NBA Jam: 50 Other Secret Characters We Want in the Game

Allen KimSenior Analyst IOctober 20, 2010

NBA Jam: 50 Other Secret Characters We Want in the Game

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    After nearly a two decade absence from the virtual realm, NBA Jam finally made a triumphant return to the Wii, with a version for the Xbox 360 and PS3 set to come out later this year.

    Much like the original version, there are secret characters included in the game. However, this iteration's secret and unlockable character list is pretty weak.

    While they made some solid inclusions—the Beastie Boys, 9th Wonder—they could have done far better.

    Michelle Beadle is fine, but Colin Cowherd? Seriously?

    Hopefully EA Sports will hear our pleas.

Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton

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    9 Feb 1997:  Seattle Supersonics forward Shawn Kemp (right) and guard Gary Payton confer during the NBA All-Star game in Cleveland, Ohio.  Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr/Allsport
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Let's start this list off right.

    How in the world is Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton not included in the game? This is the "Rain Man" and "the Glove" for god's sake.

    Would there be a more menacing combo to face in transition than Payton dishing the rock to Kemp?

    This is an insulting overlook by EA Sports and it demands an explanation.

Prince and The Revolution

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    It's funny that during his era, he was considered to be one of the weirdest artists out of all the stars (e.g. Michael Jackson, Rick James, etc.). In the end, he actually turned out to be the most normal.

    However, don't sleep on him on the court. He may not look like much of an athlete, but he will humiliate you. Charlie Murphy found this out the hard way.

    Prince was crossing him up, dropping jumpers and dimes in his face, and dunking on his team all night long.

    Assemble your crew if you think you can take on the Blouses.

The entire Flint Michigan Tropics team (Semi-Pro)

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    Led by Jackie Moon, owner and starting forward for the Flint Michigan Tropics, this is one of the last ABA teams to exist before the merger with the NBA.

    Jackie Moon, in particular, deserves a special place in NBA Jam. He is the first person to implement the alley-oop, one of the signature moves in the game.

    Along with Monix, Clarence "Coffee" Brown, Vakidis, Scootsie, Twiggy, and Bee Bee Ellis, you will have your pick of a the litter as you look to dominate the competition.

Terry Tate, Office Linebacker

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    The pain train is coming! Whoo! Whoo!

    Tate is guaranteed to increase the productivity of any organization he joins. He can whip his teammates into shape and decimate opponents on the court.

    Terry is the ultimate enforcer. Get near the rim and he'll knock you senseless.

Jack Nicholson

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    The Shining
    The Shining

    Jack is easily the most famous fan in the NBA. There is no supporter more closely associated with a team than Nicholson. He has been courtside at nearly every Lakers game for the past three decades, usually with his arms crossed and sunglasses on.

    It's been reported that he even requires all his work schedules to revolve around Lakers games. Now that's true dedication.

    He's got quite a temper and you'll see him arguing and yelling at referees regularly. Jack's not afraid to get into it with refs and he sticks up for his team. He's overstepped his bounds on numerous occasions and that shows his true passion for his team and the game.

    As the most dedicated Lakers fan, he should be an automatic add to the list.

Spike Lee (Mars Blackmon)

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    Spike Lee is the East Coast version of Jack. If you're watching the Knicks, you're sure to see him sitting courtside.

    In the 90s, his status reached new heights as he portrayed the venerable Mars Blackmon opposite Michael Jordan in a number of Nike commercials.

    Then, of course, there are the numerous incidents between Reggie Miller and him.

    To top his already illustrious basketball resume off, one of his most famous films was He Got Game, and that alone is enough to warrant his inclusion on this list.

Li'l Penny

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    They didn't put in the original Penny, so why not throw lil' Penny in there?

    You can't guard him. The secret service couldn't guard him.

Michael Jackson

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    Michael would easily be the smoothest player on the court at any given moment.

    Get in his way and he'll just moon walk right by you. Double team him and he's got enough moves in his arsenal to make your head spin.

