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On this very day in 1993, the good folks at Midway Games have decided to release what is considered to be the most iconic sports gaming title of all time. The video game known as NBA Jam pioneered the excitement of bring the creative, wackiness and enjoyment of playing with your favorite players in a unorthodox 2-on-2 style of full court basketball. There has been some classic duos who have made an appearance such as the Seattle Supersonics Gary Payton & Shawn Kemp, the New York Knicks Patrick Ewing & John Starks or the Utah Jazz tandem of John Stockton & Karl Malone. With hoop gaming titles that came after them such as NBA 2k, NBA Live or the NBA Street series, all of them couldn't and wouldn't exist thanks to the game that introduced you to many great gems such as “BOOM SHAKALAKA” and the infamous “HE'S ON FIREEE”.
NBA Jam trescends the video game magic in more ways than one. It became the first to featured NBA licensed team and players. It introduced the capabilities of playable characters performing super dunks along with the aggressive shoving and dirty play on the defensive side of the interactive arcade hoops phenomenal. You wanted to track your overall W-L, point differentials, and field goal percentage , NBA Jam was able to provide for you. In addition, they become one of the leaders in creating the “unlockable " character aspect to the game as fans were able to put in special codes to introduce players who weren't available for their choosing during the original selection of teams and players to use. It was there when you was able to play with NBA mascots or with the former president Bill Clinton.
Fast forward today, some of the best video games out now have stole the early concept of bringing video game excitement to the gamer from NBA Jam. Whether the animated commentary form that NBA 2K enhances thanks to the colorful staff from NBA on TNT. Or, the shoving and the new and improved “hack-a-shaq” reach in and foul strategy that wasn't counted as fouls that NBA Street incorporated. Some of your favorites use the formula NBA Jam create to make their game a huge hit.
Now imagine if NBA Jam still exists during today's new age of NBA hoops. The Splash Bros of Steph Curry & Klay Thompson would've introduced the animation of water dripping off the net. The dribbling amazement of CP3 & James Harden would've made the basketball turn into Yo-Yo's as perfect representation of their elite scoring and handling abilities. Or how about the league's new generation of the twin towers of Anthony Davis & DeMarcus Cousins of the New Orleans Pelicans as they are able to display a unstoppable “high-low” offense. These things is what made hoops magical. If it wasn't for NBA Jam, the average sports fan wouldn't have something to imagine. The “what if” spectrum would've been dull. Thanks to NBA Jam, hoops video gaming wasn't and still will never be the same.