Over and Back: Who were the best NBA Jam duos?

To celebrate a new book about NBA Jam, Jason and Rich explore the history of basketball video games, NBA Jam’s launch and discuss the game’s best and worst duos.

Jason Mann and Rich Kraetsch devote an entire episode to one of the greatest basketball video games of all-time: NBA Jam!

The discussion begins with a talk about Reyan Ali’s new book “NBA Jam” including a brief review of what you can expect in the book and how it greatly exceeded our expectations.

We then move onto the history of NBA-licensed video games including the forerunners of NBA Jam: Double Dribble and Arch Rivals as well as a discussion on license games like Bulls vs. Blazers, Lakers vs. Celtics, Dr. J vs. Larry Bird and more.

We’ll also discuss a bit of how NBA Jam came to be, the importance of Midway in the video game world at the time and some of the game’s infamous secrets and codes.

After that, it’s time for the main discussion as we dig into the best and worst duos in NBA Jam, which teams stood out to us, which teams did we use most often when we played and what teams would we never in a million years play as? We also take a statistical look at the best duos using Win Shares, why some players were left out of the game and some of the puzzling roster decisions made by the NBA Jam team.

We finish the show with a few parting thoughts about the franchise, how it evolved after the game’s initial explosion and the state of NBA/basketball video games today. Then finally, a fun exercise looking at the best mythical and historical NBA Jam duos per franchise.

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