    Let's not forget, he made Thriller. Thriller.

Brandon Marshall

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    Marshall famously proclaimed that he would play in the NBA in the event that there is a lockout in the NFL.

    Could he make it in the NBA? Probably not, but it's certainly possible. After all, Brandon is a superb athlete and one of the most gifted wide receivers in the NFL today.

    Brandon has some of the stickiest hands in the league and he's got an impressive 37" vertical. He could easily catch lobs and throw them down against bigger defenders as he's used to far more contact and physical play in the NFL.

    Of course, there's more to playing basketball than jumping high, but Marshall is no stranger to the hardwood.

    Let's see how he would fair against some of the best the NBA has to offer.

Gangs Starr (Guru and DJ Premier)

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    They already have J. Cole and 9th Wonder, but how do could you forget about Guru and Premier?

    While Guru was great in his own right, Premier made him a legend.

    Primo is without a doubt the greatest producer/DJ in Hip-Hop history, and undoubtedly deserves a spot ahead of 9th Wonder.

    And who could forget their classic track, Now You're Mine? Arguably the best basketball themed track ever.

Eric B. and Rakim

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    Speaking of hip-hop pairings, how do they not include arguably the greatest pairing of turntable and mic?

    This is one of the most influential and respected combinations in all of hip-hop.

    Give them some love.

James Goldstein

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    If you watch the NBA in capacity, then you know you've seen this ghoulish looking figure before, but you probably have no clue who he is.

    Well, Goldstein is the NBA's super-fan. He spends tens of thousands of dollars a year buying tickets to games and flying himself around the country to attend them.

    He's always seen with his trademark hat, sporting clothes that would make Craig Sager cringe. If he has the audacity to dress himself the way he does, imagine what he would pull on the hardwood.

Steve Urkel (Family Matters)

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    Don't let his scrawny frame and nerdy facade fool you. Urkel can ball.

    He's got handles and moves that would make Allen Iverson jealous. You also can't forget about his resolve and the clutch shooting ability to match Michael Jordan himself.

    Urkel would also pair well with his former teammate—currently an unlockable character in NBA Jam—Grandmama.

    That's one duo that I'd steer clear of.


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    Did you really think that he wouldn't show up on this list?

    Even though he's only a minority owner of the Nets, he's still considered to be the face of the franchise.

    He's close friends with quite a few NBA stars and beloved by all.

    Plus, when you have Jordan's ear, then you know you're a big shot in NBA circles.

Sydney Deane And Billy Hoyle (White Men Can't Jump)

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    Sydney Deane, played by Wesley Snipes, and Billy Hoyle, played by Woody Harrelson, starred in the classic hoops movie, White Men Can't Jump.

    Of course, the title of the movie is an inaccurate statement (see: Brent Barry, 1996 NBA Dunk Contest).

    With that being said, the two can play ball. They portrayed two street ballers hustling people in games of two-on-two basketball—the exact format used in NBA Jam.

    Both are tough players and their games would fit right into the NBA Jam atmosphere.

Scott Howard a.k.a. Teen Wolf

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    First off, no one would really want to guard him with all that fur covering his body.

    On top of that, he has the handles to break your ankles, and the hops to throw down vicious jams. Not to mention, he can snatch shots out of the air at will.

    Would you want to play against this hairy monstrosity?

Ernest P. Worrell (Slam Dunk Ernest)

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    If you grew up in the '80s and '90s, then you watched Jim Varney play Ernest in at least one movie. You can pretend like you never liked his movies, but you would be lying to yourself.

    Blessed by the Archangel of Basketball, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ernest is given a magic pair of sneakers that transform him into Air Ernest.

    With spider-like reflexes, blinding speed, and enough hang-time to make change off the top of the backboard, he would make even the Miami Heat tremble in fear.

Bruce Lee

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    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar made an appearance as Hakim in the Game of Death. While he's able to hold his own against Bruce, he ultimately falls in the end.

