By Justin

When I was a kid there were many things that were important to me. Dinosaurs, McDonalds, sick days, murder, and homerun derbies would make up a majority of my days. There was one thing that would triumph over them all and I would do anything I could to get more of it. That one thing was video gaming. My first memory was when my father bought my older brother a Nintendo for his birthday. He jumped out of the hall with it and my god, I think I shit my pants. Considering I was 2 years old at the time and I didn't stop shitting myself till the age of 16, that wasn't anything special. But, from that day on video games became the most important thing in my life. Some of my original games were the legendary Mario/Duck Hunt, Super Mario Bros. 2, Contra, R.E.S.C.U.E, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Excitebike.

Those held me over while I was young. That all chaned when I moved to a rich town. Everyone there lit cigars with $100 bills and lived large with houses made of Super Nintendos and Sega Genesi (plural?) I was soon introduced to a system that I only saw once before at a party, but didn't actually get the chance to play...the Sega Genesis. Two of my neighbors had this miracle box and I was soon all over it like mullet on a lesbian. I was completely addicted to playing Sonic and never really had the chance to play for more then 10 minutes, because we would always have to switch turns. As I became friends with more kids who had Sega Genesis, I began to forget and stop talking to those friends who didn't have a Sega Genesis. It had consumed my very being.

Back to my main point. I was soon introduced by my neighbor who had every game ever made to NBA Jam. I started playing it around 1994, when the NBA was at it's pinnacle. We all realized that Rony Seikley, Dee Brown and Laphonso Ellis sucked ass and all the players from the legendary drafts of the mid-1980's were veterans and in their prime. Being from the New York area, I of course picked the combo of Patrick Ewing/John Starks everytime. My friends would be either the Charlotte Hornets, who had 'Zo and Grandmama or the bulls with Scottie Pippin and "Sexual Horacement" Grant. Teams like the Miami Heat, LA Clippers and Boston Celtics would never get picked, because with perenial superstars like Matt Geiger, we agreed the teams would be too unfair.

We would play for hours in 'two losses and your out tournaments'. I was quite the NBA Jam connesiour and would regularly do school projects on how much I hated Chris Mullin and why if Scottie Pippin would shake his fist at the middle east after dunking then we could end world hunger. But, I didn't have any money and my parents got me gifts of personal organizers and sweater-vests, so I was never able to own my own Sega Genesis to get bored of the game. Eventually I knew I had an addiction when I became friends with the quiet and scary kid who tried to kiss the other boys just so I could play his copy of NBA Jam. Luckily I always won and he never got his prize of a 'sleep-over.'

Eventually I found out about the arcade edition of NBA Jam. This wasn't any ordinary edition, in this version you were able to use another player on the team and have your stats go down if you were injured enough. I never became emotionally attached to the aracde version, because I liked playing with my uncomfortable 3-button Genesis pad. Throw in the fact that I almost died at the local arcade (long story) and you had to fork over as much as 50 cents per play.

About a year later something huge happened. This was equivalent to a Christmas and a birthday miixed together. NBA Jam: Tournament Edition hit. With updated rosters, a great All-Rookie Team (which featured Grant Hill and Jason Kidd), power-ups, 9-pointers and the addition of the arcade features of roster switching and injuries, I was in heaven. The startup screen didn't take 4 minutes, unlike the first one and the logo was in fucking 3D! If you only had regular NBA Jam, then you meant nothing to me anymore. Friends who I used to hang out with everyday, I never saw again because I now had friends who had tournament edition. My neighbor and I would play for hours and hours on end. We'd have other kids over for tournaments and I still remember when I beat five other kids in a row and then for $1 I beat my neighbor's father. It was the best moment of my life and it's been all down hill form there.

Like all great things, the legend had to end. Granted we definitely got our moneys worth and probably went through 3-4 controllers, since the B button always started to stick (nobody cared about the C button anyway). The Playstation with it's true 3d graphics and the N64 with its Mario 64, eventually drew a generation away from it's beloved 2-d graphics. I never went through depression because my neighbor had Mario-Kart 64, Gex and Wipeout. The nail in the coffin was probably Goldeneye.

I've been looking around online and haven't been able to find a real tribute to this game. Maybe it just wasn't that popular around the country or maybe because it was forgotten before the internet really took off. There is always the possibility Horace Grant, that fucking jerkoff, got contacts and is trying to remove all evidence of those gay goggles he used to wear. Well Horace, we win, so here's a gift for everyone to enjoy.

Horace Grant