If you are an old-school NBA fan, you might have played the arcade game NBA Jam at least once in your life. One of the interesting little known facts is that the lead designer of the game, Mark Turmell tweaked the game. The game itself contained a code that works against the Chicago Bulls against Detroit Pistons team. The Pistons were Turmell’s favorite NBA team, so he wanted them winning in the game itself.
In an interview for ESPN, Turmell explained the reason why he decided to implement a code that works against the Bulls. He said the Bulls were merely unstoppable during those times, and he had to do something, so the Pistons were in a position to beat their arch-rivals.
“It’s true, but only when the Bulls played the Pistons. 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.”
In the interview, Turnell also talked about Gary Payton, that didn’t make the cut to get featured in the game. On the other hand, Michael Jordan pulled out because of licensing. There was also a special version of the game released, which gave these two players godlike stats.
“There are only a handful of machines that include Jordan and Payton.”
NBA Jam was first released in 1994 and later received great popularity across various platforms. The game was straightforward and fun because it included two on two basketball. It was also the first basketball game to feature licensed NBA players and teams. Turnell also said Shaq was a huge fan of the game and bought two machines.
“Shaq actually bought two machines. He kept one at home, and then if you can believe this, they shipped the game with them on their road trips, setting up the machine in their hotel rooms as they traveled.”