to say, Vince Carter’s lengthy NBA career has set a few records in video games as well. However, he’s not the only player who holds some longevity-based distinctions on the virtual hardwood. I ran through these in Episode #329 of the NLSC Podcast, but I know that audio content isn’t for everyone, and it pays to have trivia like this written down as well. These records span many years of basketball gaming, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces in Strange Places (Part 2)

Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces in Strange Places (Part 2)

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 some more NBA players who became familiar faces in strange places, and those stints in video games.

As I said in my first Wayback Wednesday article covering this topic, there’s definitely something oddly fascinating in seeing familiar faces in strange places. We often claim that we wish that those stints didn’t happen or that we could forget all about them, yet they’re burned into our memories. It’s hard to forget something that looks strange and out of place, and that certainly describes the image of players wearing the uniform of a team other than the one we associate them with the most. The time capsule-like nature of video games helps us to remember – and also replay – these unusual stints.

I mentioned that there were more examples than the ten I covered in my first article, and to that end, I have another ten to share today. This time, not all of the players were perennial All-Stars, but they are familiar names who ended up in strange places. In fact, a couple of these stints were so brief that the only way to experience them again on the virtual hardwood is to load very specific roster saves – assuming that you still have them, of course – or by recreating them. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Latest NBA 2K17 Roster Features Steve Nash

Steve Nash dribbling the basketball in NBA 2K17

When NBA 2K17 was released, many gamers were disappointed to discover that Steve Nash was missing from the rosters of the 2003 Dallas Mavericks and 2005 Phoenix Suns. Since Nash’s inclusion in NBA 2K16 was still covered by the NBA Players Association license, it was speculated that his absence from NBA 2K17 was simply due to oversight, or an inability to work out a deal for his likeness rights before the rosters had to be finalised and approved by the NBA. It certainly wasn’t due to a lack of respect or knowledge on 2K’s part.

Fortunately, it seems that we won’t have to wait until next year to get the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player back in the game, as Steve Nash is included in the latest NBA 2K17 roster update. Nash appears on both the 2003 Mavericks and 2005 Suns, with appropriate ratings and bio data for each season. 2003 Nash is rated 86 Overall, while 2005 Nash is rated 93 Overall.

This isn’t the first time that 2K has managed to add a missing historical player through the official roster updates. Julius Erving was originally absent from NBA 2K14, but after coming to terms on a new deal, 2K were able to add him to the game. It remains to be seen whether any more missing historical players will be added in future updates, as there are still some noteworthy players absent from historical team rosters, including Rasheed Wallace.

As per Mike Wang over in the Operation Sports forums, the latest roster update also includes Adaptive Coaching Engine updates by Da_Czar and Scott O’Gallagher, and a decrease in injury frequency to lower body parts. Contract extensions have also been updated, along with some three-point tendencies and other player attributes.

See below for a couple of screenshots of Steve Nash on the 2003 Mavericks and 2005 Suns in NBA 2K17, and as always, feel free to have your say in the comments section!

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Five Players I Have Disliked Because of NBA Video Games

Remember how I stated that positive experiences in basketball video games can make you like particular NBA players? It can also work the other way.

It may seem completely irrational to dislike an NBA player because of their video game likeness, but it’s something I have found hard to control. A player like Kevin Durant could be the most humble guy in real life, but you could still dislike him because he dropped 50 points on you in NBA 2K15.

Sometimes a player can be annoying in one game, but be slightly neutralised in the next due to updated game mechanics or more modest ratings. In any case, the memory of one particular player terrorising your beloved franchise can be enough for you to dislike them over their entire career.

This is a list dedicated to players who I either dislike now or disliked at one stage of my life because of basketball video games.

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