I was too young to experience the era when you actually had to go out in public and pump machines full of quarters if you wanted to play a video game. However, I’ve visited a few establishments that let you experience the magic of the 1980s with the added bonus of allowing you to drink beer while doing so.
I’ve taken control of the Ninja Turtles, navigated mazes with Pac-Man, and frantically smashed random buttons in the hopes I’d magically land a combo in Mortal Kombat but here’s one cabinet I’ve put more coins into than any other: NBA Jam.
Sure, NBA 2K has done a great job creating the most authentic basketball experience possible but I’ll always be partial to the laughably unrealistic NBA Jam, a game where fouls don’t exist and basketballs spontaneously combust whenever a player gets into the groove.
The Atlanta Hawks recently dropped $200 million to renovate State Farm Arena—a facelift that included the addition of some absolutely massive scoreboards that are being put to very, very good use.
On Tuesday, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin spotted a cool little easter egg on the electronic board displaying the stats of the players on the court in a style straight out of the classic video game.
Now all we need is for the NBA to follow in the footsteps of the NHL and make overtime into a two-on-two matchup (and possibly take some inspiration from Slamball and put trampolines on the court so players can fly above the backboard).
Adam Silver can thank me later.