NBA Jam was — and maybe still is — the best arcade sports game of all time. Until it was developed for console or emulators you could have argued for Ken Griffey Jr, Baseball… or Tecmo Super Bowl… but even today NBA Jam is a definitive classic.
And it was rigged.
Some 30 years later we find out that the game programmer included a bug that influenced the game.
All the mental strain, time and quarters spent trying to beat the Bulls was a waste. Sure, sometimes you could make a run with with Barkley and Majerle, Malone and Stockton, Ewing and Oakley — or my squad, Kemp and Payton in the first half and then Benjamin in the second — but you should have been using the Pistons all along.
The creator of NBA Jam finally confirms the long standing conspiracy theory that the game was programmed so that if the @ChicagoBulls took a last second shot against the @DetroitPistons it would always miss.— ᴀʀᴅᴀ Öᴄᴀʟ (@Arda) June 26, 2020
Mystery solved! pic.twitter.com/ugBw7cbx8k
Yes, lead designer and programmer Mark Turmell was a Pistons fan and programmed the game so that on last second shots the Bulls would never make them, if playing the Pistons.
Several things here:
First off all, hell yes. If I had the power to influence a game, the Pittsburgh Pirates would be so over powered it would be insane. I mean, they could win like 90 games a season if it were up to me.
Second, if I had that power — like Trumell did — I would go to my grave with it.
Lastly, you owe me a ton of quarters and part of my childhood back.