    If Bruce can jump kick Kareem—a seven footer—in the face, is there any question that he could dunk?

    And then there's his infamous one inch punch. If he can take down a grown man with minimal effort, envision how strong his shove would be.

    It's only fitting that Bruce, considered to be a pioneer in the world of martial arts, brings his own skills over to the NBA to teach Kareem's peers a lesson in basketball.

    Speaking of Kareem...

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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    LOS ANGELES - 1988:  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar #33 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots a hook shot during an NBA game against the Golden State Warriors at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles, California in 1988. (Photo by Tim Defrisco/Getty Images)
    Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images

    Neglecting Kareem is probably more perplexing than leaving Kemp and Payton out.

    How do you exclude the all-time leading scorer of the NBA?

Leroy Smith

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    As the inspiration for Michael Jordan and his rise to greatness, Leroy deserves more recognition and respect than he is credited for.

    Remember, that Bulls' dynasty would have never happened if it wasn't for Leroy. Since the Basketball Hall of Fame won't recognize his contributions to the sport, the least EA Sports could do is include him as a hidden character.

    He will help to motivize, pulverize and realize.

Bobby Knight

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    Bobby won't be doing much on the offensive side of the ball, but he's a menacing enforcer that can shove just about anybody to the ground.

    Also, if you're not paying close attention, he may just pull a chair out and throw it at you.

Chuck Norris

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    Fact: Chuck Norris can throw full-court alley-oops to himself.

    Fact: Chuck Norris taught Michael Jordan how to play basketball, but not baseball.

    Fact: Chuck Norris single-handedly beat the Dream Team blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back and 100-lb. weights attached to each leg.

Chad Ochocinco and Terrel Owens

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    CANTON, OH - AUGUST 8: Terrell Owens #81 and Chad Ochocinco #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals look on against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium on August 8, 2010 in Cant
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The wide receiver and VH1 reality show diva duo can ball.

    They are both superb athletes and they have showcased their skills on the court on numerous occasions. If you think that these two are just pushovers, you're in for quite a surprise.

    This trash talking duo could spew enough nonsense to get opponents to give up before even attempting a shot.

    Child, please.

Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)

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    Don't let the balding head and scrawny frame fool you. Larry David is a force to be reckoned with.

    If he can take a prime Shaq out of the game just by stretching his legs, picture what he can do against the best players in the game today.

Jet Woo Kim

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    Like James Goldstein, you see her at every single Lakers game, but probably have no idea who she is. She's been a staple—no pun intended—of the home crowd since the '80s.

    Lakers courtside seats cost a pretty penny, and she supposedly pays for them from money she made in real estate.

    It's also been reported that she gets chauffeured in a Maybach, but these are unconfirmed.

    Regardless, she's a personal friend of Jack Nicholson and she can afford courtside season tickets, so she must be a baller.

    With an icy stare, cold demeanor, and a stocky build, I'm sure players would think twice before getting into a shoving match with her.

Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff

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    These two were secret characters from NBA Jam: Tournament Edition. Leaving them out is an appalling desecration to everything that is NBA Jam.

    How do you forget about these two? After all, they were...

    In West Philadelphia born and raised
    On the playground is where I spent most of my days
    Chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool
    And all shootin' some b-ball outside of the school

Kanye West

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    GREENWICH, CT - JULY 08:  Kanye West and LeBron James pose backstage prior to the LeBron James announcement of his future NBA plans at the  Boys & Girls Club of America on July 8, 2010 in Greenwich, Connecticut.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for E
    Larry Busacca/Getty Images

    While Kanye is an amazing producer, he deserves being in the game for one reason: comic value.

    Could you imagine using big-head mode with Kanye? It would take up the entire screen. West would be able to block shots by standing idly in front of the rim.

    Even without his ego-inflated head ballooning up through big-head mode, it would be near impossible to knock him over from the sheer amount of force it would require to move that mountain of a head.

Jake Shuttlesworth (He Got Game)

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    Played by Denzel Washington, this prison-hardened felon will play rough basketball. Exactly what you want from a teammate in NBA Jam.

