NBA Jam Was Rigged


You remember NBA Jam right? Of course you do!

You played it at the arcade when those things still existed, and you even owned it for your Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis. It was a game that every sports game fan had to own even if you were unknowingly getting screwed over.

That’s right, I said screwed over. How you ask? Why, I’ll tell you.

If you ever played as the Chicago Bulls in the game, then you were playing as a team that was programmed to fail in crunch time. At least, that’s what the game’s old lead designer Mark Turmell told ESPN: The Magazine.

"If there was a close game and anyone on the Bulls took a last second shot, we wrote special code in the game so that they would average out to be bricks. There was the big competition back in the day between the Pistons and the Bulls, and since I was always a big Pistons fan, that was my opportunity to level the playing field."

Turmell also stated in the interview that if you were the Bulls playing the Detroit Pistons, Scottie Pippen’s ratings would be lowered due to a special code written into the game because Turmell was a Pistons fan.

So yea, if you played as the Bulls — like I did — and wondered why you just couldn’t pull out the close victory, it wasn’t because you were just terrible at the game — even though you might be — it was because the game didn’t want you to win. It was almost as if Tim Donaghy was the man in charge of the outcomes.