Big ups to J.E. Skeets and The Big Lead for showing some love to my earlier Western Conference Edition. A lot of you seemed to enjoy the first installation, so hopefully you’re still here for round 2.
The SNES/Genesis version that I follow for this used the 1993-1994 rosters, so any suggestions for optimal lineups I mention are based on the previous year’s merits.
He’s heating up…
Atlanta Hawks – Dominique Wilkins, Stacey Augmon
Nique was an absolute beast. He looked more natural than anyone spinning through the air, a flaming trail emanating from the ball as he jammed it home. Mookie Blaylock appeared in Augmon’s place on Sega CD and Gameboy. He deserved the start based on his superior name alone. A friend of mine named her dog Mookie in the man’s honor. True story.
Boston Celtics – Dee Brown, Robert Parish
Although this wasn’t nearly as bad as the post-Showtime Lakers Jam roster, why the hell was a then 40 year old Parish appearing in a high paced basketball videogame? If Rick Fox was already nailing Vanessa Williams, I give him the automatic nod. By the way, these pairings were all over the place as well, with Nique appearing in several versions as well, while still doin it for the Hawks in our SNES/Genesis version used as a model. Shenanigans!
Charlotte Hornets – Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning
Beastly. Oh what could have been if these two had stayed together longer and not gone downhill. The Hornets would inevitably still be in Charlotte and no one would have to endure the atrocity that is Bobcats basketball.
Chicago Bulls – Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant
Jordan didn’t bless this game with his license, but Pippen was graced with Jordan-esque attributes to make up for it. Horace Grant pixelatedly signaled halftime with his emphatic jam and subsequent celebratory fist pump whilst charging the camera.
Cleveland Cavaliers – Mark Price, Brad Daugherty
For whatever reason, I was under the impression that Mark Price never missed a single three. Daugherty’s moustache creeped the hell out of me. I miss the old Cavs uniform color scheme.
Detroit Pistons – Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer
Laimbeer was ancient at this point, but there was no way they could exclude him, what with all the turbo-infused elbows being thrown around. Had we known that Isiah would’ve ended up as big of an embarrasment as he has, obviously Joe Dumars would’ve gotten the nod.
Indiana Pacers – Reggie Miller, Derrick McKey
Obviously, Reggie stroked it. McKey wasn’t on the team in 1992-1993, so why not just use Rik Smits? If only for the sake of watching a 7’4″ Dutchman go flying across the court when hit by an errant elbow from a diminutive guard.
Milwaukee Bucks – Brad Lohaus, Blue Edwards
Reader Justin nailed it on the head. By far the worst team in the game. Resident alcoholic Vin Baker was adopted for various versions, but most people were stuck with this tandem. Ugh at least throw in Moses Malone from the 1992-1993 roster for the sake of sentimentality.
Miami Heat – Rony Seikaly, Harold Miner
As bad as the Heat were and as much as Glen Rice needed to be in the console version, Harold “Baby Jordan” Miner was present, and once inspired me to write this NBA Jam haiku
Harold Miner rocks
Turbo use makes sneakers glow
New Jersey Nets – Derrick Coleman, Kenny Anderson
Justin was also correct in pointing out this highly underrated duo. There was always something about seeing their faces side by side that made me clutch the controller a bit tighter cuz I knew the game wasn’t gonna be a gimme.
RIP Drazen Petrovic.
New York Knicks – Patrick Ewing, John Starks
Had Charles Oakley transferred over from the arcade version, no one would’ve left a match against them with all of their bones intact. From a strategic standpoint, Starks completed this one. They were one of the best.
Orlando Magic – Nick Anderson, Scott Skiles
Shaq was excluded for the same reason MJ was. But that didn’t matter as it seemed as if they beefed up Nick Anderson to compensate. This was my team whenever I played. In my mind, Skiles, just like Mark Price, could never miss from distance.
Philadelphia 76ers – Clarence Weatherspoon, Jeff Hornacek
As a youth, the name Clarence Weatherspoon often made me giggle. Until now, I had forgotten that Hornacek ever even played on any team that wasn’t the Jazz. Hersey Hawkins is also a funny name.
Washington Bullets – Tom Gugliotta, Harvey Grant
I forgot that Harvey Grant even existed, period. I wonder if Horace only let Midway use his halftime fist pump clip on the grounds that his identical twin was a starter in this game. For whatever reason, the game announcer loved screaming “ugly shot!” at these guys more often than the rest. Calbert Cheaney was marginally more formidable.
Sadness. Our journey is complete. Perhaps sometime down the line NBA Jam: TE will require a proper roasting as well. Till then…