    Being the father of Jesus Shuttlesworth and having taught his future Hall-of-Famer son how to play the game, you know he can play with the best of them.

Manny Pacquiao

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    Manny is a hoops fanatic.

    He owns and plays on his very own basketball team—MP-Gensan Warrios—in a semi-professional basketball league called the Liga Pilipinas.

    Pacquiao is also an honorary member of the Boston Celtics.

    With lightning quick hands and devastating knock out power, the champ is not someone you want to mess around with.

Floyd Mayweather

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    NBA All-Star Weekend Celebrity Game
    NBA All-Star Weekend Celebrity Game

    You can't have Manny Pacquiao in the game without including Floyd.

    Mayweather is a superbly conditioned athlete that is no stranger to the hoops world. However, the problem with including him in the game is that he may just duck the best opponents who challenge him and claim that they're taking steroids.

    Floyd would also provide plenty of comedic value as he should easily challenge Kanye for biggest ego-inflated head in the game.

Bo Jackson

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    Bo Jackson is one of the greatest athletes of all time.

    While his NFL and MLB careers were cut tragically short by a hip injury, he made his mark on the sports world.

    Do you remember Tecmo Super Bowl? Even today, his character Tecmo Bo, is widely regarded as the single greatest playable character in a sport video game.

    Imagine what an athlete of his caliber could do in NBA Jam.

    Remember, Bo knows.

Stewie Griffin

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    He may be small, but he can play. Even if he has to resort to dirty tactics.

    The football shaped monstrosity perched atop his shoulders would also negate any need for using big-head mode. His head is like a blimp, blocking any and all shots that go near him.

Snoop Dogg

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    Snoop Dogg is no stranger around NBA circles.

    He's an avid fan of the Lakers and you'll see him at games quite often.

    In fact, he even went as far as to try and get Donnie Wahlberg to wager $20,000 during last year's NBA Finals matchup.

    Snoop is also actually a good baller himself. He's no stranger to celebrity basketball games and he can definitely hold his own.

William Gates and Arthur Agee (Hoop Dreams)

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    Hoop Dreams
    Hoop Dreams

    This is more of a sentimental pick than anything else.

    If you've never seen Hoop Dreams, then you're doing a disservice to yourself. This is arguably the greatest basketball documentary ever made. (Spoiler alert below)

    The two people the documentary follows—William Gates and Arthur Agee—make for a compelling story. While neither of them accomplish their ultimate goal of making it to the NBA, EA Sports can rectify that by including them in NBA Jam.

Green Man a.k.a. Charlie Kelly (It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia)

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    Its Always SUnny In Philadelphia
    Its Always SUnny In Philadelphia

    Green Man has become a cultural phenomenon over the past few years.

    Go to any stadium around the country and you're pretty much guaranteed to see at least one person donning the tight green spandex body suit.

    However, these are all cheap imitations. Nothing compares to the original Green Man, Charlie Kelly himself.

    As the wild card, you never know what he'll do on any given play. He's a bit unstable and challenging him at the rim is probably not the best idea.

Dick Bavetta

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    LAS VEGAS - FEBRUARY 17:  Referee Dick Bavetta participates in a footrace against NBA legend Charles Barkley in the Bavetta/Barkley Challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend on February 17, 2007 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.  NOTE TO USER: Use
    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    He may be old, but Dick Bavetta is one tough referee.

    Even though he had trouble keeping up with Charles Barkley, anyone willing to kiss Barkley's filthy mouth on national TV deserves special consideration.

Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck (Space Jam)

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    The Looney Tunes characters teamed up with Michael Jordan to play against the aliens, the Nerdlucks.

    Their exploits are legendary and does this really need any more explanation?

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

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    Stewart and Colbert (Comedy Central)
    Stewart and Colbert (Comedy Central)

    With all the political figures already in the game, why not include the very pundits that love to poke fun at them?

