Tuesday, October 5, 2010

NBA 2K11 Hits The Shelves - October 5, 2010

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 07:  NBA 97/98 CHICAGO BULLS; Michael JORDAN/CHICAGO BULLS  (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Today is a big day for NBA fans, Jordan and Bulls fans, and sports game fans. Today is the release for NBA 2K11 on the major systems including PS3, XBox 360, PC, and PS2. Well, except for the Wii which apparently has been delayed until October 19th. It's nice of them to not let that bit of info really get out there until today but what can you do? Anyway, there has been a ton of hype on this game and the reviews have been very good for it. Michael Jordan has been put on a video game for the first time in around a decade. You can also play with classic teams as well including the Bulls, Celtics, Lakers, Knicks, Pistons, and more. The game also has what is called the Jordan Challenge. You have to do what Jordan did in those games and you will unlock features in the NBA 2K11 game. I've seen video of the 92 Finals game and it looks awesome. Incredible detail in it. Here are the games that you are able to play in and just thought I'd share some memories along with it. I also have your goals of what you need to do to accomplish the challenge.

The Arrival - April 20, 1986 - 1986 Playoffs - Game 2 at Boston
Score 63+ points and shoot 50%+ from the field
This is the game that really put Jordan on the map in Boston Garden. Larry Bird was in awe of what he watched. The Bulls were up against a monster with that Celtics team but Michael Jordan made sure that people were paying attention to him and what was yet to come. Incredible 63 point performance.

69 Points - March 28, 1990 in Cleveland
Score 69+ points, shoot 50%+ from the field, win the game.
This is Jordan's highest scoring game and he did it in Cleveland. Just one of the major frustrations that he gave the Cavs over the years.

Shootout - 1990 - Regular season vs. Dominique and the Hawks
Outscore Dominique, Hold Dominique under 25 points, win the game.
Jordan vs. Dominique. This was always a showdown when these two hit the court against each other. They loved to compete and try to one up one another. Each always brought their "A" game. Everyone always talks about their dunk contest showdowns but don't forget about the amazing scoring exhibitions that they had against one another.

Bad Boys - May 26, 1990 - Game 3 Eastern Finals vs. Detroit - 47 points
Score 47+ points, win the game
Jordan vs. Detroit. This was still in 1990 so the Bulls were still one year away from getting past Detroit. This is a prime example of what players and teams should strive for now. Keep fighting against these teams. The Bulls were eliminated several years in a row by Detroit but the Bulls kept getting that experience. They learned from those mistakes. This series in 1990 was a physical battle as it always was against the Bad Boys of Detroit. One of the great rivalries in NBA history.

1991 NBA Finals vs. Lakers
Average 31.0+ points, shoot 55%+ from the field, win the series
After the sweep and Detroit walking off the court not shaking hands, the Bulls moved on to the 1991 Finals to face Magic and the Lakers. This was the ultimate NBA matchup. Jordan against Magic. I'll never forget watching this series. I had cheered the Bulls for so many years and would be bummed watching them get past Detroit. They get to the next level and took off from there. The Bulls would win this series 4-1 wrapping up the championship in Los Angeles. Jordan stepped up huge and the switch hands layup has made highlight reels for almost 20 years now. Pippen stepped up huge and was put on Magic for defense. The Bulls would finally win their first championship and me and all the Bulls fans were excited to say the least.

The Shrug - Game 1 of 1992 NBA Finals
Score 35+ points in the first half, Make 6+ three's in the first half, hold Drexler under 20 points, win the game
Talk about another game with a highlight reel of it. Jordan lights up Portland for 35 points in the first half including a HOT three point shooting exhibition of six three's hit. That finished with the shrug. The Bulls made a huge statement in this game that they were ready to go back to back.

Double Nickel - March 28, 1995 at New York
Score 55+ points, shoot 55%+ form the field, win the game
After Jordan's stint in baseball, he returned to the NBA. Jordan was working his way back into shape and all of us Bulls fans were thrilled to see the man back in uniform. Jordan had some early struggles in his return but this game really showed that he was back. Lighting up MSG for 55 points. The winning play wasn't even a shot from him as he passed to Wennington for the dunk to seal the game for the Bulls. Incredible performance in New York.

Father's Day Victory - June 16, 1996 - Bulls win 4th title
Score 22+ points, get 9+ rebounds, win the game
After Jordan's retirement in 1993, there was wonder of if the Bulls would reach championship status again. Jordan returned, Pippen continued to grow, and Rodman filled that rebounding spot that had been trouble for the Bulls in 1995 after Horace Grant left for Orlando. The Bulls won their 6th championship this night and it culminated the 72-10 season setting the mark for the most wins for a team in NBA history. Who can forget the emotion of seeing Jordan crying on the locker room floor after the game as he won on Father's Day?

The Flu Game - June 11, 1997 - 1997 Finals - Game 5
Score 38+points, get 7+ rebounds, win the game
This was the game that had all of us Bulls fans worried. A tied series with Jordan battling serious flu symptoms. Add into the fact that this game was in Utah. This is still the gutsiest performances that I've ever seen. He can barely stand at points of the game and you can just see the misery on his face as he sits on the bench. Yet, Jordan scores 38 points including the game sealing three pointer. Then, there is the classic shot of Pippen carrying Jordan off the court to the bench. This game would send the Bulls back to Chicago with a 3-2 lead and the Bulls would win Game 6 to clinch their fifth title.

Michael's Last Dance - June 14, 1998 - 1998 Finals - Game 6
Score 45+ points, get 4+ steals, win the game
Game 5 of this series was a really bizarre emotion from me. Game 5 had the Bulls up 3-1 in the series with the game in Chicago. They could seal it on their home court. There was this strange happy but sad emotion. The Bulls were introduced to the home crowd and you knew that this was the last time. The team would be broken up after the season and everyone had confirmed it. Yep, the Jerrys decided that breaking up the team would be better than say, I don't know, winning another championship. Ahh, the days of frustration of Bulls fans when we all were in awe of the decision making of the organization. Game 5 was a moment of that we were saying farewell despite going for that sixth championship. What was a sad 'don't let this end' kind of moment turned into something completely different when they lost Game 5. Game 6 in Utah got the game faces back on of everyone that this series has to be won tonight to not let Utah force a Game 7 at the Delta Center. Pippen gutted through dealing with a very hurt back. Another sign that this series did not need to go another game. Jordan put the exclamation point on it with 45 points and the storybook ending of a game winning jumper to seal the sixth championship. It was a bittersweet ending and the team would be broken up over the next several months.

Now, NBA 2K11 has brought back the fun for this Bulls fan. Being able to play with the classic Bulls teams going against the current NBA or against those classic teams that we either loved or loved to boo. I just can't decide to run with the 92 or 96 Bulls against the current league. The reviews are great of the game so far and I look forward to checking it out.

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