In this series, we're simulating all eight of the first-round NBA Playoffs series... using the worst 1990s basketball video games we can find.
Simulation software used: Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball (Super Nintendo, 1991)
In the '90s, we loved to imagine what sports would be like in the future. Sometimes our projections involved lasers or holograms or explosions, but they always, always involved elbow pads.
In Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball, it is the year 2030, and Bill Laimbeer is league commissioner. And, uh, that's him on the cover. So Laimbeer, one of the all-time most infamous basketball players to begin with, is now a 73-year-old player/commissioner who has fired all the referees and encouraged fans to throw bombs on the court. This game was the first title in the "Bill Laimbeer Is The Worst" video game franchise, which also included the games, "Bill Laimbeer Throws Kittens Into Vats Of Tabasco," "Bill Laimbeer Audibly Discusses Tipping While At Restaurant," and "Bill Laimbeer Designs And Markets The Sega 32X."
I should make it clear that while I don't have a single favorite NBA team, I've always pulled for the Grizzlies for reasons that aren't entirely within my grasp, and I've seen the Spurs win enough championships already. But of course, it's pretty likely that the Spurs are going to win this series in a walk, so it's pretty much fine that I played an entire game of Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball without ever having figured out how to shoot the basketball.
Simulated result: Spurs 24, Grizzlies 0. Again, I tried every button combination I could and still could not figure out how to shoot the basketball.
Keys to the game: none. There is absolutely nothing of instructive value offered by this game, except for the knowledge that in the future, basketball will be played on a surface that is a cross between the hull of a Star Destroyer and your bathroom floor.
For simulations of the rest of the NBA Playoffs' first-round match-ups, stay tuned to this StoryStream. And for actual, intelligent analysis of these teams, check out our Spurs blog, Pounding The Rock, and our Grizzlies blog, Straight Outta Vancouver.