    Also, let's not forget that both of them are amazing.

    Case A: Jon Stewart tearing apart Tucker Carlson on Crossfire.

    Case B: Stephen Colbert giving a speech—or roasting Bush, whatever you want to call it—at the White House's Correspondents Dinner.

Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach

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    Have you ever played Super Mario?

    If you have, then you know that Mario and Luigi have hops. After all, half of the game revolves around jumping.

    These two plumbers also have no problem handling flaming balls. Could you ask for a better match?

    Then, of course, Mario had his own hoops game and even made a cameo in NBA Street Volume 3. In NBA Street, they showcased their ankle crushing, alley-oop hammering, and all-around games.

    You don't want to mess with these Italian Stallions, especially if they get their hands on some mushrooms and decide to go down hallucinatory lane.

The Gorilla

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    PHOENIX - APRIL 26:  The Phoenix Suns mascot 'Gorilla' performs during Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs against the Portland Trail Blazers at US Airways Center on April 26, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defea
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Leaving the Gorilla out of the mascots lineup was a head scratcher. In fact, they flat out chose some bad mascots as secret characters.

    The Gorilla was in the NBA Jam: Tournament Edition and he could really light it up. There's no reason for him to not be in the new one.


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    Spiderman is tailor made for NBA Jam.

    He's got the hops to embarrass even Michael Jordan himself.

    No stranger to sport video games, Spiderman was a secret character in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2. With the ability to use his webs, he could pull off unique moves that no one could top.

    He's the perfect character to have alongside you in a game of basketball.

Mark Cuban

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    The pudgy owner of the Dallas Mavericks may not be well liked for his antics, but you can't deny that he is a savvy and dedicated owner.

    He's got a serious temper and is great to have around as an enforcer near the hoop.

    Of course it helps that he actually plays basketball.

    Plus, it wouldn't be easy dunking over that beefy frame.

Kenny Powers and Stevie Janowski

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    The pitching legend and his sidekick, Stevie, deserves to be rostered in NBA Jam.

    They may not play a clean game, but they are sure to be a tough opponent for anybody.

    It helps that Kenny can already throw flaming pitches.

    "You're &$#%@! out" would also be the perfect new catch phrase to be used in the game.

Scott McKnight (Just Wright)

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    Played by the legendary rapper Common, Scott McKnight is the star player for the New Jersey Nets.

    While the movie looks absolutely horrible, Common can ball.

    And anyone willing to do a romantic basketball themed movie with Queen Latifah shows they will stoop to any level to get a job. Could you picture what he would do to get a place in NBA Jam?

Jim Carroll and Mickey (Basketball Diaries)

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    Played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg, these two were star basketball players in their youth.

    When they weren't hopped up on heroin, they could tear apart the competition.

    Now? Well, Mark talks to animals and Leo can enter your dreams and mess with your head.

    Scary stuff. I sure as hell wouldn't want to go up against these two.

    Let's not forget that Mark Wahlberg used to go by Marky Mark.


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    Run D.M.C.
    Run D.M.C.

    With the influx of Nike, let's see some Adidas get some love here.

    This trio, made up by Rev Run, D.M.C. and Jam-Master Jay, is legendary in the hip-hop world.

    They were pioneers in the music scene and their feats and accomplishments make them worthy.

Marv Albert

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    The infamous NBA announcer finally made a return to the broadcast booth in recent years, but don't let his easy going demeanor fool you.

    Marv is a felon and he's well-known for one particular night.

    Even still, his trademark "Yes!" goes in perfectly with the likes of "Boom-Shaka-Laka" and "He's on fire".

    Marv even did commentary for NBA Jam Extreme in the late 90s.

Harlem Globetrotters

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    Of course, I'm referring to the original Globetrotters.

    They were the ultimate showmen and what better stage to show what they can do then on NBA Jam?

And 1 Crew

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    These streetballers encompass everything you love about NBA Jam and they would be the perfect fit.

    They were flashy, had no regard for rules, and they're damn fun to watch.