Jake's Take: 9/20/10

September 20, 2010
Jake LeRoy

NBA Jam, You Complete Me

CLICK 'N ROLL:
  • Junior Bridgeman
  • Team Chemistry
  • Inspiring the Undersized
  • Most Likely To...
  • Practiced What He Preaches
  • A Rivalry Renewed
  • Bucks Beat Features
  • I absolutely loathed shopping as a child. Words like Wal-Mart and Menard's may be seven-letter words in reality, but they might as well have been four-letter words during my childhood. I shivered at the mere mention of Stein's Gardens and Gifts. There was one store that didn't cause me to recoil in anticipated boredom, though. There was one store that I was actually excited to visit. What's that store you ask? That store was ShopKo. And why did I enjoy Shopko so much you ask? Because ShopKo was the home to the arcade version of NBA Jam.

    Words cannot describe how much I loved that game. It was so much different than any other sports video game I had ever played. The somersault dunks from half-court, the "he's heating up" catch phrase that inevitably resulted in the follow-up catch phrase "he's on fire," even the powerhouse Bucks tandem that was "You're my boy" Blue Edwards and Brad Lohaus. It was all so glorious.

    When word came down that EA Sports was filling that hole in my heart with a modern-day version of NBA Jam, needless to say, I felt my life becoming more complete. More and more details about the game have leaked out over time, including the recent unveiling of the rosters. With the rosters now public knowledge, I'd be remiss if I didn't offer my two cents.

    So I decided to select what I think is the best twosome from each team -- both current players and legends -- and pair them up against each other NCAA Tournament style, with seeding based on conference finish from a year ago. What the best twosome for each team is obviously is up for debate, so feel free to check out the always reliable Wikipedia for full rosters and make your own decisions.

    Eastern Conference First Round
    No. 1 Cleveland (Mark Price and Brad Daugherty) vs. No. 16 Mascots (Bango the Buck and The Raptor)
    Since there are an uneven number of teams in each conference, I was forced to pair the top-seeded Cavs against the mascot tandem of Bango the Buck and The Raptor. Mascot of the Year Bango fits the high-flying criteria of NBA Jam better than any other mascot in the league, but the legendary Cleveland tandem of Mark Price and Brad Daugherty is too much to overcome.
    Winner: Cleveland

    No. 2 Orlando (Scott Skiles and Dwight Howard) vs. No. 15 New Jersey (Drazen Petrovi