This year, I got back into NBA basketball. I blame the pandemic and “the NBA bubble.” The bubble was an impressive feat though — 22 teams locked up in Walt Disney World Resort for months with zero cases of the virus. And, they weren’t even able to go to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge… After seeing how baseball and football have gone while trying to resume normal play — The NBA deserves a gold star for how well they handled this whole thing.
Now, back to my former love of basketball: I’ve been a Miami Heat fan ever since I was born. Actually, ever since the Heat were born, because they came into existence two years after I did (in 1988). As a kid I was obsessed with watching every single Heat game. That definitely got me excited for NBA Live, NBA Jam, NBA Hangtime, NBA Street and all other basketball games. I continued to play NBA video games until about NBA2K15.
Once LeBron came to the Heat (with “the decision”) I stopped following real-life basketball as much. I would still watch games, but not every game. I was excited when we would win, but extra angry when we lost. I thought now that we had LeBron, DWade and Chris Bosh the Heat should go 82-0 (but they didn’t). We actually lost our first and last Finals run with LeBron, but won two in between.
Another thing that took me away from Miami Heat basketball was when DWade went to the Bulls. He was, and will always be one of my favorite basketball players (along with Zo, Tim Hardaway and Shaq). Luckily he came back and retired with the Heat.
The NBA bubble got me excited for the return of basketball during the pandemic. Maybe I was just curious to see no fans in the audience, which they handled very well (it even allowed them to get up close with the cameras). This fresh, new Heat team was full of energy. It was amazing watching this underdog team with young players draining threes and taking down teams. And, since NBA2K20 was free on PS Plus, it also brought me back to basketball video games
I also ended up buying NBA2K20 on the Nintendo Switch for $5 to be able to compare it to the PS4 version. It’s a fine port, and it’s very cool to be able to play NBA2K in handheld mode (of course cross saves would be nice). I still want my old school arcade-style basketball games for the Switch. NBA Playgrounds tried to bring back the NBA Jam feels, but failed miserably. So miserably that Saber Interactive had to give the new Shaq-FU away for FREE to all who bought (or preordered) NBA Playgrounds.
Since the Miami Heat made it to the 2020 NBA Finals in the bubble, but lost to the L.A. Lakers, I am attempting to rewrite history in the virtual world. This team is a lot of fun to play with. Shooting threes with everyone from Tyler Herro to Meyers Leonard. Taking it to other teams in the paint with Bam Bam. Stealing and running it back with Jimmy B…
One thing in NBA2K20 isn’t very true to real life. Virtual Kelly Olynyk is an embarrassment to the real Kelly O. Anytime he steps on the court I get worried. I wonder, how is he going to mess this up now? And he always does. I’ve included this video I made of a big virtual Kelly play, followed by a big time virtual Kelly blooper. Please enjoy…
I hope that was as fun for you to watch as it was for me to edit. I did not buy the new NBA2K21 game, and I don’t know if I ever will (perhaps it will be given away for FREE later on, just like the last two NBA2K games and that will make me play it). For now, I’m enjoying my run at the 2020 season with the Heat in NBA2K20, plus the real new season of basketball won’t be starting until right before Christmas and I’m excited to watch my Heat in the coming season.