For a fun time, watch this trailer for the upcoming NBA Playgrounds—out in May—and see how close they come to saying “NBA Jam” without actually saying “NBA Jam”. 2v2 arcade basketball, cartoon players, exaggerated moves, it’s all certainly very familiar to NBA Jam fans, as well as anyone who played NBA Street.
The legend of the NBA Jam with Michael Jordan in it will not, and probably never will, die. The game’s creator has again reignited hopes that that a copy of this EPROM, custom-built for His Airness and two other hall-of-famers and shared only with them 24 years ago, may become public. Doing a Reddit AMA yesterday, Mark Turmell suggested he “will try to dig up” anything he still has, and maybe even show it to the general public. The story goes like this: The original NBA Jam, launched in arcades in 1993, was developed by Turmell, working for Midway in Chicago, where Jordan was of course playing for the NBA’s Bulls.
During the tour, Fox chatted with Henrik Hansen, a 23-year-old from Denmark who serves as the team’s captain. Hansen competes under the nom de guerre Froggen, a name he says he picked randomly as a 16-year old. Fox has likened Froggen’s leadership style to NBA legends Kobe Bryant and Larry Bird. The two have an easy rapport based on Hansen needling Fox constantly and Fox indulging him. As they checked out the lap pool, Fox gingerly launched into one of the finer points of self-care. “We still haven’t convinced you to eat vegetables,” he says in a mock-scold. “I eat them sometimes, but I don’t see the point,” says Hansen. “I get my multivitamins.” Fox turned to one of the trainers. “Your whole success will be predicated on whether you can get Froggen to eat vegetables.”
Peskin says that though Echo Fox has a lot of money, that may not matter if Riot decides it would prefer to work with the professional sports industry. “Echo Fox doesn’t own an arena. Echo Fox doesn’t have a sports franchise which already has corporate sponsorships,” says Peskin. Fox thinks the other owners should be patient with Riot. At the same time, he had to fix his LCS team itself. Immediately following the summer season, Echo Fox replaced the coach and brought in three new free agents. The newly-constituted team headed for an offseason training and bonding trip to South Korea, where the level of competition is higher and the speedy internet means less latency—the time it takes for each keystroke to impact the actual game. The new formula has had mixed success: The team is 5-7, putting them in the middle of the pack.
Draymond Green has been known for kicking players in the balls, let’s not kid ourselves here. It was just a matter of time before someone released a game... Fans can download Draymond Green’s Shut Up And Slam Jam Karate Basketball for free on PC, Mac and Linux.
Rick Fox: I think back to the first time I met “Froggen,” a Danish League of Legends player. What struck me were all the similarities he shared with the great players I had come across during my NBA career. This was someone who focused intensely on one thing for 16 hours a day because he was driven to be the best at it. The only difference between him and guys like Kobe Bryant and Larry Bird was name recognition. As competitors — and I’ve been around some remarkable ones — it was obvious to me how many traits they shared. While there are still many outdated stigmas associated with e-sports by people who have never taken the time to try to appreciate them, I’ve always known that just because an older generation couldn’t fully understand what someone like Froggen was pursuing didn’t make it any less meaningful.