If you're over the age of 20, odds are the NBA Jam franchise played a significant role in your childhood development.
Seems like quite a hyperbole, no? But it's the truth! OK, maybe it's only the truth for a select group of video game junkies.
If it weren't for NBA Jam, we wouldn't have seen Shawn Kemp doing multiple flips in mid-air while flying about 10 feet over the backboard and viciously slamming it down with two hands.
We wouldn't have seen Kevin Johnson sitting in the corner hitting 10 three's in a row while the ball literally catches fire.
The words "he's on fire!!!", "boom-shaka-laka", and "whoomp, there it is!" might not be part of our everyday vocabulary.
And last but not least, we wouldn't have hot spots, which remain the single greatest contribution to basketball video games. Down by 10? Eh, no problem...just get Reggie Miller to that 12-point circle and let him fire away.
So when EA Sports announced they were releasing a new version of NBA Jam in 2010, the collective level of excitement for 20-30 year old males was as sky high as a group of teeny-boppers for a Hannah Montana concert...especially with the added bonus that classic duos like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird would be available.
A bunch of questions were immediately raised.
How great would it be to see LeBron dunking from halfcourt?
Or Wade doing a 1080 from the foul line?
Or Steve Nash hitting an ungodly amount of three's...he could put up 20 a game easy.
The possibilities are endless. But what are the 10 best duos we want to play with? What would be the pairings that would make us shell out the cash without ever thinking twice?
Glad you asked. Let's take a look...
A few caveats—one, the upcoming free agent bonanza will dramatically shift the NBA landscape. So possible combos that could be pair up (i.e. Wade and Bosh) might as well be fair game, right?
Two, when a player is selected, imagine him in his prime. Obviously no one wants to see a washed-up Vince Carter that shies away from contact. But a 2000 Vince Carter that jumps over a 7'0" for the greatest dunk in basketball history? An emphatic yes.
Three, the reason that the original NBA Jam wasn't loaded with star players was because Midway couldn't license the rights to certain players. Nowadays, that's unthinkable. So there will be nothing but star talent in this version.
Finally, no player graces the list more than once. You don't want to see a scenario where LeBron and Bosh, Wade and Bosh, LeBron and Wade, or Wade and Amar'e make up half the list.
With that, let's go.