Friday, August 20, 2010

Basketball Hall Of Fame Inductions, NBA 2K11 To Feature Michael Jordan - August 20, 2010

Hall of Fame inductee Scottie Pippen (L), presented by former teammate Michael Jordan, delivers his acceptance speech during the 2010 Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies in Springfield, Massachusetts August 13, 2010. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
The Basketball Hall Of Hame induction ceremony took place last week and featured many of my favorite players. One of them being Scottie Pippen. Pippen and Michael Jordan are my favorite basketball duo ever. It was truly a pleasure to watch these two guys step on to the court every night. Pippen was that great all around player that you could count on to get the job done. He was a big time weapon from all over the court. He could drive, shoot, pass, rebound, and led the Bulls team in five statistical categories at one point. Pippen and Jordan helped each other get to six NBA championships. During the 1993-94 season, Pippen stepped it up and took the Bulls to a regular season record of what they had done the previous year with Jordan still on the team. I still to this day say that the Bulls would have won the championship had it not been for the still haunting Hue Hollins call on the three point attempt by Hubert Davis in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals at MSG. That one call changed the series as the Bulls would have headed home with a 3-2 series lead and be able to close the series out in Chicago. Hollins eventually said that it was a bad call on his part and I still cringe watching the play to this day. Hollins would then be booed for the rest of his career when returning to Chicago. Scottie stepped up huge that season including a All Star MVP and what should have been a league MVP. With Michael returning in 1995, the two paired up again along with Dennis Rodman to lead the Bulls to the best record in NBA history with 72 wins. Seeing Jordan present Pippen was very fitting and I loved it as a fan seeing the two of them together. It almost made me sad too to think of how long away those days are now. These two guys were torture to teams on offense but also on defense. During the first three peat years, they were referred to as the dobermans on defense. They would wear you out defensively and then be up the court on offense. Remember that Pippen's defense on Magic Johnson in the 1991 Finals really changed that series. Karl Malone, who also very deservedly went into the Hall of Fame last week, commented on Pippen saying how great of a player that he was specifying how Pippen won him over when he led most of the statistical categories on the team. Scottie Pippen was a warrior on the court and I will never forget the enjoyment that I had with watching him over the years.
Members of the 1992 United States Olympic Dream Team pose for a photograph after that team was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame during enshrinement ceremonies in Springfield, Massachusetts August 13, 2010. The players are: (front row L-R) John Stockton, Clyde Drexler, Chris Mullen; (middle row L-R) Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone; (back row L-R) Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson and Christian Laettner.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
The 1992 Dream Team also went into the Hall Of Fame with most of them being in attendance. I loved having Magic and Bird being the spokesmen for the team. Talk about two guys that have their careers always revolved around one another. They still have that competitiveness about them and I laughed watching Bird at one point looking intense cause you just get the feeling that he'd love to go roast some guys on the court. LOL. That team was incredible to watch. The greatest team ever assembled. How exciting was it to see Jordan, Magic, Bird, Barkley, Pippen, Ewing, Malone, Stockton, Drexler, among others all on the same team? You can't top that. They beat their opponents by an average of 44 points if I remember right. They did it in a fashion that I've never seen. These were guys that just wanted to win. As Magic said, they didn't care about egos, who scored the most points, or who took the most shots. They wanted to win and win decisively. The whole country was wrapped up in watching that team in Barcelona and the only disappointment was NBC cutting out of the games when they would get up by 20 points unless you had the PPV triple cast. I have the memory of jumping up off the couch when seeing Magic throw that no look over the head pass to Jordan who skied to dunk that ball in big fashion. It was the Dream Team and there will be no team like it. Congrats to all the inductees into this year's Hall of Fame!!

While on the subject of the NBA, I want to congratulate NBA 2K11. Why? They are pulling me back into the video game world. LOL. I just kind of phased out of it some and then comes the announcement of Michael Jordan being put back into a NBA video game. After seeing the first video of MJ in the game, I was sold. Add into the fact that classic Bulls teams and other classic players are on this game as well and that is just a HUGE bonus. Michael Jordan will appear on a NBA video game for the first time in over a decade. You will be able to play as Jordan of all different eras of his NBA career. You can take Jordan and put him on current teams or have him running with his Bulls of the day. One really fun thing included in this game is that you have The Jordan Challenge. You play as Jordan in some of the biggest games of his career and you have to accomplish what he accomplished to beat the level. Some of the games included are the 63 point game in Boston Garden, the 1991 NBA Finals, the 6 three pointers against Portland in 92, the flu game in 1997, the double nickel game in 1995 at MSG, and more. Some of them are not going to be easy to recreate especially when you have to score a certain amount of points and have a certain shooting percentage too. If you unlock all of these, you open up Jordan for a career type mode. Basically, you take a rookie Michael Jordan and put him on the team of your choice. As you start out, Jordan isn't going to be that greatest player that we all know and love. You'll have to keep building him on experience points and his play will get better along with his look changing. It sounds really fun!! So, my plan is to take the 1995-96 Bulls and completely dismantle the Miami Heat of Wade, James, and Bosh. If you want to take a sneak peek look at NBA 2K11, here is the latest trailer to be released of it and it looks incredible!!

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