It was just about a year ago that Ball Don't Lie launched a fantasy 2-on-2 tournament, NBA Jam style, with the best and brightest of the league's players. Brilliant idea, really — everyone loved NBA Jam back in the day (I was partial to playing with Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton), and who wouldn't want to ponder the magic of lining up, say, LeBron and Z vs. Kobe and Pau Gasol or Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge. (Incidentally, Roy and Aldridge ended up taking home the fantasy tournament crown, with voters opting for the Portland duo over the Cavs tandem in the final.)
Well, we don't have to live in fantasy NBA Jam world anymore, at least according to a report on ESPN.com which says that EA is planning on relaunching the classic basketball title for Wii.
When EA Sports community manager Alain Quinto tweeted back in December that EA execs were preparing to announce a new game, the rumors and speculation spiraled out of control. Was EA going to steal the WWE license from THQ? Is "MVP Baseball" coming back? Is a new sport like lacrosse finally going to break through with an NCAA licensed game? To make it simple, no, no, and no.
Instead, sources confirmed to ESPN that the new title is actually one of the all-time classics coming back to consoles as EA Sports has acquired the rights from the NBA to deliver an updated version of "NBA Jam" that will ship to retail exclusively for the Wii.
There's also hope they're bringing back the announcer behind catch phrases like "Boomshackalacka!" and "He's on fire!" Money.
Thinking of possible lineups, I'm giddy to think of possible match-ups to take on LeBron and Shaq (with Mo coming off the bench, of course). There's Kobe and Gasol, Paul Pierce and Garnett, Dwight Howard and either Vince Carter or Jameer Nelson, Roy and Aldridge, and the list goes on and on and on.
If you forget just how long Shaq has been in the league, remember that O'Neal was in the original version of the game. And he was such a fan of the OG NBA Jam that he made sure he was never without one... literally.
"Shaq actually bought two machines," said Turmell. "He kept one at home and then, if you can believe this, they shipped the game with them on their road trips, setting up the machine in their hotel rooms as they traveled. The players would play, then get someone to pack it up and ship it off to the next city."
Here's to hoping it's not too long before the game's available and Shaq is playing with his teammates, inevitably walking around the Cavs practice facility screaming, "Boomshaqalacka!"