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What NBA Live 95 Taught Me About Today’s NBA

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

“NBA Live 95” was ahead of its time when it was released, but what we didn’t know was that the game provided us a peek into the future.

Yeah, the isometric camera angle and the fresh presentation properly kicked off the “Live” series, but the game offered so much more if you look at it beyond face value.

Let’s take a look at how the game predicted today’s NBA landscape.

3-pointers on 3-pointers on 3-pointers on…

It’s no secret that three three-point shot is more valuable than ever before. The crazy thing is that gamers realized this way before any analytics junkies did.

I don’t know about you, but when I was surveying the “Live 95” rosters I instantly scanned the shooting-related ratings and hoarded all the marksmen I could. You know why? Because in video games you didn’t have anybody to scoff at you for trying new things that made too much sense. 3 > 2.

You couldn’t handle my bench mob featuring the likes of Dana Barros, Chuck Person and Clifford Robinson.

To paraphrase the modern day poet G-Dep, every member on my team was a shooter.

Positions? What are those?!

Positionless basketball is all the rage now days, and rightfully so. In addition to getting as many shooters on the floor as possible, constructing teams with as many players that can put the ball on the floor, finish at the rim and defend multiple positions just makes too much sense.

In “Live” you didn’t care about limiting players by their position. You just wanted to win and score a ton of points doing so. If playing a five-guard lineup put you in the best position to win, you were going to do just that.

There’s no such thing as a “terrible” trade.

Because of the previous two points, you ended up making some pretty terrible trades, at least in real-life standards.

Trading a defensive stopper and hall of famer like Dennis Rodman for DA GAWD Tim Legler or a sharpshooter like BJ Armstrong wasn’t so ridiculous in the world of “Live 95”, but you wouldn’t trade a player of Rodman’s stature for spare parts like that in real life.

Or would you?

Just ask the Bulls and Pacers. In today’s NBA, you construct your team regardless of logic.

Superteams, assemble.

Assembling superteams is the new hotness in the NBA, but this has always been the case for basketball games with roster editing capabilities.

For as much as we may want to keep things “realistic”, we all end up assembling teams that give us a 99% chance of winning and most often these rosters include our favorite players.

One thing that was never considered was “fit”. Who cares if Tim Hardaway and Penny Hardaway played the same position. I just wanted to put the Brothers Hardaway on the same team. I mean, people think they are for realz related anyway.

There’s plenty of ball to go around for the Brothers Hardaway.

This urge to stockpile talent for talent’s sake, regardless of fit lives on today.

So what else will “NBA Live 95” predict? If I had to guess, hip-hop beats mixed with electronic dance sounds will be all the rage. Wait…

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